2015 Griffin Award for New Australian Playwriting

SBW Stables Theatre. June 24, 2015

“Alive and living in this time and place."

A quote from the Griffin Awards winning play, Turquoise Blue by Stephen Carleton

2015 marks the eighteenth year that Griffin Theatre and Copyright Agency Limited have awarded $10,000 to a new Australian writer for their work. This is still a prestigious award. 

The Barber of Seville

By Rossini. Melbourne Opera. The Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne, 25 & 27 June & 3 July, 2015, and Monash University’s Alexander Theatre, July 10.

Melbourne Opera’s oft-revived production of ‘ The Barber of Seville’ retains a rather enviable freshness and vitality, in no small part due to the direction of Hugh Halliday, that all too rare director who can never bore an audience.  By leaving the piece squarely ‘in period’ and essentially following the instructions left by composer Rossini, librettist Sterbini and playwright Beaumarchais, the audience was kept laughing from curtain-up to the final scene.  Halliday’s first brilliant touch is to leave the curtain down for the overture.

In Search of Owen Roe

Written & performed by Vanessa O’Neil, dramaturgy & direction Glynis Angell. La Mama, Carlton (VIC), 24 June to 5 July 2015

Vanessa O’Neil’s search for Owen Roe takes her all the way back to ‘Red’ Owen Roe, a firebrand freedom fighter against Cromwell’s campaign to subdue Ireland in the 17th century.  It’s a search that became, by her own admission, obsessive, and she dramatises that in the opening sequence of this one-woman show: poring over photocopies of documents and newspaper clippings and maps in the middle of sleepless nights.  She’s aided too by a map of Ireland on one wall and her family tree on the opposite wall – although the family


Metanoia. Mechanic’s Institute, 270 Sydney Road, Brunswick. June 17 – 27, 2015

Metanoia’s 10CSoffers a self directed, almost arbitrary, visit to ten sites exploring the Ten Commandments.   In all, it’s a very personal journey predicated on one’s personal attitudes, understandings and inclinations towards a variety of religions. 

This challenging unconventional work is compiled in a variety of mediums.  There are 10 delineated sites with various installations; most are peopled and a couple of these purely electronic, a number subdued and a couple loud to the point of being brash.   


By Giacomo Puccini. Libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni after the play by Carlo Gozzi. Opera Australia. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. June 24 - August 28, 2015.

Can sublime music and a visually stunning production make up for a creaky story and wooden acting? That is the question posed by the return of the Graeme Murphy directed and choreographed production of Turandot.

It first graced the stage of the Sydney Opera House way back in August 1990, but there was no sign of any rust.  


By Johnny Grim. Directed by Tony Moore. Holden Street Theatres, Hindmarsh (SA). June 24-July 4, 2015

A play sure to delight animal lovers, but imbued with enough perceptive wit to engage a more general audience, Mutts tells the story of nine poor, unfortunate dogs who have wound up thrown in the pound. In order to stave off the boredom of their incarceration, and keep their minds from dwelling on the bleak fate that awaits should no one come to claim them, this motley assortment of canines engage in spirited arguments about the facts of life and share stories of their past.

The Playboy of the Western World

By J. M. Synge. Directed by Patrick Sutton. The Roundhouse Theatre, WAAAPA, Mt Lawley, WA. 12-18 June 2015

J. M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World features members of WAAAPA's 3rd Year Acting Class (those not appearing in the excellent recent All My Sons) assisted by 1st Year Acting students and featuring a predominantly student production team from a variety of WAAPA departments.

30 Years of Musicals

QPAC Choir, Griffith University 3rd Year Musical Theatre Students, Musicians from the Queensland Youth Orchestra. Choirmaster: Tim Sherlock. Concert Hall, QPAC. 23 June 2015.

QPAC Choir’s annual concert this year celebrated 30 Years of Musicals at the Performing Arts venue since it first opened in 1985.


By Enda Walsh. Siren Theatre Co in association with Red Line Productions. Old Fitz Theatre, Woolloomooloo. June 10 – 27, 2015

You know that person who struts around seeming holier than Jesus himself with that pleasant smile and the patience of a nun? Thomas Magill is one of those people. He takes care of his elderly mother and her cat in a little Irish town and is friendly to his neighbours. He’s a good Christian man doing God’s work…80 per cent of the time.



On the night Barry Humphries announced Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect as joint Artistic Directors of next year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival, the wonderful Ali McGregor herself was the first among gloriously glamorous chanteuses to risk performing with Australia’s most outrageous knight, Sir Les Patterson, in Love Songs for Sir Les. The hilarious world premiere closed the 2015 Cabaret Festival with a raucous, F-word-peppered bang.

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