After its phenomenal success in Sydney, Tommy Murphy’s Holding the Man will tour to Melbourne Theatre Company and Brisbane Powerhouse. Murphy’s earlier work, Strangers in Between will also tour nationally and Wesley Enoch’s The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table and The Modern International Dead – a new play by Damien Millar will see seasons beyond the SBW Stables Theatre in 2008. This marks unprecedented number of productions travelling beyond Griffin’s home venue for the Sydney-based theatre company.
These are exciting days for Griffin, reflected in the decision of its Principal Sponsor, PKF, to extend its relationship with the company for a further two years. As one of the only professional theatre companies in Australia to exclusively produce all Australian work, Griffin will see the return of great names and emerging new artists in 2008.
Nick Marchand, Griffin’s Artistic Director said, “The title for 2008 is “Something Different…” I chose this to reflect both Griffin’s unique position in the Australian theatre landscape, and the experiential differences within the season itself. I hope next year’s season will help us celebrate the diversity of Australia’s storytelling culture.”
The season begins with a Performing Lines production - China: a performance piece by photographer and storyteller, William Yang, documenting his return to a motherland he never knew. Yang’s wry humour and arresting images come together with Nicholas Ng’s haunting live score in an unforgettable theatrical experience.
Twenty-five years after the original production, and twenty years after it was presented by Griffin, The Kid returns to the SBW Stables Theatre. Directed by Tom Healey, this is the play that launched Michael Gow’s career. Like Away, it charts a family’s epic summer journey - however, this is a very different family and a very different destination…
The world premiere of Tom Holloway’s ‘epic-in-miniature’, Don’t Say The Words is inspired by Aeschylus, yet set in a truly contemporary Australian landscape - with breathtaking results. Perth director Matthew Lutton brings his phenomenal imagination to bear on the work of one of Australia’s most electrifying young playwrights.
Next, Damien Millar, winner of the 2007 Griffin Award presents another world premiere, The Modern International Dead, exploring the intentions, adversities and fears of Australians on the front line of international aid. Revealing personal stories with a compassionate eye and a gallows humour, this is ‘witness theatre’ at its most potent. Directed by Chris Mead, this co-production with Riverside Productions features Belinda McClory.
Nicki Bloom’s astonishing debut Tender follows up on its fleeting 2007 debut with an extended 2008 season at the SBW Stables Theatre. A haunting examination of love, loss and grief, it will be directed by the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s new Associate Director, Geordie Brookman. Tender is a nowyesnow production presented by arrangement with Arts Projexts Australia. With a cast including, Kate Box, Pip Miller, Heather Mitchell and Darren Weller, this is a production that cannot be missed twice.
Griffin is also offering a very different approach to narrative next year, as stand-up comedian Charlie Pickering embarks on a mind-boggling sixty minute, decade-long story about payback in the suburbs. Impractical Jokes plays as a late-night add-on to the subscription season.
And finally, Seasons introduces Griffin’s new Resident Playwrights and offers a taste of four full-length plays to come from Nicki Bloom, Jonathan Gavin, Sue Smith and Rick Viede. The residency - supported by Venture Partner gadens lawyers and the Copyright Agency Limited, City of Sydney and Equity Trustees Foundation - plays a vital part in helping a new generation of playwrights to find their voice. In the past, it led to plays such as Strangers in Between and Nailed, and introduced playwrights Tommy Murphy and Caleb Lewis to Australian audiences. This year, each resident writer begins the process with a new ten-minute work for the stage; Autumn by Rick Viede, Winter by Sue Smith, Spring by Jonathan Gavin and Summer by Nicki Bloom – with all four are presented individually on selected nights throughout the season.
Nick Marchand said, “It’s another exhilarating and eclectic season of the best new Australian work. And in 2008 we also hope to build on Griffin’s history by spreading our wings a little – ensuring many more of our dynamic productions have a life outside the Cross. We owe it to the playwrights that made Griffin what it is – a national institution.”