Brisbane playwright Stephen Carleton
has been awarded the 2015 Griffin Award for his new work The Turquoise Elephant
Carleton was awarded $10,000, while all shortlisted plays received a $1,000 cash prize, supported by Copyright Agency Limited. The prize was announced after five actors (Fayssal Bazzi, Jeanette Cronin Meredith Penman, Govinda Roser-Finch and Georgia Wilde) read excerpts of work from the five shortlisted plays: Home Invasion
by Christopher Bryant (Melbourne), Looking Glass
by Louris van de Geer (Melbourne), Ozymandias
by Julian Larnach (Sydney), The Almighty Sometimes
by Kendall Feaver (Sydney), and The Turquoise Elephant
by Stephen Carleton (Brisbane).
148 new plays were entered in the competition this year and were read by the 2015 Griffin Studio Artists, facilitated by Griffin Artistic staff, Lee Lewis
and Ben Winspear
. The 2015 judges include John McCallum,
Theatre Critic, Academic and creator of Griffin’s Script Club, Hilary Bell,
playwright, teacher and author, and director Andrea Moor.
Griffin Artistic Director, Lee Lewis says “The Turquoise Elephant
is a shockingly funny and black, black, black farce. It is an accomplished political comedy from a very clever, very wicked playwright who sees all our hypocrisies about climate change and the environment and turns them into his weapons in the fight for the planet.
At a time when excellence in the arts is a focus of conversations, the Griffin Award is proving to be a beacon in the industry for the discovery of great talent, extraordinary plays and the source of excellent theatrical experiences on our Main Stage. Griffin Theatre Company is making an extraordinary contribution to the building of the Australian canon with successful productions of award-winning plays – bringing great plays to the audiences they are written for. This year we are thrilled to discover The Turquoise Elephant
– we are sure you will be too.”
The Griffin Award has a long history of unearthing new talent and building the careers of Australian writers. Brendan Cowell’s first play Rabbit
won the Award in 2003. Debra Oswald’s Mr Bailey’s Minder
won in 2004 and successfully toured the country – she is also the creator of Offspring.
Aidan Fennessy won with Brutopia
in 2010 – the production of his play The House on the Lake
ended a successful season at Griffin last week. Past winner Mary Rachel Brown’s play The Dapto Chaser
comes to Griffin next week as part of Griffin Independent. And the 2014 Griffin Award winner Angus Cerini is currently in rehearsal for the production of his winning play The Bleeding Tree.