What a night! The 2015 Griffin Award for the best new Australian play was won by Stephen Carleton for his black black black environmental tragic farce THE TURQUOISE ELEPHANT. YAY! No, yay isn’t in the title… yay for him, yay for Queensland, yay for our wonderful judges (John McCallum, Andrea Moor, Hilary Bell and Ben Winspear), yay for the Studio Artists who read all 148 entries, and a huge thank you to all the playwrights who crafted those 148 unique works. It is an extraordinary privilege to read them – I am in awe of your collective capacity to understand, analyse, empathise and create from the chaos that is our contemporary world.
The gorgeous SBW Stables Theatre was full to the brim with lovers of great writing all celebrating the abundance of talent in our playwriting community. We saw excerpts read from the five shortlisted plays Looking Glass by Louris van de Geer, Ozymandias by Julian Larnach, The Turquoise Elephant by Stephen Carleton, The Almighty Sometimes by Kendall Feaver and Home Invasion by Christopher Bryant. If you get the chance to read any or all of these works, leap at the opportunity! All of these plays are looking for stages to be on. We have so many great plays being written and not nearly enough productions of them for audiences to enjoy. But enough soapboxing from me… today is just about the plays and in particular THE TURQUOISE ELEPHANT which made me laugh out loud when I read it and ultimately made me cry at the state of humanity it depicts. Congratulations Stephen.