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20 April 12:27 pm

Faggots (with mash and gravy)

 

Declan Greene’s The Homosexuals or ‘Faggots’ was commissioned by friends of Bruce Meagher and Greg Waters in celebration of a significant anniversary for the pair. So when they all attended the show last week, Greg arrived at the Griffin kitchen ready to cook up some delicious faggots to serve afterwards in honour of the show, replete with the traditional mash, peas and gravy.

Here’s the recipe with instructions. (Just a note: Greg advises that unless you have an amazing specialty butcher, you’ll probably need to pre-order meat.) Enjoy! 

Ingredients

- 1.5 kg minced belly pork

- 1 kg minced shoulder pork

- 500 g pork liver (or more to taste)

- 1 large onion

- 50g butter

- 300g breadcrumbs

- 2 teaspoons nutmeg

- 1 teaspoon allspice

- Fresh sage chopped

- Fresh thyme chopped

- 2 teaspoons dried sage

- 2 tablespoon salt

- 2 teaspoons white pepper

- 12 strips streaky bacon

 

For the gravy

- 1 large onion

- 100g butter

- Plain flour

- 4 cups beef stock

- Worcestershire sauce

 

Instructions

  1. Turn the oven to 220C.

  2. Sauté onions in 50g butter (tastier) or oil (healthier).

  3. Trim and cut liver into strips, give a quick blast in a food processor.

  4. Mix sautéed onions, pork, liver, breadcrumbs, herbs, spices in a large mixing bowl, start with a wooden spoon but you will need to use your hands once the liver is incorporated and feels less disgusting.

  5. Form mixture into balls that fit nicely into your hand and can be completely wrapped in a strip of streaky bacon. Arrange in a baking tray. 

  6. Bake for 20-25 mins or until they take on a nice roasted colour, turn faggots over bake for another 20-25 mins.

  7. Pan fry onion in butter (or oil) until nicely caramelised

  8. Transfer faggots to clean baking tray, return to oven.

  9. Add cooked onions and butter to used baking tray incorporating pan juices and any roasted pieces. On the stove-top (medium heat) add enough flour to absorb pan juices and form a roux. Add beef stock, slowly at first, stirring constantly until a thin gravy is formed. Add pepper and Worcestershire sauce to taste.

  10. Pour gravy over roasting faggots and continue to bake for 30-40 mins, turning once.

  11. Serve on a bed of mashed potato and peas.

 

13 April 2:49 pm

A Note from Lee, 13 April

A big hello from Parramatta where I am rehearsing Smurf In Wanderland. Writer David Williams has created a very personal examination of what it means to be a football fan. It is touching, funny and fascinating. On paper. But David is also performing it. And so like all actors, he is wrestling with the enormous task of getting the writer’s words exactly right as he lifts them off the paper and into his body and voice. And no, I am not giving him permission to improvise. Writer David is very happy with that, actor David is less so.

I saw a run yesterday in the rehearsal room. Then at the end of the day I checked the news to see how President Xi Jinping’s day had been. And wondered at the timing of having a one-man show about football onstage as the scale of global conflict rapidly increases. Is the scale of the storytelling a hideous mismatch, or a timely reminder that the voices and choices of individuals are increasingly important? David’s show is all about football yes, but it is also all about the values that underpin the code: community, tolerance, inclusion, persistence and hope. Just look at the fan responses to the attack on Borussia Dortmund and the #bedsforawayfans covered in The Guardian.

This week we may be better to look to football rather than to politicians for leadership that can offer hope for a peaceful future.

The Homosexuals is almost sold out (all but the Tuesday 18 April matinee… get in quick)! I am sorry we are not big enough to fit everyone in – we would extend, but Simon Burke is starting rehearsals up in Queensland with Sam Strong for Noises Off. The Bleeding Tree closed on Saturday after a sold-out season at the Wharf… STC would have extended but Paula Arundel is about to open Mr Smith for STCSA and Belvoir. But for those of you who missed it the first and second times around you can catch Paul Capsis performing Angela’s Kitchen IN MALTA!! So here’s to a future life for Australian plays that start at Griffin… revivals, tours, new productions… admittedly small scale in their beginnings, there is no telling how far these plays will go.

Love,
Lee

Lee Lewis
Artistic Director 

30 March 12:18 pm

A Note from Lee, 30 March

Joy of joys – sitting in the audience for The Homosexuals on Tuesday night and watching Declan Greene’s writing making Justin Fleming laugh. Of course I love how much all our audiences are enjoying this farce, but playwrights enjoying each other’s work is really great. Like when Declan came back from seeing Mark Colvin’s Kidney at Belvoir raving about how amazing Tommy Murphy is. Writing is a lonely profession so feeling the community of writers supporting each other is special.

As the laughter in the Stables lifts the roof, down at the Wharf, STC audiences are thrilling to Angus Cerini’s magic in The Bleeding Tree, and the Griffin team is out in Parramatta starting work on our co-production with the National Theatre of Parramatta Smurf In WanderlandDavid Williams’ play about love of football (round ball) is a very big change of pace from farce – especially for all you front row fans. No slamming doors, no mashed potato, but a gently observant work about the changing identity of Sydney.

And with Phil Spencer curating some late night sessions in the Stables with Griffin Up Late, Nimrod Street is the place to be! See you soon!

Love,
Lee

Lee Lewis
Artistic Director 

24 March 11:58 am

Peter’s Tortilla Recipe

This week Peter has departed from his usual sweet creations and gone in a distinctly Spanish, savoury direction with a delicious tortilla. It’s the perfect treat to power you through the end of the working week (and fool you into thinking you’re dining in a Spanish tapas bar instead of sitting in an office meeting). Buen apetito!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium size potatoes – peeled and diced  into small (0.5cm) cubes

  • 2 medium sized onions –finely diced

  • Olive Oil – 2 Tablespoons

  • 20 grams of Butter

  • 4 eggs – beaten

  • Pinch of Saffron Threads – soaked in small amount of warm water (optional)

  • Pinch Salt

  • Black pepper to taste

Method:

  • Heat Olive Oil together with Butter and Pepper in a deep sided 20 cm non-stick frying pan.

  • Gently fry diced onion for about 7+ minutes until soft, stirring frequently to prevent it browning.

  • Microwave cubed potato with a tiny amount of water – approx. 5 minutes until cubes are soft.

  • Stir potato evenly into the softened onion, add a pinch of salt, and continue cooking until the potato absorbs any residual oil/butter mix.

  • Pour saffron threads and soaking water into the mix, and stir to distribute.

  • Add the beaten eggs to frypan mix and stir gently for about 1 minute as the mix starts to set, then smooth the top down evenly.

  • Reduce heat to low, cover frying pan with a dinner plate, and cook for 8-10 minutes until tortilla is firm.

  • Turn the tortilla out of the pan by turning the pan and plate upside down. 

  • Slide the upside down tortilla back  into the frypan, cover with the plate again, and cook the tortilla for a further 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Turn the tortilla out of the pan and onto a serving plate.

Can be served hot or cold; slice and garnish with a scatter of tomato wedges and olives.

16 March 12:26 pm

A Note from Lee, 16 March

Friday night will be the first preview of Declan Greene’s The Homosexuals or ‘Faggots’. We had a great season down at Malthouse in Melbourne so there is plenty of social media chatter from all your friends down there who saw it… Now you are just going to have to come along and see for yourself. It’s a farce, and there is mashed potato involved so don’t wear your good clothes if you like sitting in the front row.

Filthy in a different way, Angus Cerini’s The Bleeding Tree has opened for a new season down the road at STC. All the gore and greatness of the original production, dripping with the talent of Paula Arundel, Shari Sebbens and Airlie Dodds on the Wharf 1 stage for the next month.

Autumn is always the best time for going to the theatre – I like to think of it as the great umbrella exchange. Lose your umbrella, find inspiration!

Stay dry if you can,
Love,
Lee

2 March 2:09 pm

A Note from Karen, 2nd March

I am not sure where the first two months of the year have gone, although given we have:

… A Strategic Plan, the first show of our main season, closing next week. (Yes, next week is your last chance to see this ‘slightly too close to the bone’ work by Ross Mueller. Don’t miss out.)

The Homosexuals wrapping up its Malthouse season, ready to wend its merry way to the Stables stage. I saw the show in Melbourne and can’t wait for us all to get up close and personal in Kim and Warren’s Darlo apartment!!

The Bleeding Tree in rehearsal at Sydney Theatre Company. It was so exciting to hear the play read again this week with the original cast all back on deck for the season at the Wharf.

… Lee cloning herself so she can get both of these shows on while preparing for rehearsal for David Williams’ Smurf In Wanderland

Phil Spencer curated our first hugely fun ‘Griffin Up (not that) Late’ last week, where he also regaled us with the story of his (in)famous punk/rock/ska high school band ‘Pike Basher’. Watch this space for our next up late session during The Homosexuals.

Then, suddenly, I do realise how March seemed to arrive so quickly!

Cheers,
Karen

Karen Rodgers
General Manager 

17 February 9:30 am

Lane’s farewell cake

We’ve been graced at Griffin with another amazing confection by our resident cake-wizard Peter, this time in honour of the lovely Lane’s departure.

This nutty, squishy-with-dates delight is Peter’s take on Karen Martini’s interpretation of Dan Lepard’s “Marrakesh Express loaf cake”. Recipe here.

(Peter has made some secret tweaks we’re not allowed to share publicly – but we’ll give a hint, alcohol is involved.)

16 February 1:14 pm

A Note from Phil, 16 February

I have been a long time campaigner for people’s right to wear short pants at the theatre. It’s an issue that is very dear to my heart, as a person who loves theatre and as a person who is, generally, a bit sweaty. And to the naysayers I say, just because you can see my knees, doesn’t mean that I am not deeply engaged in the theatrical world you’ve created on stage. I am engaged. And so are my knees. *

So I was thrilled to see so many proud, cultured, naked knees last week, as we gathered in the botanical gardens on a balmy Friday evening for the 2017 Lysicrates Prize. A rabble rousing crowd of 400 citizens watched as three of the finest Australian writers worked their magic – there were lost handbags, under the counter hand jobs and a foul mouthed octogenarian – and that was just the Arts Minister Mitch Fifield’s speech! (Did this dodgy joke really get through the proof read? Yes, apparently it did, z i n g ).

To the fantastic writers, Jennifer Compton, Nick Coyle and Melissa Bubnic, we, the people of Sydney town, thank you! A huge congratulations to Melissa Bubnic whose darkly comic play Ghosting the Party was crowned the 2017 Lysicrates Prize WINNER on the night.

Other exciting things, that the word count will allow me to talk about, include the stellar batch of reviews Ross Mueller’s A Strategic Plan has nabbed already; I’m excited to introduce our first Griffin Up Late event later this month; and chookas** to the Griffin team who are down in Melbourne for The Homosexuals which opens at Malthouse next week!

Cheers,

Phil

Phil Spencer
Studio Artist

*But no thongs in the theatre!?! You’ve still got to wear closed shoes. Have some dignity people. I don’t want your big toe putting me off the opening monologue.

**It’s been years now, but at some point I’ll need a proper explanation of what chookas actually means. But for now, chookas it is.

10 February 11:11 am

Peter’s Vanilla Slice

Every couple of weeks the Griffin team is spoiled by the sublime baking talents of Peter O’Connell – our data guru & dessert extraordinaire. This week it was ‘Vanilla Slice à la Sao’, courtesy of this recipe by the CWA.Yummy!

2 February 2:46 pm

A Note from Phil, 2 February

At 9.15am this morning, on the train to work, I saw a proper grown-up business(y) woman sprint from the platform, throw herself through closing doors, hurry up the stairs and nestle down into a seat. Then, this proper grown-up woman, tore her handbag open and with a delirious, half-crazed look in her eyes, took a small blue tube of salt and vinegar Pringles*, popped the lid and absolutely obliterated the defenceless chips before slumping down against the window with a warm gleeful smile radiating across her face. And I slow clapped (inside).

And you know what, I understand how she feels, not because I love Pringles, but because I’ve got a huge grin on my face too for these particular reasons: tonight is opening night for Ross Mueller’s A Strategic Plan, which means you can still get a 4 Play Subscription for all the Main Season shows at Griffin this year (and it also means we get free gin** and tonics. Ah hem.); we’re about to showcase three brand new plays at the Lysicrates Prize with this great group of people; and The Homosexuals is flying down to Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, before it heads back to the Stables for what will be a electrifying season. Oh my, you really actually do not want to miss this one.

Phil Spencer

Phil Spencer
Studio Artist 

* Here at Griffin we’d like to thank the people at Pringles for their ongoing support of new Australian writing. Not the BBQ flavoured Pringles however, they taste like shame and cigarette butts.
** Supplied by our real life sponsors 4 Pillars Gin. Excellent humans that they are. 

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