24 May 3:04 pm

A Note from Lee, 24 May

Sydney is filled to the brim with great Australian plays at the moment.

Good Cook is leading the charge and once you have seen that, make sure you head over to Belvoir for Alana Valentine‘s The Sugar House and then Nakkiah Lui‘s Blackie Blackie Brown at STC. Huge stories, great talents, nights in the theatre to talk about as winter heads our way. 

I am writing this on the train back back to Melbourne from Geelong after the opening night of The Bleeding Tree at Geelong Performing Arts Centre. It’s late, the train is pretty empty and I am once again overwhelmed by the language of Angus Cerini. The journey of this play has been extraordinary. Seeing audiences in Canberra, Melbourne and Geelong thrill to the terrifying, hilarious, gruesome, gorgeous, contradictory, epic, human, awful world of this play has been pure pleasure. But being in Melbourne has touched it all with a certain sadness—I am sorry Malcolm Robertson didn’t get to see the fruits of his support for Angus’s writing. Through his foundation he supported the first production at Griffin—and happily he got to see that—but I think he would have been thrilled to welcome the work to Melbourne. I didn’t know him well but I enjoyed the few conversations we had and was inspired by his commitment to emerging artists, his love of Australian plays and his patience. We need more of this kind of Malcolm! I know a lot of people have supported The Bleeding Tree and Griffin, but I couldn’t help it, I sat in the audience tonight and wished he could have been there. His foundation continues to support playwrights and projects at Griffin. We hope to continue making him proud.

The next newsletter will be cheerier because Phil Spencer will write it while I’m away in Melbourne directing MTC’s production of Gloria. And in the next newsletter we will be able to announce the winner of the Griffin Award! But for now, goodnight from the empty train carriage with the city lights of Melbourne in the distance…wow…the LED Ferris wheel!


Lee Lewis
Artistic Director

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