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5 Questions with Anthea Williams


Anthea Williams is the director of Omar Musa‘s upcoming return season of Since Ali Died. She gave us the skinny on the rehearsal process, and what to expect from this powerhouse of a show.

This is Since Ali Died’s second outing. What was your favourite part of the original rehearsal process, and will anything be different this time round?

I loved getting to know and working with Omar. He’s a fabulous artist and a delightful human being. He was new to theatre before the working on this show, but certainly not new to performing and writing, so it was a really interesting collaboration and an exciting chance to get to work with new performance styles on my end.

This show sits between theatre, music, poetry and storytelling. Have there been any challenges in bringing the piece to life?

Structuring the show was an interesting challenge.  There was a lot to fit in, but life is often not as straightforward as one hour in the theatre can demand.

What’s it been like working with Omar?

Creating Since Ali Died was a really unique process that I thoroughly enjoyed. Omar is a brilliant performer, but he’s also used to large stages and concerts.  It’s been exciting to bring out a very intimate and honest performance from him.

This story is incredibly personal. What do you think makes this solo show unmissable for a Sydney Festival audience?

To quote one of his songs, he’s “giving you everything”. Since Ali Died is a work that’s hard to define and impossible to put in a box. It’s part-concert, part-performance, part-poetry and part-storytelling, simply told.  It’s a unique chance to get to know one of our greatest up-and-coming writers, and a deeply moving work.

What’s up next for you after Sydney Festival?

At Sydney Festival in 2017, my show Mother’s Ruin: A Cabaret about Gin was on in the Spiegeltent. That show has been touring both nationally and internationally pretty much ever since. This January it will be on at the Bread and Circus Festival in Christchurch, before other dates in New Zealand, Australia and the UK throughout the year. Then I’m directing Winyanboga Yurringa for Belvoir’s 2019 season in association with Moogahlin Performing Arts.

A Note from Phil, 17 January


Hello! Here in Kings Cross, the year has started with soaring temperatures, ice cold soda waters* and Since Ali Died.  This show is a furious hour of big heart stories and linguistic alchemy by rapper, raconteur and proud Queanbeyan boy Omar…

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5 Fun Facts: Omar Musa


Omar Musa is currently bringing the house down with his fantastic one-man show Since Ali Died, playing at Griffin until 19 January as part of Sydney Festival. You may know that he’s a rapper, poet and performer, but you may not know…

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A Note from Karen, 3 January


Welcome to 2019! We are back on deck at Griffin after a relaxing holiday break and ready to kick start what is going to be an exhilarating, exciting and extraordinary year. First up is Omar Musa’s evocative work Since Ali Died, from…

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A Note from Lee, 19 December


“Twas the night before Griffmas, Another full house, Not a creature was sleeping, Not even a spouse.” Thank you for being the best audience for new plays a company could wish for. Your support, enthusiasm, critical conversations, donations, laughter, applause…

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A Note from Lee, 6 December


Blue sky. Warm days. Christmas sing-alongs. Office parties. And one last little Griffin show for the year. It’s a rom-com. A light and lovely look at this city that is sometimes tough to handle. I saw the first preview last…

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A Note from Lee, 22 November


You have to see Susie Youssef and Phil Spencer in the play they have written together. It’s called The Smallest Hour. It’s funny. It’s only on for two weeks. It’s a really special, lift-your-spirits Christmas gift of a play from…

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A Note from Karen, 8 November


It’s not often I’m invited to write the enews note…but as Lee is gallivanting overseas, and Phil is occupied with a new play and a new baby…this week I am thrilled to be taking the reins! And there is much to write about: Nick Coyle’s brilliantly…

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The Feather in the Web’s famous polenta cake


The Feather in the Web requires a cake on stage every night. And with a cast that has a few varied dietary requirements, providing one isn’t as easy as it seems! Luckily for Griffin, superstar producer Nicole LaBianca has a killer…

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