5 Questions with Jonny Hawkins & Nell Ranney


Batch Festival 2020 has been announced, so we’re kicking off a series of 5 Questions here on the Griffin blog, to give Grif-fans the chance to get to know our fabulous fresh crop of Batch artists performing on the Stables stage (and beyond) this year. First up, we asked director Nell Ranney and writer/performer Jonny Hawkins about their Batch show, Maureen: Harbinger of Death.

Have a read, then book your tickets to what will be the perfect way to kick things off on Batch’s opening weekend!

  1. Introduce yourself with a fun fact someone mightn’t know about you!
    Jonny has one lung and accidentally became a DJ.  Nell made her first and last stage appearance as a chef who served endangered animals.
  1. Paint us a picture of your project in 5 words.
    Magnificent women, courage, and cats.
  1. What was the inspiration behind the creation of your project?
    It’s partly inspired by Jonny’s friendships with older women; and one in particular, our namesake, Maureen from Kings Cross. We also drew inspiration from the work of surrealist artist Leonora Carrington, whose work redefines our perceptions of ‘old ladies’.
  1. What’s a challenge that you’ve faced in the creation of your project?
    Rehearsing without an audience can feel like there is a character missing—this play comes alive in front of an audience, as we are essentially inviting you into Maureen’s apartment for a conversation.
  1. What are you most looking forward to about bringing your project to Batch Festival 2020 at Griffin?
    We can’t wait to bring Maureen back to her home in Kings Cross, where she’s lived since the ’60s. She’s seen the rich kids move in and the poor buggers move out. Seen the art people, junkies, strippers, businessmen, yahoos, fashion women, gay parades, security guards…”It doesn’t belong to one mob in particular. We’re all here, getting along in a giant diamond ashtray, just hanging out.”