Hello from Canberra, where we’ve just enjoyed the Opening Night of the first (and last) stop on the tour of Whitefella Yella Tree by Dylan Van Den Berg, at The Courtyard Studio at Canberra Theatre Centre. It’s been incredible across the season to watch Guy Simon and Callan Purcell continue to dig down and discover new corners of Neddy and Ty to inhabit—and after six weeks of performances I think last night’s was one of my favourites. It’s been such a privilege to co-direct these two magnificent actors alongside Amy Sole, and I’m already sad to see this show go.
But Whitefella Yella Tree wasn’t our only opening night this week. Back at home, our second Griffin Lookout show of 2022—Mother May We—opened at the SBW Stables Theatre to a rapturous standing ovation for writer and performer Mel Ree and an incredible ★★★★ review from Suzy Goes See. If you haven’t yet experienced the phenomenon that is Mel, Mother May We is the perfect introduction to her candour, her warmth, her wisdom, and her infinitely generous holding of emotionally and politically complex spaces. It’s only on until next Saturday 8 October, so don’t hesitate to get yourself along.
Meanwhile, last week, in another major cause for celebration… GRIFFIN LAUNCHED ITS 2023 SEASON! And I truly could not be more proud of this heart-bursting, beautifully over-the-top program of brand-new Australian theatre.
There’s the balls-to-the-wall tantric trippiness of Sex Magick (in collaboration with Sydney WorldPride)… The magnificent Briallen Clarke in Eloise Snape‘s mortifyingly hilarious pre-natal comedy, Pony… Suzie Miller’s return to the SBW Stables with her spiritual sequel to Prima Facie, Jailbaby… And—at long last—Nakkiah Lui’s Blaque Showgirls, featuring Stephanie Somerville and Foxxy Empire as arch rival dance-divas. Not to mention the third iteration of our smash-hit Griffin Lookout program—featuring re:group performance collective‘s UFO and the stage debut of Nana Miss Koori (aka Graham Simms) in Gadigal Gal!
As we enter what may be our final Season in the SBW Stables Theatre it felt important to celebrate the seemingly-impossible acts of theatrical ambition and transformation that have been wrought on this tiny stage. And that’s what each of these shows do in their own way—from the micro-burlesque-spectacle of Blaque Showgirls to a confrontation with an alien spacecraft in UFO.
We hope you’ll join us in this celebration. And in my personal and TOTALLY UNBIASED opinion—the best way to do so is to **!!!Subscribe!!!**
If you’ve subscribed to Griffin previously you know all the perks… Cheaper drinks, cheaper tickets, the convenience of having your year planned upfront (now without that pesky pandemic scuttering all your plans). But also, you become part of our tight-knit community of subscribers—with a front row seat** to each year of exceptional new Australian stories.
**front row conditional upon level of skill navigating the foyer line!
In the meantime, I’ll see you back in the theatre soon for Mother May We and Ash Flanders’ End Of. before the year is out.
See you (via the Big Merino and the Federal Highway) very soon.