If you’re reading this on a Thursday afternoon, I can safely assume that you haven’t been washed down a Sydney storm water drain in the last 24 hours. Well done you! For myself: I can say for sure that I’ve never been more glad that our ‘Little Theatre on the Hill’ is… literally… on a hill.
It’s been a wonderful and suitably hectic time at the SBW Stables Theatre, with our first Main Season production kicking off last week: the beautiful, sun-soaked Orange Thrower by Kirsty Marillier. This is a very special production—over four years in the making—which we’ve brought to the stage in partnership with our good mates at Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta (whose exceptional production of Guards at the Taj kicked off last week— don’t miss it!).
Truly, I could not be more proud of this production and all the elements that make it so magical. Kirsty Marillier‘s script—with its mischievous fusion of coming-of-age drama and surreal, horror-tinged intrigue. Zindzi Okenyo’s assured, whip-smart direction. The glorious, glorious cast of absolute stage-beasts—Callan Colley, Mariama Whitton, Angela Nica Sullen, and Gabriela van Wyk. But don’t just take my word for it—the play has been well loved up as ‘a stellar debut’ (Theatre Thoughts), ‘a poignant portrait of growing up… mixed race in the blindingly white suburbs of Perth’ (Sydney Morning Herald), and ‘a compact calling card for an emerging writer ready to be noticed’ (Sydney Arts Guide).
It’s also been a joy to work with the dynamic team of 2 Sydney Stylists— Wanyika & Niwa—to build some much-deserved fanfare around Orange Thrower—and properly welcome audiences and communities into the world of the show. Together, 2 Sydney Stylists have curated fabric installations in our foyer (by Jo Kalute); a very special Orange Thrower playlist by DJ Kristelle; and South African beers available for purchase at The Penny Cook Bar across the whole season. All this has been made possible through the support of the Girgensohn Foundation, and their brand-new support of audience inclusion projects at Griffin through a new program called Griffin Amplify (more on that soon…).
Since Opening Night, nearly every performance of Orange Thrower has sold out—so in celebration, we’re adding some extra performances! These are now on sale on the Griffin website—don’t miss out (although if you do miss out, you can also see the show during the National Theatre of Parramatta season at Riverside).
Another exciting event during the Orange Thrower season is kicking off this Saturday—with our 2022 contingent of Griffin Ambassadors visiting the show. This is a cohort of 89 school-aged students between Years 10 and 12, who—with the support of the Robertson Foundation—see every show in our 2022 Season, as well as meeting the cast and undertaking workshops with leading theatre professionals. It’s a brilliant way to foster a life-long love of new Australian theatre—which is attested to the sheer number of ex-Griffin Ambassador students who go on to work in the industry. Among Griffin’s current staff, we count amongst our Ambassador alumni Dom Scarf (Box Office Manager), Ell Katte (Development Coordinator), and Ally Moon (Production Coordinator). Next week, we’re welcoming some of our Ambassadors Alumni community back into the SBW Stables with a special performance of Orange Thrower for graduate students across the ages! It’s initiatives like these that make my heart sing, even under looming storm clouds.
Stay dry Grif-friends—see you at the SBW Stables soon.
Artistic Director & CEO