I’m typing to you with an unusual amount of spring in my fingers, having just returned from three weeks of holiday (my first time taking leave since I started at Griffin… it’s easier to do when there’s less of a global pandemic to worry about.) And truly, this little break couldn’t have come at a better time after the wild ride that was helming Nicholas Brown’s Sex Magick as co-director. This show was one of the biggest Griffin has ever attempted, wrangling Indian classical dance, video projection, and two-and-a-half hours of a bold, chaotic, fast-moving globe-trotting play—and it asked a lot of its extraordinary cast to pull it off every night. I’m very grateful for all their hard work. I’m grateful to the audiences who turned out in droves and delivered us a sell-out season as part of Sydney WorldPride. And I am very, very grateful to the waiters who shovelled cocktails into my face next to a pool for three weeks as part of my… umm… ‘recovery’?
If you saw Sex Magick you would have marvelled at the video design of Solomon Thomas, who somehow figured out a way to project video onto smoke with little more than PVC pipe, a fog machine, and the two projectors that are the total of Griffin’s AV department. Solomon’s ingenuity rolls into our next show—UFO—which he and Kirby Medway have co-created with re:group performance collective as the first offering of Griffin Lookout in 2023. Griffin Lookout is our platform for Sydney’s most exceptional independent theatre artists to take free rein of the SBW Stables Theatre and create a new work with support from the crew here at Griffin. For my money, Solomon and re:group are making some of the most imaginative, surprising theatre in Australia right now. If you can imagine a piece of theatre with the level of technical complexity of Sydney Theatre Company’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, but with a microscopic budget—that’s what re:group pull off with every show. They hack together video cameras, Nintendo Wii remotes and PCs to create complex, heartfelt, comedic and endlessly playful work. Check out this video to see Solomon and his ensemble creating this exquisite 1:8 miniature world to project onto the SBW Stables stage, and get your tickets stat.
But, naturally, that’s not all that’s happening here at Griffin. Next week is the kick-off of rehearsals for Eloise Snape’s Pony, which arrives on the SBW Stables stage in just five weeks time… And on the back of a triumphant, sold-out season at Melbourne Theatre Company, our production of Suzie Miller’s Prima Facie takes the magnificent Sheridan Harbridge on the first leg of a whirlwind tour across the east coast of Australia. This week the residents of Tasmania will be feeling extra special, with Suzie’s play having just taken out one of the world’s most prestigious prizes for theatre—the Olivier Award. The team at Griffin could not be more ecstatic for this global recognition of something we in Australia already knew… That Suzie is, truly, one of the most ferociously talented, fearless and curious writers practising in the world today, and we’re pinching ourselves that we have the privilege of presenting Jailbaby (Suzie’s fourth premiere with Griffin!) later this year.
Much love and see you in the theatre soon,