This week marks a year since I started here at Griffin as General Manager.
It also marks 53 years since the very first production at the SBW Stables Theatre took place (Biggles by Michael Boddy, Ron Blair and Marcus Cooney; directed by John Bell, for Nimrod Theatre Company). It sometimes astounds me that the remaining weeks and performances left in our beloved home are limited, before our theatre’s redevelopment commences next year.
It’s probably a bit too early to start doing the yearly wrap-up as there’s still a whole month left of 2023, but at Griffin we’ve already started the festivities, with Griff-mas, our end-of-year fundraiser, drumming up spirits this past week. The incredible performer and Griffin Board member Simon Burke AO led a fantastic group of artists through a magical sleigh ride of performances—it was a lovely, heart-warming afternoon. Thanks to all the artists involved and everyone who attended on the day!
This month we celebrated a milestone moment across the pond in the USA, when playwright and Griffin’s Literary Manager Dylan Van Den Berg had the pleasure of attending the premiere screenings of his play Whitefella Yella Tree, produced in Griffin’s 2022 Main Season and captured in partnership with Australian Theatre Live. These screenings were held at the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. and at the Australian Theatre Festival in New York. This was not only a huge achievement for Dylan but a celebration of the impact of storytelling and First Nations work reaching much farther than just our shores.
We’ve now got our sights firmly set on 2024 with rehearsals for Jailbaby and The Lewis Trilogy kicking off next week. It’s a wild paradox for us—one is re-rehearsing over a very short period, and the other is rehearsing for double the amount of time as usual. But both are extraordinary works with exceptional teams behind them, working to bring you outstanding experiences at our theatre in 2024.
These productions are the coda to 53 years of telling huge stories on a tiny stage. I hope you don’t miss your opportunity to say goodbye to the Stables as we know it by seeing not one, but three epic productions (Summer of the Aliens, Così, and This Much is True)—performed as an epic Trilogy by the same ensemble of actors. It’s going to be pretty glorious.
See you in the Stables and beyond in 2024,