I had expected to be able to talk about the elections. That’s not going to happen. Nothing about double dissolutions, Brexits, Trumps or Hansons.
Instead I would like to congratulate Melissa Reeves for winning the 2016 Griffin Award for Best New Play with The Zen of Table Tennis. It was a great night in the theatre as fragments were read from the five shortlisted plays. I watched the audience thrill to the possibilities in all the works. I watched four out of five of the excited playwrights enjoy seeing the audience encounter their words for the first time – big hug to playwright Jane Bodie who couldn’t be there as she is in England right now. I watched five talented actors rise to the challenge of five very different plays in just one day – they could not decide who would win.
The winning play is a story bringing together a young boy playing violent video games with an Australian soldier. In a country that spends $87 million dollars a day on the military, we do not see soldiers in our stories enough. The taste we had of Melissa’s play was enough to convince the whole audience that we need to see her play staged. We will work on that. In the meantime, Melissa receives the $10,000 prize, and thanks to the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund all of the shortlisted playwrights receive $1000.
I would also like to congratulate NASA for getting the maths so right for Juno that they were only out by one second over five years and close to 3 billion kilometres! One second! Maybe the sky is a good place to look for inspiration in a week when leadership is in short supply. Eppur si muove.