So I’m sitting watching The Literati last night. The show was going really well. Then in the final moments of Tristan Tosser – the climax of the play – I look at actor Gareth Davies and see a teabag(!?!) dangling from his corsage. Then I see Kate Mulvany see the teabag and struggle badly to keep a straight face – she was shaking with the effort of not laughing. Then Jamie Oxenbould sees Kate, then sees the teabag, and his eyes go superwide as he tries to stay serious. Caroline Brazier sees Kate, doesn’t see the teabag, but just laughs at Kate. Miranda Tapsell, who is a terrible corpser, is thankfully not onstage. Stage Manager Charlotte is snorting as she tries not to laugh in the bio box. Gareth is oblivious. The event is listed in the show report as a wardrobe malfunction.
There is a real joy in this production. For the actors, for the audiences, for playwright Justin Fleming and for all of us at Griffin and Bell – there’s nothing like virtuosic silliness as an antidote to the deep dark of winter.
If you need a bit of extra warmth on Sunday come over to the Stables for the Griffin Award. We will be reading excerpts from the five shortlisted plays and then announcing the winner. Previous winners include Lachlan Philpott’s Silent Disco, Donna Abela’s Jump For Jordan, and Angus Cerini’s The Bleeding Tree. Sunday is your first chance to glimpse new plays that may be on the Griffin stage in years to come.
Inside the office we are deep in programming – planning the plays we will produce for you next year – we have some wonderful surprises in store for you despite the cuts to funding. You may have seen #istandforthearts. Of course we are involved in the campaign and if you are coming to the theatre before the election the cast of The Literati will talk to you about it. Regardless of who you vote for please let your local member know that the arts matter to you by sending in the card you will find on your seat. We think that across all the theatres we will have spoken to nearly 80,000 people in audiences across the country before the election. Losing 30% of our government funding is better than losing all our funding which has happened to some great companies. If the arts matter to you in your life please speak up so that there will be a Griffin in the future of Australia.