A Note from Phil, 14 September


When I am sloshing about the foyer chit-chatting to a fellow thespian (whose name I definitely knew…then forgot…then knew again…then, nah, it’s gone…), and he uses the phrase ‘Australian Classic,’ I go a little quiet and nod along and make my ‘yes, hmmm, yep, yeah, interesting, yeah’ face.

And although, like a good new Antipodean, I’ve flicked through my anthology of Australian plays, dabbled with Ray Lawler, glanced at Mona Brand, reeled at Katherine Susan Pritchard and sang out loud to/for myself with Dorothy Hewitt, I go a little coy because I have not actually seen a lot of these plays on the stage. (You know the stage, it’s the bit in front of the seats. The bit in front of the seats, where the actors do the talking and the play grips you by the heart.)

And so, in the foyer, last night, after Darren Yap’s mesmerising production of Diving for Pearls, I didn’t have to make my blagging face, I just stood there, beaming ear to ear at seeing, what was for me, a brand new world brought to life before my very eyes on that bit in front of the seats.

But don’t just take it from me—on Stage Noise, Diana Simmonds writes: This is a production not to miss — seriously recommended.


We’ve programmed some really rather amazing shows in our 2018 season. The best way to ensure you’ll get tickets to all the shows you want (at the best price) is to subscribe. 

It is with a big grin and a little lump in our throat that we raise a glass and bid a fond farewell to Griffin hero Damien Storer; for those who don’t know, Damien is the man behind the Griff bar who shouts ‘Right you lot, it’s closing time, get out, I want to go home now.’ You’ll be missed, Damo.

Wow, you read all the way to the end. I didn’t mean it to be this long, but hey. As a treat for getting this far, I want to leave you with snippet from my life, from last weekend…

10.15am. Saturday. Flinders Street, Darlinghurst.

My wife and I sit in traffic, when a car of the young peoples pulls up alongside us at the traffic lights. The young female person driving and her passenger, who is also a young female person, affectionately snuggle and listen to (probably) FBi Radio. The couple are also sharing a packet of Tim Tams. They look blissful. 

We make eye contact with them, and my wife and I do our ‘good biscuit choice/bit jealous right now’ faces and flick a thumbs up. There is a pause, and then the young peoples wind down their window and without a word offer us a Tim Tam across the traffic. We take it. Of course.

This small interaction with a same sex couple, is one of the major reasons that we’ll be voting YES in our house. As you should too…Because love is love and Tim Tams are Tim Tams (apart from double coated Tim Tams which are all sorts of wrong).


Phil Spencer
Studio Artist