A Note from Phil, 16 February


I have been a long time campaigner for people’s right to wear short pants at the theatre. It’s an issue that is very dear to my heart, as a person who loves theatre and as a person who is, generally, a bit sweaty. And to the naysayers I say, just because you can see my knees, doesn’t mean that I am not deeply engaged in the theatrical world you’ve created on stage. I am engaged. And so are my knees. *

So I was thrilled to see so many proud, cultured, naked knees last week, as we gathered in the botanical gardens on a balmy Friday evening for the 2017 Lysicrates Prize. A rabble rousing crowd of 400 citizens watched as three of the finest Australian writers worked their magic – there were lost handbags, under the counter hand jobs and a foul mouthed octogenarian – and that was just the Arts Minister Mitch Fifield’s speech! (Did this dodgy joke really get through the proof read? Yes, apparently it did, z i n g ).

To the fantastic writers, Jennifer Compton, Nick Coyle and Melissa Bubnic, we, the people of Sydney town, thank you! A huge congratulations to Melissa Bubnic whose darkly comic play Ghosting the Party was crowned the 2017 Lysicrates Prize WINNER on the night.

Other exciting things, that the word count will allow me to talk about, include the stellar batch of reviews Ross Mueller’s A Strategic Plan has nabbed already; I’m excited to introduce our first Griffin Up Late event later this month; and chookas** to the Griffin team who are down in Melbourne for The Homosexuals which opens at Malthouse next week!



Phil Spencer
Studio Artist

*But no thongs in the theatre!?! You’ve still got to wear closed shoes. Have some dignity people. I don’t want your big toe putting me off the opening monologue.

**It’s been years now, but at some point I’ll need a proper explanation of what chookas actually means. But for now, chookas it is.