A Note from Phil, 19 November


It is with a heavy heart and a dusty head that I clear out my desk and pen this, my final newsletter, in my role as Artistic Associate here at Griffin Theatre Company.

But don’t worry, I promised our newly appointed Marketing Manager AJ Lamarque that I would make this note upbeat.

I assured him that it wouldn’t be nostalgic and that I’d resist the temptation to just list my favourite Griffin memories from the last five years.

You know, like the maniacal image of Rebecca Massey pole dancing at the end of Kill Climate Deniers.

When Omar Musa’s show had sold-out crowds at our inaugural Batch Festival before touring the country.

Brenna Harding, in full flow, bringing an audience to tears in The Almighty Sometimes.

How for a few minutes Cassie Workman actually dragged Kurt Cobain back from the grave (in rhyming couplets no less) at one of our Griffin Scratch nights.

Oh, and the time I was so tired that I accidentally told a foyer full of Griffin donors and industry invitees to “turn your fucking phone off” in the opening night Front of House announcement (and I meant it too).

I promised AJ that I would not write some grandiose farewell statement, about how Griffin is more than a theatre company, it’s a family.

A family that saw the previous Artistic Director Lee Lewis babysit my seven week-old son, so that I could get on stage with Susie Youssef and pretend to be a stripper for the best part of an hour.

I am a man of my word, so, instead of sharing some sentimental, self-congratulatory highlights I will focus my final note on just how bloody proud I am to have helped chip in to the 2021 programming pot before I depart this hallowed kite.

I’m naming it—2021 is such an exciting mix of global-reaching and local truth-talking shows. The fabulous Declan Greene and Tessa Leong have cooked up something to help us through a weird year. Now, more than ever, we need stories that help us laugh, help us heal and help us say the unsayable.

It is a season that I am happy to say I will be coming back to enjoy as a punter (as long as they keep me on the Opening Night invite list, otherwise I retract said enthusiasm by 15%).

It is a season that sees a whole raft of new faces, new stories and new talents joining the Griffin family.

We’ve got a cracking lot of Griffin Studio artists coming into residence with us next year. Andrea James is gonna be the new me, too, sort of, but she’ll make the role her own and beyond. There’s a lot to be excited about!

While I am pulling things off the walls, packing up my stuff and heading out the door to my other gig at Bondi Festival, I do plan on leaving one post-it note stuck to the wall, which infamously reads “Stories about us. Written by us. For us.”.


Phil Spencer
Artistic Associate

P.S. Sorry AJ x