A Sharehouse Like No Other


For those of you not familiar with Griffin’s Admin Head Quarters—it is, for want of an exact phrase, a ‘sharehouse’.

A six-bedroom, one-bathroom, half-a-kitchen sharehouse—what a clean-shaven real estate agent would call ‘a burgeoning micro-garden with huge botanical potential’, aka a back deck with three dead pot plants and a bin.

The Griffin sharehouse, or ‘Craig’ as it is known, is much-loved and much-occupied by team Griff. As with all communal living quarters, Craig has its own unique domestic eco-system. We have rules of course. Some rules are decreed in biro upon the back of an electricity bill on the fridge door – like “if you eat the last biscuit, you buy the next biscuit.” And some rules are unspoken but well-known—like “Strictly no April Fools jokes, not after the last time guys.”

Every Thursday morning around 10am a game show buzzer goes off and we have a flat meeting. There is weak tea and gluten-free day-cake and a pile of passive-aggressive post-it notes to talk through.

I make my way down the stairs, past the sign that Lee Lewis made in red texta that reads “All flatmates are equal. But some flatmates are more equal than others.” I step over the semi-permanent hallway parcel addressed to Sam Strong (an ex-flatmate who for some reason still gets all his ASOS packages sent here and luckily, we’re the same shoe size— thanks Sam). I arrive in the front room which is stuffed full of bleary-eyed arty types clutching keep cups.

The flatmate roll call here at Craig reads like a list of names of people who were on the “I’m sorry, but we cannot offer you a place this time round” list for the NIDA acting course circa 2001.

And this meeting starts the way every weekly flatmate meeting begins in every house the world over—self-elected boss lady Karen Rogers (who I strongly suspect of stealing loo roll (in bulk)) starts the meeting by holding up an A4 laminated sign that simply reads “Wash your dishes people! I am not your mum!”

From there we tick off the agenda items with the zesty enthusiasm of a group of people who’ve been forced by circumstance and a love of the theatre to share close confines and one unpredictable lavatory:

– Item One: For those in favour of ‘Vegan Tuesdays’ raise your hand.
– Item Two:  For those interested in going on the ‘VR, the death of theatre and life as we know it’ one-day intensive course over at AFTRS sign here.
– Item Three: Under no circumstances eat the cookies baked by the last intern. They are, and I quote, ‘dubious’.
– Item Four: Despite what he says, Elliott is not the landlord, so if you’ve given him any cash in the last month please request it is returned—granted he has been here an eternity and I for one have never seen him pay any rent—but two wrongs don’t make you a landlord.
– Item Five: Despite wide spread rumours Ang did not die with a falafel in her hand, she went on holiday and will return next week.
– Item Six: Any other business…

Phil Spencer
Artistic Associate