David Berthold’s final production for Griffin is one of the company’s most audacious and anticipated – Tommy Murphy’s brilliant adaptation of Timothy Conigrave’s iconic memoir Holding The Man. One of Australia’s great love stories, the book has never before been adapted for the stage.

Holding the Man made the 100 Favourite Australian Books* list in 2003, won the 1995 UN Human Rights Award for Non-fiction and has been published in several languages. Conigrave completed it just before his death in 1994.

This story is breathtakingly honest, achingly funny and a completely heart-wrenching account of a 15-year relationship that weathered disapproval, separation, temptation and, ultimately, death.  It is a story, and a celebration, that speaks across generations, sexual preference and cultures.

Holding the Man is the story of Tim and John who met at high school in the mid-1970s.  Tim is in the school production of Romeo & Juliet and has a crush on John, captain of the football team who wants to play for Essendon.  By the end of high school even their yearbook acknowledges them as the year’s cutest couple.

This story of love and loss has theatre in its veins.  Tim Conigrave was an actor, a graduate of NIDA, and was closely associated with Griffin – in fact, several scenes are actually set at the Stables Theatre. In 1986, he was a driving force behind the creation of the groundbreaking group devised piece, Soft Targets, a part-verbatim theatre piece constructed from interviews and research into HIV and AIDS.

Cast & Creatives

Director David Berthold
Design Brian Thomson
Lighting Design Stephen Hawker
Sound Design Basil Hogios
Costume Design Michael Agosta
With Jeanette Cronin, Nicholas Eadie, Guy Edmonds, Robin McLeavy, Brett Stiller and Matt Zeremes

Performance Times

Previews 3 -4, 6 – 8 November
Season 9 November – 16 December