Welcome to Griffin

Griffin Theatre Company is Australia’s new writing theatre. In residence at Sydney’s historic SBW Stables Theatre, we lead the country in developing and producing great Australian stories, and are dedicated to supporting Australian artists.

  • Seeking 2016 Griffin Studio Artists
     

    Applications are now open for our 2016 Griffin Studio Artists. The Griffin studio supports four + artists per a year to develop their work, mainly in the fields of writing and directing. Applications close 24 May.

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  • Indie Submissions closing soon!
     

    Submissions for our 2016 of Griffin Independent season close on Sunday 26 April. Make sure you don’t leave it ’til the last minute as we are looking for some hot shot productions to join our subscription season. Could it be you? 

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  • The first rule of Script Club…
     

    We’re excited to announce the inaugural Script Club is now on sale. $20 for one or $60 for all  four classic (overlooked) Australian plays, followed by afternoon tea and a robust round-table discussion led by John McCallum - Theatre Critic for The Australian and Senior Lecturer in Theatre at UNSW.

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27 April 5:05 pm

A message from Lee, 28 April 2015

We are creating our end-of-financial year fundraising campaign and I need to ask the acting community of Griffin for support.

When we ran the 2014 campaign, I received a lot of emails from actors saying they wished they could donate to Griffin.

Now I’m asking you to donate your talent – to donate your favourite monologue from an Australian play to an audience of one.

Intrigued? I hope you are!

On Saturday 2nd May we are moving the Griffin experience down to Circular Quay for one day. We are creating a ‘tiny Griffin’, a ‘mini-Griffin’, a distilled version of what the amazing experience of theatre at Griffin can be for our audience. Architect Jon King has designed Sydney’s smallest theatre – a theatre for one actor and one audience member. (I realise this is in no way a sustainable future direction for Griffin… I’m not that crazy). What we would like to do is give a Griffin experience to members of the public. The public will be invited into this tiny space to see a small piece of a great Australian play. We will be down at Circular Quay on Saturday between 10am and 2pm.

Which is where, obviously, we need the help of the Griffin acting community. Would you be willing to donate one of your monologues? If you have five minutes to spare on Saturday, please come and be a part of ‘Griffin at large, but small’… I don’t even have a good name for this yet (if you can come up with a cool name as well that would be great).

If you can help us out we would love to offer you a ticket to see our next Griffin production The House on the Lake by Aidan Fennessy which is currently in rehearsal. If you are interested in performing a monologue this Saturday, please contact Caroline on info@griffintheatre.com.au and let us know your best availability and we’ll put you in the program – you will perform your favourite Australian play monologue for an audience of one.

If you are not an actor but are thinking you may want to see a great actor up close performing just for you… then Kristy has written the details in another box in the newsletter. 

Happy autumn,
Love Lee

2:21 pm

Q+A with Huw Higginson and Jeanette Cronin

Associate Director, Nicola James reporting from the The House on the Lake rehearsal room with stars Huw Higginson and Jeanette Cronin.

 

Huw Higginson- You may remember Huw as PC George Garfield in The Bill, appearing in over 600 episodes over ten years. He is also a favourite on EastEnders and starred on the Griffin stage earlier this year in On the Shore of the Wide World. 

 Q. – You’re playing a lawyer in “The House on the Lake”, how has your time on “The Bill” helped you prepare for this role?

            A. – Well I played a policeman on the bill, so we did come across a lot of duty solicitors, briefs and silks. That role gave me an idea of the law and the process so I suppose in a way I am across some of the procedures and it’s helped me as far as that’s concerned. It has probably helped me more that my father in law is a judge and that on my Dad’s side of the family there are Lawyers and QCs, although I’ve not seen them for a long time, so I sort of know how they smell..

Q. – Last year you starred in “On the Shore of the Wide World” the hugely popular Griffin Independent show, so you’ve spent some time on the Griffin stage. What was your favourite thing about performing on the Griffin stage?

            A. – My favourite thing about performing on the Griffin stage this time is that there will only be two of us in the dressing room as opposed to twelve. Because the dressing room isn’t that big, and when we did On the Shore of the Wide World… I’m being facetious really.. The best thing about work there is the intimacy and that because the audience is so close you are in conversation in performance with your audience, so that it is a very intimate relationship, you have to tell the truth. So it’s the intimacy which is lovely.

 Q. – The House on the Lake is a two-hander as you said, how do you find the experience of working with one other actor and the director in such an intimate environment?

            A. – The advantage of it is that you’re involved in every aspect of the play. If you’re in a play which is more of an ensemble, ensemble is the wrong word, but if you’re in a play where your character only appears sporadically your scenes become islands if you’re not careful. Whereas on a two-hander you’re a part of the whole journey, beginning middle and end, so you’re on board the whole time as it were. So that’s the good thing about doing a two-hander. The tricky thing about doing a two-hander is the volume of lines! Which in this play in particular is a challenge, but a challenge that will be met.

 

Jeanette Cronin- Jeanette is a legend of the Griffin stage, starring in The Boys and Holding the Man, arguably two shows we are best known for. She went on to also star in the movie The Boys alongside David Wenham and has a huge list of credits in Australian television.

Q. – You have been previously been involved in two wonderful and successful plays at the Griffin  – “The Boys” and “Holding the Man”. What was it like playing a mum with boys on the wrong side of the law?

            A. – One of the most interesting things about that role was how much she appreciated what they were capable of and whether or not they did it and that was one of the big things to unwrap in that -How responsible was she and how much insight did she have into her role in it? And it pushes that concept all the way through the play because she takes it write to the end of “they didn’t do it”,  “they didn’t do it, “they didn’t do it”… And also from an audience point of view – how much is she responsible for their behaviour? And if she is then why? What happened to her if she is like that?

 Q – You’ve described this particular rehearsal process as going into a “vortex”. How is it to work in such an intimate rehearsal environment with just one other actor and the director, how is that experience as opposed to working on a larger scale production?

            A. – It’s good in that you get to really unpack it. That in a sense, even though there is so much more for you to do in terms of what you are actually saying, there is more opportunity for you to get into it – to unravel it. Also this particular play is about trust, so it’s making sure we’re all on the same page. Because we have to get to the bottom of each person and then to the bottom of the play itself, we have to go down that hole which the characters go down.

 

14 April 11:27 am

A message from Lee 14 April

The Griffin Studio turned 21 this year! Last night we celebrated the 5 years and 21 artists who have now participated in the residency program with some of the donors who make it happen. With Caress/Ache closing on Saturday after a hugely successful season (playwright Suzie Miller Studio 2); The House on the Lake starting rehearsals, welcoming back Jeanette Cronin and Huw Higginson to the Stables stage (director Kim Hardwick Studio 5); and the realisation that the year is moving so fast that A Rabbit for Kim Jong Il (playwright Kit Brookman Studio 3) will be upon us soon, it is clear how successful the program has been in bringing new artists in to Griffin. For donors who like to see their contributions going directly to artists, supporting the Studio is perfect.

Of course people support Griffin in many different ways. Sponsorship, donation, subscription, volunteering, advice, bringing friends to shows – there is a huge community of people who make up the Griffin family. We all believe that contributing to a company like Griffin is a way of ensuring that the creative life of this city is rich and complex. Reading Simon Garfield’s book, On The Map, I was struck by this thought:

 “Paul Theroux has made the point that great explorations demand fine writers to bring it all home – the fierce desperation, the unbound elation, the emotional and humane mixed with the procedural. This explains why we know what cold feels like, but we don’t really know what it’s like to walk on the moon.”

If the idea of Australia is a great exploration, then it is in the crucible of Griffin that we will find the writing that will show us where we are going.

Love,
Lee

 

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