One of the greatest honours that can be bestowed upon me is that of a playwright approaching me to direct their work. I’ve been like a kid in a wading pool, racing around and around…chasing playwrights with money, offers of production, gushing emails and long coffee dates… and this year I decided to stop the chasing and to float and see what would come my way.

After all – after 5 years and having produced/ commissioned/ developed/ directed/ nurtured/ programmed 86 new Australian plays (shorts, one acts and full lengths) I decided that I would stop, float and see what would come my way…

And in the past 3 weeks I started work on directing three pieces –
Last week was Phil Spencer’s Belly Ache for TRS’s Cut & Paste at the Bondi Pavillion, staring Luke Carson and Chloe Schwank: A black comedy about love, loss and chicken paprikash…

Next week I continue with 7-On’s site-specific gypsy-style living room odyssey PLATONIC (working title)…

And today is Katie Pollock’s Basketcase. In less than 2 weeks Pollock (who does have other distractions such as a family and a full lenght show opening at New Theatre on the 18th called A NIGHT IN THE RANGOON) has diligently sat in my kitchen with sharpened pencil and English Breakfast tea and re-drafted this monologue she wrote specifically for Olivia Satchell. The met during Brand Spanking New last year (Katie was programmed in week one with One Percent and Olivia was one of my assistant directors) and since then have been developing a creative relationship – and somehow on this occasion I have been invited in to direct.

Just to give you an idea of the stats – There has been 2 readings/script sessions over tea, 4.5 hours of moved rehearsals, four drafts created.

After being notified officially less than 2 weeks ago – this incantation of Basketcase is stripped back to the very bare basics – no sound, no light… performance as Grotowski-an as can be – no frills. No trimmings. Had I an extra week… Had my favourite composer been available… Had we had been assured mountains of tech – perhaps this would be different. But for me – there is something reassuringly simple about the story being the focus… no distractions. Just the actor, the words and us, the audience.

Working on this piece has conjured up images and stories of school yard democracy, Orwellian injustices, Darwinian survival, punk music, teenage obsessions, Albert Camus, loneliness, game-show joy (a la THE PRICE IS RIGHT), middle-class poverty, socially awkward school-yard rejections and acceptances… We’ve all been there somehow… and now we will be emerging to show you what we’ve made…

Presented by Griffin Theatre Company at the SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross.
All tickets $10 at the door – first in best dressed.
Box office opens at 4pm. Performances from 5pm to 7pm.

GRIFFringe is a new initiative by Griffin aiming to open the Stable doors to all emerging and established artists and art forms, and to give our audiences some effervescent new entertainment on our theatre’s dark days with a series of cracking new work on random Sunday afternoons. In each GRIFFringe session we bring together pieces (of 10-30 minutes each) to form a two hour session. A GRIFFringe piece could be a complete short play, an excerpt from a work in development, cabaret, stand-up, a devised piece or a mini-musical. It could also be none of those things. Also, everything about it, except for its artistic standard, is cheap.

After our operational costs are covered, all box office proceedings (tickets at ten bucks a pop) are split between artisans performing on the night.

The Line We Draw by Skye Loneregan is a free-verse piece that explores identity and growing up through the eyes of a young girl. The piece joins the dots between the childish imagination and the diminishing returns of being a grown-up

Creature by Branden Christine is a Butoh/Cabaret/Living Sculpture piece that sees one woman take on five characters caught in a vicious cycle of metamorphosis, chaos, and serenity who are in a losing battle to their shadow selves and balance on the precipice of collision between modern life and primal being on a quest to find absolution

Writer Katie Pollock has written a piece called Basketcase. Written for Liv Satchell, Augusta Supple will direct this short sharp monologue that shows a moment in the life of a quirky and beautiful girl.

Finally Jessica Tuckwell’s new piece Alice is a new and quirky adaptation of Alice’s Adventures Underground/Through the Looking Glass that looks at this classic from a different angle. The piece has been developed by Tuckwell as well as theatre-makers Elisha Oliver and Tim Spencer.

SUNDAY 7th of AUGUST, 5pm.