Today Griffin Theatre Company is once again openning its doors to the independent and emerging theatre artists of Sydney. More than ever there seems to bea tightening of circles in Sydney – more than a few times in the last week I have been told by actors that there is a feeling of hopelessness in the air about local artists having access to space and companies, with so many companies choosing Melbourne-based artists (and shows) to work in Sydney theatres. Perhaps the grass is greener on the otherside of the fence, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t water your own back yard.

Thankfully Griffin Theatre has a small curate season which happens every 2 months or so which invites artists in to show works in development… It’s a fun day at the theatre – a lazy, casual Sunday afternoon when people come to chat and see and listen… meet people, get inspired… hatch plans. It’s a humble showcase – but one who’s long lasting value can not be measured.

Last Griffringe, I was approached to direct a piece by Luke Carson (an actor I have directed several times: Tahli Corin’s The 428 Song (2010)/ Kate Mulvany’s Chicom (2010)/ Alana Valentine’s The Sex Act (2011) ) who is currently apart of a Playwriting adventure I’m heading called Write Here, Write Now.

Luke is an instinctual writer. With no formal writing education, but a wealth of experience as a performer, Luke’s language is rough, read, accessible and funny. What I like about Luke’s writing is that it is personal, nearly confessional – he’s not writing to be popular or profound. He’s asking himself genuine questions. And it’s that authenticity that I prize so highly.

Boys’ Night was written for Stephen Wilkinson (also an actor I’ve worked with Jonathan Gavin’s The Return/ Alana Valentine’s The Sex Act, who is also Luke’s collaborator for Cut the Bull Productions).

Since submitting his script to Griffringe, we have had 4 script meetings – resulting in a new draft after each meeting, and after three rehearsals over a 6 day period lines are down and ready to go.

Boys’ Night is a portrait of a man, of the city. Asks what it means to be a man, not just a boy.

Much of this is an experiment for Carson- who takes on the producing role “It means I buy you coffee” he says. This is his first writing premiere, and I’m delighted to be his and Stephen’s director.

Tickets are $15. Buy them on the Griffin website (http://www.griffintheatre.com.au/tickets/?pid=66…32) or at the door and it starts at 4pm. Doors open at 3pm.

The other pieces are:

1. Experience: Girl by Randa Sayed
Stand-up comedy and storytelling drive this one-woman performance by Randa Sayed about the issues many young ethnic Australian women face in relation to identity, sexuality and expectations from different cultural backgrounds.

2. Cough by Emily Calder

Director Jimmy Dalton and writer Emily Calder take a closer look at what goes on at a childcare centre where the children are running wild, sand is creeping and a ten-foot tree is rapidly growing, which the kids are determined to disappear into.

3. My Furry Heart by Tami Sussman
The phenomenon of Sussmania (a.k.a Tami Sussman) will present two spoken word poems from her first one-woman show My Furry Heart.

4. Boys’ Night by Luke Carson
Writer Luke Carson, director Augusta Supple, and performer Stephen Wilkinson explore the temptations of a big night out and the difficulties of staying on the straight and narrow.

5. Regress…And Purge by B.C.Thomson
“Regress…and Purge” is a short, dark comedy about the sort of tipping point we experience when our dignity is undermined just that step too far, written and directed by B.C.Thomson.

This Griffringe is sure to be Bold and Beautiful…