No Plain Jane

Theatre reviews and musings (mostly) from Adelaide

Tag: Phillip Kavanagh

Brief: Can You Be A Playwright In Adelaide?

In early December I started to write a post about being a playwright in South Australia. Caleb Lewis, Kit Brookman, Tahli Corin, Duncan Graham, Finegan Kruckemeyer, and now Phillip Kavanagh are people who immediately spring to mind as having left this state in recent years (or weeks, as it may be).  I stopped writing mainly because I thought the answer to my question was just “no”, and left it there.

But today on the National Play Festival website, in an interview with Sydney raised, SA based playwright Nicki Bloom, a similar question came up:

Adelaide is a great cultural producer, what is it like working in a city that is outside of the traditional cultural hubs of Sydney and Melbourne?

These days (back to that postmodern, globalised society you spoke of) where you live has less of an impact on where you work. Sure, there’s still plenty of state-based parochialism, but I’ve worked as much in Sydney as I have in Adelaide, and have as broad networks in cities around the world as I do in Adelaide. I think that’s the same for most playwrights these days.

So, should the question be: can you be a playwright in Adelaide as long as you’re working elsewhere?  I believe Bloom’s Land & Sea is the only text-based theatre work by a South Australian playwright presented by a fully funded company in SA in 2012.  I don’t think this statistic would prove to be unusual.

Three Days, Five New Local Plays

Last week ended up being quite the week for new local playwrighting!

Wednesday I made my way down to the Bakehouse to see Molly’s Shoes, which I did not enjoy, and you can read my review of here at Australian Stage Online.  I would also like to draw your attention to the commenting form there, rather than here, if you have things to say.

Thursday I went across town to the Director’s Hotel to see Duende Presents: PLAY OFF!, where three local short shows battled it out for further development and a spot in the 2012 Fringe.  It was a great event, they packed out the upstairs space in the hotel, and everyone had a fun time just celebrating theatre.  My affections were drawn between The Fortitude of Samuel Clemens by Caitlyn Tyler, directed by Dee Easton, for its humour and “fringyness”; and Helen Back by Elena Carapetis, directed by Nescha Jelk, for its power and particularly the performance of Jacqui Phillips.  After three nights of audience and industry votes, the pick of the event was The Fortitude of Samuel Clemens, so look out for that work (or perhaps another work from the team?) at next year’s fringe.

Friday I hung out in a rehearsal room of the Adelaide Festival Centre, where I was invited to a moved reading of Little Borders by Phillip Kavanagh, directed by Corey McMahon, which was a fantastically powerful piece in which Elena Carapetis (demonstrating way too much talent for just one week) blew me away.  I owe the playwright an email of thoughts, but that’s it in a nut shell!