A Voice Like No Other: The future of Australian drama on the international stage

The 2010 Alex Buzo Memorial Lecture

Tommy Murphy, Australian playwright and author of Holding the Man and Gwen in Purgatory

Copresented with the Seymour Centre Enquiring Minds Series

 

Tommy Murphy

A generation of playwrights have ensured the Australian voice holds a place on our stage. But what now for Australian playwriting? What does Australian drama have to offer the international stage and how can it more adequately articulate a response to the here and now?

Award-winning young Australian playwright Tommy Murphy investigates a distinctly Australian dramatic voice and the often surprising responses from overseas audiences and practitioners. Murphy’s critically acclaimed new play Gwen in Purgatory is currently playing at Belvoir Street and he will also draw upon recent experiences with productions of his play Holding the Man in the United States, New Zealand and on London’s West End.

Tommy Murphy is an Australian playwright. Strangers in Between (2005) and Holding the Man (2006) premiered at Griffin Theatre Company, where Tommy was writer in residence. These plays won the NSW Premier’s Award in successive years. Strangers in Between toured nationally in 2008. [[i||Holding The Man was remounted for the 2007 Sydney Mardi Gras Festival before transferring to Sydney Opera House, Company B Belvoir, Melbourne Theatre Company and Brisbane Powerhouse. Holding the Man also won the 2007 Australian Writers’ Guild Award (AWGIE) and the Philip Parsons Award. It opened on London’s West End in April this year.

Saturn's Return premiered at the Sydney Theatre Company Wharf 2 in 2008 and transferred to the main stage in 2009. Murphy’s other works include young people’s theatre pieces Troy's House (1998), Precipice (2007) and an adaptation of Marlowe's Massacre at Paris (2001).

He is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (Director's Course), a past president of Sydney University Dramatic Society and a current board member of Australian Theatre for Young People. His plays are published by Currency Press and Nick Hern Books London.