Advertising the latest – and ditching the past

First off, don’t forget the upcoming ten-minute play show at the 1812 Theatre in Ferntree Gully called Board Shorts. The season is only a short one – June 28 – 30 – but it includes my piece False Trail, directed by Robert Williams and starring Samir Odedra and Jason Triggs as two men who discover only one of them has eight minutes left to live…

Go here to book! All tix only $15.

Well, now that’s done:

It is not Spring here Down Under. In fact, Winter has just started, and a cold couple of days it has been. Am I too late to do a Spring clean? Having reached and left the age of 50 what can I let go of?

Plenty, it turns out.

The following are just some of the junk that I will never see again:

-early drafts of plays (unlike Beethoven, I don’t think anyone’s going to be interested in these in a 100 years’ time! Hell, I’m not even interested now!)

-old notebooks (see the Beethoven comment above)

-early diaries (full of the trivia of 30 years ago. Was I really this banal?)

-printed emails from publishers and play producers I haven’t heard from in ages

And all of this is paper! A lot of writing water has come up to the bridge, banged on a couple of piles, and finally managed to slide under. Writing I’ve never looked at in the last year, let alone the last 30.  I have realised so much in our lives can be stripped away and we can still carry on as if nothing has happened. Is this what they call Minimalism?

One thing I noticed as I trawled through my shelves was the amount of work that had been started, and not completed. As organisational consultant Peter Walsh puts it: “People are finding that their homes are full of stuff, but their lives are littered with unfulfilled promises.”

(Another intriguing thought is that of Idea Debt. Just go here to find out what that’s all about and how it’s holding you back in your creative projects.)

So if you are trawling through a recycling bin, or scanning an egg carton, and you come across words of adolescent heartache or brooding assassins, remember that they belonged to me.

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The Latest on the Theatre of Life

I can believe that I haven’t written a blog since 2015. A lot has happened since then. Life changes, mainly. Maybe one day they might be the subject of a play but I think it’s unlikely.

However, the last couple of years have been very busy.

To take you all the way back to 2016:

My “new” one-acter, eBay Doomsday, was picked up by Pop Culture Theatre (PCT) and did the rounds of the Victorian One-Act Play festivals, winning awards and nominations here and there. My thanks to director Michelle Swann and her actors Scobie Parker, Liam Gillespie, Kate Karandais and Steve Saul, who all did an amazing job. You can check it out here.

Also in 2016:

PCT picked up my “old” one-acter, The Glenfiddich Solution. This time Bruce Hardie and Kate Deavin were onstage, and they were directed by Imogen Martin. It, too, did good business on the circuit, picking up a few awards and nominations along the way. Again, great to see one’s work up on stage being done really well. Thanks guys. You can check it out here.

This year, another “old” one-act play of mine called Skin was a finalist in the 2017 National Playwright Competition, run by the Playhouse Players here in Melbourne. I decided to direct the piece myself to guarantee a certain level of quality, and cast two excellent actors in Trevor Paparella (thanks for stepping outside your comfort zone, Trevor!) and Christina MacLachlan (who won the Audience Choice award for Best Female Actor–a lovely vindication of the work she’d put into creating her character).

The updated version of Skin is available here.

It was great to get back into the director’s chair. It makes you look at your work in a totally different way.

This year, too, I have a play that’s been shortlisted in Ark Theatre’s 2018 ARKFest, a festival of 10-minute plays, so if any company’s out there pick it up and run with it — if only I could tell you what it’s called! Entries must remain anonymous, so I really can’t give anything away. Will have to wait and see what happens with this one.

In a side note: I thought I would comment on the #MeToo campaign. I am sympathetic to all the silence breakers who have come forward to share their stories of abuse. It is never OK for those in positions of authority to abuse their power. However, I wonder if there should be a special hashtag for men who have specifically been abused by women? Perhaps something like #MenToo? Or one simply called #menwhomarrypsychobitches? There are plenty of us out there, and we have been silent, too, because the court system as it is allows affidavits to be lodged without any supporting evidence, for accusations to be made in all manner of court proceedings which are slanderous and libellous, and without recourse to being challenged. Where does this kind of abuse stop? Sometimes the very institutions established to dispense justice fail to protect those who are innocent. One day, perhaps, the silence breakers on the cover of a Time magazine will be a group of men who have had enough of having their names dragged through the mud. One day, perhaps, there will be a play there, too.

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