Griffin Theatre Company

Griffin Theatre Company is an Australian theatre specialising in new writing, based in Sydney. It is the resident theatre company at the SBW Stables Theatre in Kings Cross. It is the only professional theatre company in Sydney entirely dedicated to the development and production of new Australian writing for the stage.

The Artistic Director is Lee Lewis, who took up the position in 2013. Previous Artistic Directors include Sam Strong (2010–2013), Nick Marchand (2006–2010), David Berthold (2003–06), Ros Horin (1992–2003), Ian Watson and the original Artistic Director, Peter Kingston.


In 1979, actors Peter Carmody, Penny Cook, Rosemarie Lenzo and Robert Menzies banded together under the directorship of Jenny Laing-Peach to present the Irish play The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy at the Kirk Gallery in Cleveland Street, Surry Hills. They made a profit and went on to produce two Australian plays by John Stone at the Orange Door in Oxford St, Paddington – Discovering Australia and The Grand Finale of Rene Trouver, directed by Peter Kingston. The name 'Griffin' derived from the name of the street in Surry Hills in which Jenny Laing-Peach lived. Slowly the group enlarged (incorporating quite a few NIDA graduates) and next presented Joe Orton's The Ruffian on the Stair at the ANU Canberra in March 1980.

Bob Ellis and Anne Brooksbank, the owners of The Stables Theatre in Kings Cross, offered Griffin a lease. A month later Ruffian played as a lunch-time and late-night programme with David Williamson's The Coming of Stork in the main timeslot. For the next two years a mixture of overseas and Australian plays were presented at The Stables. But more and more the Company was becoming aware of the amount of Australian writing talent available and in May 1981 after successful readings of four new plays, the decision was made to adopt an all-Australian policy.

With small grants from New South Wales and Commonwealth funding bodies, in 1982 the Company kicked off with Grant Fraser's 'Cheap Thrills' and since then...Australian plays have been produced, most of which have been premieres. Writers represented are Stephen Sewell, Barry Dickins, Ron Blair, Steve J. Spears, Mil Perrin, Craig Cronin, Ingle Knight, Pamela Van Amstel, Ray Mathew, Clem Gorman, Ned Manning, Ross Lonnie, Doreen Clarke, Gordon Graham, Jennifer Paynter, Greg McCart, Mij Tanith, John Stone, Brett Murphy, Hannie Rayson and Michael Gow.

For the 1984 season the Company was awarded The Sydney Critic's Circle Award for "the most significant contribution to theatre that year."[1]

In 1986 Peter Kingston was appointed the Company's first Artistic Director. He was followed into that position by Ian Watson.

In 1999, The Sun Herald described Griffin as Australia's ‘Theatre of the Decade'.

Cate Blanchett and Jacqueline McKenzie began their professional careers at Griffin. The films Lantana, The Boys, and The Heartbreak Kid (which later spun off into the television series Heartbreak High) were based on plays produced by Griffin. Away, Australia's most produced contemporary play, also started at the company.

Recent seasons

Recent Griffin Theatre Company mainstage seasons are listed below.[2]

2015 season

2014 season

2013 season

2012 season

2011 season

  • Speaking in Tonguesby Andrew Bovell. 4 February – 19 March 2011
  • Silent Discoby Lachlan Philpott. 22 April – 4 June 2011
  • And No More Shall We Partby Tom Holloway. 29 July – 3 September 2011
  • This Year's Ashesby Jane Bodie. 7 October – 19 November 2011
  • Museum of Broken Relationships - by the Griffin Audience, in collaboration with Ian Meadows, Kate Mulvany, Shannon Murphy, Paige Rattray

2010 season

2009 season

2008 season

2007 season

Griffin Independent

Running since 2004 (then called Griffin Stablemates), in parallel to Griffin's own mainstage season of new Australian plays, Griffin Independent is an annual season of 5–6 new plays presented by independent theatre companies.

Commissioned and premiered works

Playwrights whose work has premiered at Griffin include:

Griffin Award

Bestowed annually since 1998, the Griffin Award is offered to the most outstanding new work as read and judged by a panel appointed by Griffin. One stipulation on entry is that all works submitted have not been performed or produced prior.

  • 1998 – Catherine Zimdahl for Clark in Sarajevo
  • 1999 – Neil Cole for Alive at Williamstown Pier
  • 2000 – Ian Wilding for Below
  • 2001 – Verity Laughton for Burning
  • 2002 – Noelle Janacsewska for Songket and Patrick Van der Werf for Presence
  • 2003 – Brendan Cowell for Rabbit
  • 2004 – Debra Oswald for Mr Bailey's Minder
  • 2005 – Ian Wilding for The Carnivores
  • 2006 – Mary Rachel Brown for Australian Gothic
  • 2007 – Damien Millar for Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures
  • 2008 – Rick Viede for Whore
  • 2009 – Lachlan Philpott for Silent Disco


  1. The Currency Press Current Theatre Series publication for 'Morning Sacrifice' by Dymphna Cusack (1986 Currency Press Pty Ltd)
  3. "Griffin Theatre Company Archives" (PDF). Griffin Theatre Company. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2008.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.