Tommy Murphy (Australian playwright)

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For the Irish playwright, see Tom Murphy (playwright).
Tommy Murphy
Born 1979
Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation Playwright
Nationality Australian

Tommy Murphy (born 1979) is an Australian playwright and screen writer. His plays are known for their humour and buoyant theatricality.

He was born in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia, the seventh of eight children in a Catholic family. He is a graduate of the University of Sydney and of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (Director's course).

He was a resident writer at Griffin Theatre Company 2004-06, for which he wrote Strangers in Between and Holding the Man. Both plays are published by Currency Press, in one volume. Strangers in Between won the national 2006 NSW Premier's Literary Award for Best Play, and Holding the Man won the same Award in 2007. Murphy is the youngest recipient of the award, and the only playwright to win in successive years.

Holding the Man had an encore season at Griffin before transferring to Sydney Opera House, Belvoir, Melbourne Theatre Company and Brisbane's Powerhouse. It played London's West End from 23 April to 3 July 2010. Guy Edmonds and Matt Zeremes were joined by new cast members Jane Turner, Kath from TV's Kath & Kim, and Simon Burke. David Berthold directed and Brian Thomson designed. The Trafalgar Studios season was produced by Daniel Sparrow and Mike Walsh. The play has been produced every year since its premiere with new productions in San Francisco, Aukland, Adelaide and encore productions in Brisbane and Sydney. In 2014 the play was also mounted in Los Angeles by The Australian Theatre Company with Larry Moss directing; Nate Jones, Adam J. Yeend, Cameron Daddo, and Roxanne Wilson were cast for the production. Murphy is currently developing a screenplay for Holding the Man with Goalpost Pictures, producers of The Sapphires.

Saturn's Return was commissioned by Sydney Theatre Company co-artistic directors Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett for STC's Wharf 2 season 2008. In 2009 it transferred to the STC main stage. Saturn's Return is published by Currency Press. He was writer-in-residence at Belvoir 2011-2012. His adaptation of Blood Wedding was commissioned for the London 2012 Olympiad and his reworking of Peter Pan for Belvoir recently transferred to Broadway.

Murphy is the recipient of a Centenary Medal and the British Council Realise Your Dream Award.[citation needed] In 2007, he had the title of honorary associate conferred by the Faculty of Education & Social Work, University of Sydney. He also sat on the board of directors of the Australian Theatre for Young People 2005-2010.

Murphy's award-winning play, Gwen in Purgatory, was co-produced by Belvoir (theatre company) and La Boite Theatre and directed by Neil Armfield in 2010. The cast for this premiere production were Nathaniel Dean, Grant Dodwell, Sue Ingleton, Melissa Jaffer and Pacharo Mzembe. This play is also published by Currency Press.

Murphy's screen credits include teleplays for Offspring, Spirited, and Matchbox's upcoming Foxtel mini-series Devil's Playground.

Murphy is represented by Cameron Creswell Agency in Australia and Curtis Brown in the UK.

He is currently working on screen projects including the film version of Holding the Man as well as a play for Black Swan Theatre Company as recipient of the Richard Burton commission.

Plays[edit]

Awards[edit]

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