Griffin Theatre Company

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Griffin Theatre Company is an Australian theatre specialising in new writing. It is the resident theatre company at the SBW Stables Theatre in Kings Cross, Sydney, Australia. 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.


The following early history of Griffin is taken from the published history included in most early programmes, in this particular instance The Currency Press Current Theatre Series publication for 'Morning Sacrifice' by Dymphna Cusack (1986 Currency Press Pty Ltd):

"It was in 1979 that 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 'Ruffian on the Stair' at the ANU Canberra in March 1980. After talks with Bob Ellis and Anne Brooksbank, the owners of The Stables Theatre in Kings Cross, they were offered 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.

Applications were made to both the New South Wales and Commonwealth funding bodies and small grants were obtained. 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."

In 1986 Peter Kingston was appointed the Company's first ever 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.

2015 season: Main Season[edit]


2014 season: Main Season[edit]

2013 season: Main Season[edit]


2012 season: Main Season[edit]

2011 season: Main Season[edit]

  • Speaking in Tongues - by Andrew Bovell. 4 February - 19 March 2011
  • Silent Disco - by Lachlan Philpott. 22 April - 4 June 2011
  • And No More Shall We Part - by Tom Holloway. 29 July - 3 September 2011
  • This Year's Ashes - by 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: Main Season[edit]

2009 season: Main Season[edit]

2008 season: Main Season[edit]

2007 season: Main Season[edit]

Griffin Independent[edit]

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 international plays presented by independent theatre companies.

To find out more about the dependent season at Griffin Theatre Company, go to the Griffin Independent Wikipedia page or the official Griffin Theatre website.

Commissioned and Premiered Works[edit]

Playwrights whose work has premiered at Griffin include:

Griffin Award[edit]

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.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Griffin Theatre Company Archives" (PDF). Griffin Theatre Company. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 

External links[edit]