Posts Tagged ‘GAYBIES


Matilda Awards 2014


Matilda Awards 2014

Monday March 9 2015




So I just posted this year’s noms (#matildas15) and noticed this DRAFT. FROM THE MATILDA AWARDS LAST YEAR. SORRY ABOUT THAT. Interesting to see so many of the same issues coming up every year, right throughout the year… some of the conversations have been happening here.


Working on GAYBIES gave me the perfect opportunity recently to engage face to face with industry friends who all had excellent observations and valuable feedback to offer. I spoke with Margi Brown Ash specifically about the industry forum I’ve mentioned below and it’s time to make that happen.


2014 was my first year on the committee and I had the same questions that many friends had, about how the awards could continue to evolve and serve the industry. Well, we’re listening to feedback and we’re evolving! These were my thoughts after the 2014 awards evening took place last year…



Ah, the Matilda Awards. I’ve written before about the conflicting feelings I have for arts awards, and I had a heap of soul work to do before I accepted the invitation to join the committee. I finally figured I see SO MUCH good work that I see no reason for that to go unrecognised. Still, there are questions and the committee welcomes feedback. In fact, having chatted with many delegates and industry peeps at Drama Queensland’s state conference on the weekend, I already have a good idea of some of the notions that now need to go to the committee. Have you got thoughts or comments about the awards?




I propose the evening take place SOON and be facilitated by Dan Evans or Lucas Stibbard or Margi Brown Ash or Katherine Lyall Watson, and the opportunity given to whomever feels the need to speak. In the meantime, feel free to COMMENT BELOW OR ON THE MATILDA AWARDS FACEBOOK PAGE OR EMAIL ME


The Gardens Theatre, for the first time in 27 years, was filled to capacity on Monday March 9 with 450 theatre makers and theatre lovers in attendance. In addition to the the nominees, their families, fans and friends, we welcomed Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and Krista Adams, Jackie Trad, Matt Foley, Ian Walker, and the amazing and inspiring Wayne Blair.




To be eligible, theatre workers have to have made, in the judges’ opinion, a commitment to the State, for example, by either beginning their careers or living and working mainly here, or by having a strong identification with Queensland. This means that interstate actors who come here for one production are not eligible, nor are touring productions that do not originate in Queensland.


The Matilda Awards are considered on a par with the Sydney Critics’ Awards and Victoria’s Green Room Awards, and given their importance, it is essential that their profile keeps growing, not only within the state but also nationally.


Originally decided solely by professional theatre critics, the award nominees and winners are now selected by a slightly enlarged group that includes reviewers, commentators and theatre professionals but not the general public.


Reflecting the local industry’s professional diversification, in addition to plays, the committee now considers specific musical and physical theatre forms, which have been added as Silver Matilda commendation categories from 2013. However, opera and dance are not included.




There are five premium Matilda Awards, represented by gold trophies. A Gold Matilda is awarded for outstanding work in any area of the professional theatre industry, which also includes independent productions. These awards may be for a single work in the preceding year or for a body of work.


In addition to the five Gold Matildas, there are 12 Silver Matilda Award categories:


  • Best Mainstage Production
  • Best Independent Production
  • Best Direction
  • Best Male Actor in a leading role
  • Best Female Actor in a leading role
  • Best Female Actor in a supporting role
  • Best Male Actor in a supporting role
  • Best New Australian Work
  • Best Emerging Artist
  • Best Design (set or costume)
  • Best Technical Design (lighting, multimedia or sound)
  • Best Musical Theatre Production (including musicals and cabaret)


There is no minimum number of eligible nominees for an award to be made in any category. However, the judges also reserve the right to forego a particular category if they deem there are insufficient eligible nominees of merit in that year.


Receiving a Silver Matilda commendation does not disqualify a theatre worker from also receiving a Gold Matilda in that same year.

The judges compile a comprehensive list of all the productions that are eligible for that year.


For a practitioner to be nominated for work on an individual production, that production first must comply with the following guidelines:


  • the production was either a fully professional production – pro-am, community and student works are not eligible
  • international and national touring productions are not eligible
  • the work must have been seen by at least half the judges.


If there is no category for a show that impressed all the judges, a category may be created to reward that show.


A production remounted within five years of its original staging may be considered eligible if, in the judges’ opinion, any alterations have effected significant difference between the versions.


Guidelines for voting:


For each category, a short list of four nominees will be made (to be released on the website prior to the ceremony), unless there were insufficient worthy candidates to do so.


The voting process is preferential. Committee members will award four points to their first choice, three points to their second, two to their third, and one point to their fourth.


The aggregate points received by an eligible production will be averaged by attendance to ensure a fair weighting of votes in proportion to the number of committee members who saw each.


Judges cannot vote in categories where they have a conflict of interest – for instance if they or a family member has been involved in a production in any way.



Rosemary acknowledges the 10 voluntary committee members involved in the awards process





Steven Mitchell Wright
for directing A Doll’s House
and directing/designing Caligula

Tim O’Connor
for realising a new vision for Harvest Rain

optikal bloc
for projection and video work on Pale Blue Dot,
The Mountaintop
, Wuthering Heights,
and 1984

Simone Romaniuk
for designing Macbeth and Australia Day

Sven Swenson
for co-producing, writing and acting in
Angel Gear and Dangerfield Park

“Well… It appears the emperor may be wearing at least a tasteful g-string…” – Sven Swenson




Best Mainstage Production
Queensland Theatre Company


Sue Donnelly accepts the award for @, declares that commercial work funds new work




Lord Mayor’s Award for Best New Australian Work
(Proudly Sponsored by Brisbane City Council)
written by Richard Jordan,
La Boite Indie
& MadCat Creative Connections
with the support of QPAC

Angel Gear
Best Independent Production
La Boite Indie & Pentimento Productions
with the support of QPAC

Sven Swenson
Best Male Actor in a Leading Role
Angel Gear

Helen Christinson
Best Female Actor in a Leading Role
A Doll’s House

Damien Cassidy
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role
A Doll’s House

Cienda McNamara
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role
A Doll’s House

Steven Mitchell Wright
Best Director
A Doll’s House

Simone Romaniuk
Best Design (Set & Costumes)

optikal bloc
Best Technical Design (Lights, Multimedia & Sound)
multimedia design – Pale Blue Dot

Casey Woods
Bille Brown Award for Best Emerging Artist
for her performance in Angel Gear

Best Musical or Cabaret
Harvest Rain Theatre Company


Congratulations to all recipients of the 2014 Matilda Awards!

View all 2014 nominations or see a list of past winners.





Brisbane Powerhouse

Brisbane Powerhouse Visy Theatre

February 3 – 6 2016


Reviewed by Simon Denver




Verbatim theatre. Bite sized morsels of humanity whose sum of all parts give a well rounded theatrical presentation based on a particular event or theme. It can work particularly well, as in this case, when the performers let the words lead. The power will always be in the honesty of the words; overt characterisation mustn’t distract. In Verbatim theatre the actors are the backing and the words are the lead. In GAYBIES we heard the stories of growing up with a same sex parents. (Well – same sex parents, surrogate mums and donor dads). The people interviewed ranged from 4 year old to 40 year old. This gave fantastic scope for the ensemble of 18.


Statistics may say that children of same sex parents make up such a small fraction of society – but that does not detract from the relevance of this work. As I mentioned earlier – society is the sum of all parts. We, as individuals, have an almost moral duty to research, examine or at least familiarise ourselves with as many of those working parts of life as possible – No matter how the findings might be at odds with our “white bread 2.2 children” view of life. In fact, having same sex marriage as a political issue de jour only amplifies this production’s relevance.


For over seventy minutes we were presented with stories. Honest stories and clear memories.


Too embarrassed to tell your friends your parents are gay. An awkward scenario. But then again, lots of people have always been embarrassed to tell their friends that their parents were Nudists / Mormons / Swingers / National Party Members etc. The charades of truth (“If anyone asks I sleep in this room and Bob sleeps in that room”). But then again, what family doesn’t play out its charade of little white lies? The more stories that flooded the stage the more you realised that these stories were running a parallel course to most people’s stories. Finding so many touchstones within such a small statistic can only serve to humanise as oppose to demonise. It was a gentle reminder that whether parents are the same sex, (or from different religions, race, creed or colour for that matter), in the end it doesn’t matter. A house of love and laughter can only come from love at its core.



By default or design the limited two-day rehearsal period meant scripts on stage were going to be a necessity. But a two-day rehearsal period with the calibre of the cast involved was always going to make this a very up-market rehearsed reading. Quite a tough brief really. Find the natural flow and rhythms of the words yet continually have to remind your self what the words are. Personally I thought those almost rhythmic glances at the scripts constantly reinforced the fact that these were someone else’s stories. I suppose its like the subtitles in a foreign film. If the film is good you don’t notice that you are reading. The words are not those of professional writers. They are the words of the average man / woman very creatively “cut and pasted” together by Dean Bryant. It was a great “ensemble” piece. And the ensemble did a mighty job. The direction by Kris Stewart was as much as can be expected from a two day rehearsal. Again, without the time to be flash, complex, personal or brave, the direction seemed to merely be there to set the words free.


All in all it was an incredibly feel good journey.


The Ensemble itself consisted of professional actors and social / media commentators. With that in mind it’s unfair and impossible to single any individual out .. .. .. .. .. (Damn! Can’t back that up! Margi Brown Ash’s four-year-old on a bike was the show stopper for me. Still chuckling at that little gem days later). They were a unified front and they were all on the same page. For that I say to them all – Thank you. So Barbara Lowing, Bec Zanetti, Blair Martin, Kurt Phelan, Libby Anstis, Lizzie Moore, Brad Rush, Brittany Francis, Christopher Wayne, Margi Brown Ash, Pam Barker, Pat O’Neil, David Berthold, Emily Gilhome, Gordon Hamilton, Rebecca McIntosh, Xanthe Coward, Michael James, Dean Bryant, Kris Stewart, Joseph Simons and Jason Glenwright .. .. when you get a moment, give yourselves a pat on the back. You collectively acheived a great thing.


However, (and there are always howevers) .. ..


GAYBIES slapped the face of the economic rational of current theatre. It was the first time for a while where I witnessed a professional stage creaking, groaning and crammed with performers. Does this mean if we want quality and quantity we can only expect it from Verbatim Theatre? Is the future for large cast rehearsed readings? It’s sad that the size of the average cast is dwindling. It’s even sadder that the cast size can dictate any artistic process. So thank you Brisbane Powerhouse for giving us a brief respite from the so-called “economic reality”.


I thought the production was a tad too long and perhaps a couple of performers too many. I thought the music was beautiful and exceptionally well delivered but I had difficulty marrying it to the words and stories. My main criticism was quite simply that it was preaching to the converted. It was a safe option to stage it during the MELT festival (A Celebration of Queer Arts and Culture).

This production needs to jump its rails and be taken to the wider community. It needs to be seen by the detractors not the sympathisers. I feel it is the perfect vehicle to confront those who passively or covertly or overtly demonise anything gay. This plays humanity is undeniable.

Finally I felt it only took or was told good, warm and fuzzy stories. Nothing is perfect, nothing is 100%. I would just liked to have heard one negative experience, as I am sure there are, have been and will be.


But the last few comments aside, it was a great night out. I hadn’t been quite sure what to expect but I left the Powerhouse smiling .. .. and thinking. Thank you to all concerned. Well worth the 200k return trip from the Sunshine Coast.