Griffin Theatre Company

Griffin Theatre Company

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.


  • History 1
  • 2015 season 2
  • 2013 season 3
  • 2012 season 4
  • 2011 season 5
  • 2010 season 6
  • 2009 season 7
  • 2008 season 8
  • 2007 season 9
  • Griffin Independent 10
  • Commissioned and Premiered Works 11
  • Griffin Award 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


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

  • Masquerade By Kate Mulvany. 7-17 January 2015
  • The Unspoken Word is ‘Joe’ By Zoey Dawson. 21 January - 7 February 2015
  • Yasukichi Murakami: Through a Distant Lens By Mayu Kanamori. 10 - 21 February 2015
  • Caress/Ache By Suzie Miller. 27 February - 11 April 2015
  • Five Properties of Chainmale By Nicholas Hope. 15 April - 9 May 2015
  • The House on the Lake By Aidan Fennessy. 15 May - 20 June 2015
  • The Dapto Chaser By Mary Rachel Brown. 1 - 25 July 2015
  • The Bleeding Tree By Angus Cerini. 31 July - 5 September 2015
  • MinusOneSister By Anna Barnes. 9 September - 3 October 2015
  • A Rabbit for Kim Jong-il By Kit Brookman. 9 October - 21 November 2015
  • A Riff on Keef: The Human Myth By Benito Di Fonzo. 25 November - 12 December 2015

2013 season

  • Dreams in White - by Duncan Graham
  • The Bull, the Moon and the Coronet of Stars - by Van Badham
  • Beached - by Melissa Bubnic
  • The Floating World - by John Romeril

2012 season

  • The Boys - by Gordon Graham
  • The Story of Mary MacLane by Herself - by Bojana Novakovic, music by Tim Rogers, after the writings of Mary MacLane
  • Angela's Kitchen - by Paul Capsis and Julian Meyrick
  • A Hoax - by Rick Viede
  • Between Two Waves - by Ian Meadows

2011 season

  • Speaking in Tongues - by Andrew Bovell
  • Silent Disco - by Lachlan Philpott
  • And No More Shall We Part - by Tom Holloway
  • This Year's Ashes - by Jane Bodie
  • 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

  • The Story of the Miracles at Cookie's Table by Wesley Enoch (Script)

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 international plays presented by independent theatre companies. Plays presented by Griffin Independent include:

  • Way To Heaven by Juan Mayorga

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.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Griffin Theatre Company Archives" (PDF). Griffin Theatre Company. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  • Griffin Theatre Company website
  • (2009)Griffin Theatre Company'Company profile', . Retrieved 6 December 2009.
  • (2009)Griffin Theatre Company'Griffin Production Archive', . Retrieved 6 December 2009.

External links

  • Griffin Theatre website
  • SBW Foundation