Now in its 17th year, the Award recognises an outstanding play or performance text that displays an authentic, inventive and contemporary Australian voice, with the winner receiving a $10,000 prize, while each shortlisted playwright receives $1,000.
Griffin Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, Lee Lewis said Cerini’s The Bleeding Tree “answers big, big questions in only a way a playwright can, with all the dexterity of every form of storytelling: it’s gory, it’s gothic, it’s violent, it’s poetic and it’s insightful. The language is so inventive and visceral and musical, I would describe it as a thrash opera.”
There were 124 entries received this year, which were all assessed and read twice by a panel of Griffin Theatre Company’s artistic staff and resident artists. At the announcement, actors Anni Finsterer, Anthony Harkin, Claire Lovering, Sabryna T’eo, Anna Volska and Kyle Walmsley read excerpts from each of the shortlisted plays.
In addition to The Bleeding Tree, the shortlisted plays in 2014 included: Broken by Mary Anne Butler; The Song of Songs by Glyn Roberts; The Annotations by Diane Stubbings; and The Blood in the Suburbs by Vivienne Walshe.
Cerini now joins Griffin Award alumni such as Donna Abela (Jump for Jordan), Lachlan Philpott (Silent Disco) and Brendan Cowell (Rabbit). The Griffin Award has a long history of recognising new talent and cementing the careers of Australian writers and is generously supported by the Cultural Fund of the Copyright Agency Limited.
For more information, visit: www.griffintheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Angus Cerini – photo by Brett Boardman