Melbourne Theatre Company’s Cybec Electric 2020 Line-Up Announced

MTC Cybec ElectricMelbourne Theatre Company’s annual play reading series, Cybec Electric, returns from Thursday 27 February at the Southbank Theatre with new writing from nine astonishing playwrights.

Emily Sheehan, Charles O’Grady, Merlynn Tong, Alistair Baldwin, Andrea Fernandez, Madelaine Nunn, Elise Esther Hearst, Andrea James and Phillip Kavanagh will each have extracts of their works-in-progress presented in staged readings.

Offering a chance for playwrights to work with a director, dramaturg and actors to workshop and showcase their writing in front of an audience, Cybec Electric plays a critical role supporting the development of new Australian plays.

Cybec Electric is pure theatre. It’s a place to dream, to experiment, to laugh and rage, cry and shout, to glimpse the future and check our heads about today’s world,” said Chris Mead. “And, most simply, it’s just about great performers, powerful words and smart audiences.”

“This year we get all that and more – plays about being your own wife, doctor-patient confidentiality (for all the wrong reasons), duelling pregnancies, Ponzi schemes, a female PM and true romance between a Carnarvon cattleman and a Kolkata local. And that’s before hearing from our new NEXT STAGE resident writers. Don’t miss it.”

The series opens with Cybec Scenes 1 on Thursday 27 February. This session will feature extracts from Monument by Emily Sheehan, a wishful dramedy that follows a young female MP as she steps up to become PM; The O’Gradys by Charles O’Grady sees a trans-man pretending to be his own wife in order to fulfil various institutional requirements, and God of Gold by Merlynn Tong reveals a Singaporean Ponzi scheme where everything is up for grabs; everything but love.

On Friday 28 February audiences will be treated to Cybec Scenes 2 with Alistair Baldwin’s ‘unethical comedy’ about a young disabled man, famous for his unique disabilities, who is sleeping with his long-term doctor in Celebrity Skin; Andrea Fernandez’s unlikely romance between a man from WA and an Indian woman in Bollywood Dreaming; and Madelaine Nunn’s Kinder Surprise, a competitive comedy about a middle-aged mum and her 21-year-old daughter who discover they are pregnant at the same time.

Completing the program is NEXT (ON) STAGE featuring MTC’s current NEXT STAGE Writers-in-residence – Elise Esther Hearst, Andrea James and Phillip Kavanagh – who will also present excerpts of their most recent work and sit down to discuss their playwriting journeys with MTC’s Literary Team Chris Mead and Jenni Medway.

Cybec Electric forms part of MTC’s ongoing commitment to the development of new Australian writing, giving playwrights the opportunity to work with a director, dramaturg and actors, as well as a live audience. It is made possible due to the generous support of the late Dr Roger Riordan AM and The Cybec Foundation. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: courtesy of Melbourne Theatre Company