With a record number of entries and scripts displaying a wide variety of subject matter and a high standard of writing, New Theatre is thrilled to announce that Bokkie Robertson is the winner of the 2021 Silver Gull Play Award for The Other End of The Afternoon.
The winning play is a dramedy about a boy who wears a top hat to school (in case he goes back in time), the cool girl who bullies him (and might have a crush on him), the world’s worst stepbrother (who wants to be a crime lord), the school dropkick (who’s about to snap), and (perhaps) time travel.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd on Tuesday evening, excerpts from the six shortlisted plays were presented by actors Matt Abotomy, Deng Deng, Sonya Kerr, Bill Jordan, Susan Jordan, Oghenero Ohwofa, Lachie Pringle and Hannah Zaslawski, under the direction of Mark G Nagle.
The Silver Gull Play Award shortlist included:
Off The Record by Chris Aronsten
Sanctuary by Margaret Davis
Cloudsurfing by John AD Fraser
The Scammer by Wendy Lewis
Fitson and Dan by Mark O’Flynn
The Other End of The Afternoon by Bokkie Robertson
Identity Games by Christopher Bryant
Television by James O’Loghlin
A clear favourite, the nine judges were unanimous in choosing Robertson as the winner. “This sensitive and intelligent play completely captures teenage angst, self-doubt and inner loneliness and bullying in a social media world,” they said.
“Bokkie Robertson employs wonderful language, with excellent dramatic use of direct-to-audience address interspersed with dialogue. It could well become a contemporary masterpiece, speaking to all ages, with lots of scope for interesting, creative casting. It’s a very realistic and down-to-earth story with a beautiful escape through time travel.
“With believable and relatable characters, it nails all the feelings you have as a teenager trying to work out the world. A lovely play, with a very touching and satisfying end. We can’t wait to see it brought to a full production.”
Robertson receives $5000 for hew winning play, while the other shortlisted writers receive $500 each, thanks to the generous sponsorship of @thebuzzfromsydney.
Bokkie Robertson is a writer, director and aspiring steam train driver living and working on unceded Gadigal land. She graduated from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts (Screen Production), and has worked on three feature films since: June Again, Ellie and Abbie and Ellie’s Dead Aunt and Long Story Short.
Her body of work includes Shakespeare-inspired webseries Call Me Katie and its sequel Nothing Like The Sun, Short+Sweet 2015 Gala Finalist Wish, short film Out Loud, and a one-act play Headbanging to Beethoven. She is a member of ATYP’s 2021 National Studio, and is currently directing a production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
The Other End of the Afternoon is her first full-length play. When not writing or directing, she can be found on Locomotive 5917, shovelling coal and thinking about how cool she probably looks to passers-by.
For more information about the Silver Gull Play Award, visit: www.newtheatre.org.au for details.
Image: Bokkie Robertson (supplied)