George Fairfax Memorial Award ~ theatre notes

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

George Fairfax Memorial Award

Last night I had the pleasant task of helping to give away some money to a young artist. It was the announcement of the winner of the George Fairfax Memorial Award, which is given every two years to a VCA School of Drama alumni to permit them to develop their professional and artistic ambitions.

This year's winner is Luke Mullins, one of the members of the very talented group Stuck Pigs Squealing. (The 2004 winner is, interestingly, Stuck Pigs director Chris Kohn...) Mullins will use the money to collaborate on a theatre piece with Canadian poet Anne Carson and to work with the Ontological-Hysteric Theatre in New York. Luke's new show, based on Anne Carson's novel An Autobiography of Red opens, in fact, at the Malthouse on September 12, so get down there to see what the fuss is about.

As one of the judges of this prize, with Lindy Davies and Richard Murphet, I can attest that it was an inspiringly difficult decision. There was a depth to the field of entries that made awarding only one prize seem a little unfair, and the breadth of vision on offer was a tribute to the profound impact that the VCA School of Drama is having on Melbourne theatre. If a theatre renaissance is quietly bubbling here, as some claim, the passionate, skilled and thoughtful theatre artists turned out by this school is one of the reasons.

And meanwhile, back at the ranch - I am in conversation tomorrow with the very charming poet George Szirtes at the Melbourne Writers Festival. Last year George won the prestigious TS Eliot Award for his collection Reel. As the screed runs, "This morning, this major figure in British letters and acclaimed translator of poetry and prose from the Hungarian, reads from his works and speaks to Alison Croggan. 31 August 11:45 am"

Should be fascinating, so come if you can. (And a whinge- shouldn't the Writers Festival get my name right? Croggon, guys: Croggon

1 comment:

Chris Boyd said...

Jeez, Alison. If this is your idea of time off, it's no wonder the vultures are circling o'erhead. :)

Blog-on, Crogg-on.