On Thursday 25 September theatre goers will get an exclusive preview of works in development by some of Victoria’s most exciting playwrights in Flashpoint, a series of play readings that allow the audience to witness the process of creating new live theatre. 

Presented by the State Library of Victoria and The R E Ross Trust, Flashpoint is the first opportunity for audiences to hear live performances of The R E Ross Trust Playwrights’ Script Development Awards winning scripts.

Flashpoint has been presented at the State Library since 2008 and is one of several Library programs supporting creative endeavour in Victoria. It continues the Library’s relationship with playwrights and authors that extends more than 150 years.

Excerpts will be read from the plays below followed by a discussion with the playwrights led by Tim Roseman, Artistic Director of Playwriting Australia.

Dirt Cloud by Mari Lourey

Dirt Cloud is set against the backdrop of rural life and the mining industry, exploring our relationship to the land and complicity in its degradation. Twelve-year-old Spook lives with her parents on a farm that faces environmental collapse. A reluctant Spook and her mother journey across country to visit Spook’s grandmother at Twin Hills, a station eponymous with a global mining company. In the background the world watches as a satellite is launched into space to investigate the mining of a nearby asteroid. Arrival at Twin Hills is a far cry from their expectations, unleashing a chain of events that will redefine their lives.

Director: Nadja Kostich
Actors: Ngaire Pigram, Tony Briggs, Eugenia Fragos, Hannah Norris

Oriel by Merrilee Moss

Oriel Gray types her plays in a liminal, late-night world where she is stalked by her characters, battles her demons and shares reflections with a modern-day playwright, Moss. In a series of flashbacks, Oriel depicts the left-wing bohemian world of Sydney in the early 1950s, including vibrant moments from Oriel Gray’s unconventional love life, her passionate involvement with the New Theatre and her occasionally fractious ties with the Australian Communist Party.

Director: Kim Durban
Actors: Sarah Hamilton, Alyson Gale, Nicolette Minster

Vile by Didem Caia

A bloodied examination of abuse, displacement and damaged relationships, Vile hits audiences with its biting dialogue, yet offers hope for a second chance. Fleeing after a brutal act, Melanie Ryder is still trapped by the life she escaped 10 years earlier. As she slowly reaches into the shadows of her past, she will learn hidden truths and begin to rebuild from within. The complex causes of Mel’s anguish are revealed as we witness her eventual self-acceptance.

Director: Elizabeth Millington
Actors: Madeleine Ryan, Darcy Kent



State Library of Victoria, Queens Hall
Thursday 25 September 7 – 9.30pm
Bookings details
Free entry

About The R E Ross Trust Playwrights’ Script Development Awards

The R E Ross Trust Playwrights’ Script Development Awards are designed to foster Victoria’s theatre industry by providing support to Victorian-based writers to develop their play scripts. The annual Awards are an initiative of the State Library of Victoria in partnership with The R E Ross Trust.

The R E Ross Trust is a perpetual charitable Trust established in Victoria in 1970 by the will of the late Roy Everard Ross. Since its inception, The R E Ross Trust has distributed over 90 million dollars in grants for charitable purpose in Victoria.

For more information about The R E Ross Trust Playwrights’ Script Development Awards, visit slv.vic.gov.au/ross

Alexander Theatre Monash University,  ca 1967, Wolfgang Sievers

Alexander Theatre Monash University, ca 1967, Wolfgang Sievers

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