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The Mayday! Playwrights’ Festival, Tap Gallery


THE MAYDAY! Playwrights’ Festival at the Tap Gallery, Darlinghurst.

THE MAYDAY! Playwrights’ Festival organised and produced by Augusta Supple and Jeremy Waters at the Tap Gallery is a three week, three-program event, swiftly organised to fill the sudden void, an empty space, a freed up time vacancy at Tap Gallery.

Week 1 has six monologues from the ‘7 On Playwrights’ recently published collection of works by Federation Press: NO NUDITY, WEAPONS OR NAKED FLAMES.

The World’s Tiniest Monkey by Vanessa Blake, performed by Megan Drury. Ella by Verity Laughton, performed by Alice Ansara. A Cleansing Force by Donna Abela, performed by Suz Mawer. iSpiderman by Noelle Janaczewska, performed by Stephen Wilkinson. Della’s Clothes by Hilary Bell, performed by Kate Skinner. Sex-Ed by Ned Manning performed by Jennifer White.

The works were well-directed by Augusta Supple and organised into a free-flowing program. I enjoyed and took special note of Hilary Bell’s gently moving, DELLA’S CLOTHES. I enjoyed ELLA by Verity Laughton. As you all know, that is, those of you who read my diary, this form of theatrical presentation is not my favourite way to spend time in the theatre, and I have, perhaps, I regret to say, reached my point of tolerance. No more monologues – bring another character on, let’s have an interaction with some argument-drama. Bring on someone else- wow! – three characters on stage, talking to each other. “Amazing”, I’d say. Wouldn’t it be terrific to have a scene, a sketch, a little play … ? The monologue has become a bore, for me, a scourge of  the Sydney Theatre experience. I, now, approach them with a sense of duty. And, one out of six seems to be,  in my recent program going, the success rate. See, THE POLITICAL HEARTS OF CHILDREN.

Please, I appreciate the effort of all and this night is well done. It is terrific that the theatre is been used for performance and not sitting empty. It is a terrific thing to have organised this festival of writing. It is a terrific thing that the writers experience the process of their words being made ‘flesh’. It is a terrific thing that they can participate with an audience response to their ‘labours’ of love. Can we encourage a little more exploration of the dramatic form?

Terrific is defined in my Australian Macquarie Dictionary: 1. causing terror, terrifying. The next colloquial definition: 2. extraordinarily great, intense etc or 3. very good. … does not register with my experience of this kind of programming at all.

Two more weeks, two more programs. Week 2: 15th – 19th May. Week 3: 22nd – 25th May.

Thanks Ms Supple and Mr Waters for your enterprise and generosity. Best wishes.