Vivienne Walshe wins 15th Griffin Award

2012 Griffin Awards
2012 Griffin Awards. Image courtesy of Griffin Theatre Company

The 2012 Griffin Award has been won by actress and playwright Vivienne Walshe for her heartfelt new Australian play This is Where We Live.

Sydney’s Griffin Theatre Company has recognised outstanding plays or performance texts which display an innovative, authentic and contemporary Australian voice for 15 years and according to Griffin’s Artistic Director Sam Strong, Walshe’s play fits all three categories perfectly.

“‘Authentic voice’ is one of playwriting’s most frequently used terms but, in the case of Vivienne Walshe, it is spot on. Her language is one of a kind: muscular, vivid and instantly evocative. In a compressed and riveting piece, Vivienne plunges us headlong into the intense heart of teenage experience”, said Strong.

Walshe, a graduate of the Acting course at WAAPA (1997) and past Associate Playwright of both Melbourne and Sydney Theatre Companies adds the $10,000 prize from PKF Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers to her growing list of achievements which include the Malcolm Robertson Award in 2003 (for her play God’s Last Acre) and the inaugural Max Afford Award in 2004 (for Birth Nation). In 2006 she won an R.E Ross Trust Award for I Shot the Albatross (but I taught it how to land).

125 entries were submitted for this year’s Griffin Award, and the six shortlisted plays were each presented (in part) at the special award ceremony last night. The 2012 judges included Griffin Theatre Company Artistic Director Sam Strong, Griffin Theatre Company’s Associate Director Lee Lewis, Theatre Critic for The Australian John McCallum, Playwright Tom Holloway, and Helen Argiris, Chairman of PKF’s East Coast Practice.
Described as a ‘poetic prayer of hope’ This is Where We Live follows the story of two reclusive high school students in rural Australia.

Walshe joins the well respected Griffin Award alumni including Lachlan Philpott for Silent Disco (2009), Debra Oswald for Mr Bailey’s Minder (2004), Brendan Cowell for Rabbit (2003) and Rick Viede for Whore (2008) and A Hoax (2011), which opens at the SBW Stables Theatre on 25 July.

The other five shortlisted plays for 2012 were:
Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography
 by Declan Greene
All Over by Kit Brookman
Savages by Patricia Cornelius
Scowl by Angus Cerini
Lavender Bay by Alana Valentine

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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