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Griffin Rising [history monograph]

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Griffin Rising [history monograph]

Dates: 08/08/2019 - 31/01/2020

Location: Sydney

Griffin Rising: The first decade of the Griffin Theatre Company (1979-1988)
by John Senczuk -  Esson Press (2019)

     The Griffin Theatre Company celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2019. Its success and longevity the great legacy of its founders Jenny Laing-Peach, Peter Carmody, Penny Cook, Rosemarie Lenzo and Eadie Kurzer.
This 300 page illustrated book surveys the history of the people, plays and productions from 1979 - the first meeting a director Jenny Laing-Peach’s cottage in Griffin Street, Surry Hills - to the departure of the first Artistic Director, Peter Kingston, and the appointment of his replacement Ian B Watson in 1988.
     The Griffin Theatre Company’s inaugural production, JP Donleavy's ‘uproarious tragedy,’ The Ginger Man, opened at the Kirk Gallery on 6 April, 1979. A year later, they were the resident company at the Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod Street, Kings Cross. Over the decade that followed, the Company was twice the recipient of the Sydney Theatre Critics Award for their season’s work; Michael Gow’s Away and Europe, Richard Barrett’s The Heartbreak Kid, Karen Mainwaring’s Binge, Ned Mannings Us or Them, Alex Harding’s Only Heaven Knows, and the group-devised Soft Targets all representative of the high calibre of production presented. The survey also places the Company, and its ‘all-Australian’ repertoire in the landscape of the Sydney and National theatre enterprise.
     In 1986, the Griffin’s future was made secure through the generosity of philanthropist Dr Rodney Seaborn - and the SBW Foundation - who purchased the building, offering it back for the Company’s use. The book provides an extended biography of Dr Seaborn and the history of the Stables Theatre itself, revealing an extraordinary connection between the Dr Seaborn and the venue that can be traced back to the 1840s!
     Indexed, and including numerous production photographs, there is also a full list of repertoire, cast and production creatives.