BATAVIA by Patrick Carr
Winner of the John and Libby Fairfax Rural Award (play script)
In 1627 a fleet of seven ships left Holland bound for the trading port of Batavia (Jakarta). The flagship was the biggest Dutch ship ever built. It was also the richest ship ever to leave Europe. It carried the trading capital for the Dutch East India Company’s east asian operations. It also carried Jeronimus Cornelisz, who was to become one of the great monsters of history. This is the story of Jeronimus’ attempts to subvert the ship’s chain of command, of the struggle of those on board to forge alliances for survival, of the shipwreck which prevented a mutiny, and of the subsequent settlement of the first group of Europeans to stay on Australian territory. It’s the story of Jeronimus’ plunge into darkness and of the woman who cast her lot with him in order to survive.
CUSTODY by Jane Harrison
Winner of the Holmes a Court Indigenous Award (play script)
Two women meet on an Alice Springs-bound plane. Susan’s a successful ex-pat actor, happy to have snared a role in the Law and Order franchise; Inala’s an unsuccessful playwright of dubious heritage. They are both in Alice to handle mysterious “family business”. Thrown together, they stagger through a minefield of political correctness and identity confusion, distracted by an old Kombi called Birra Birra, T-shirts plastered with slogans, a smoking ceremony, Krispy Kreme donuts, topless traditional dancing and the occasional vomit bag…
TENDER by Nicki Bloom
Winner of the Chairman’s Award (play script)
Sarah can’t remember what happened in the gardens. Her memory is fractured, her husband Michael seems barely present and her parents-in-law, Yvonne and Patrick, are losing patience. What is it that she has lost and can she get it back? As we jump between events before and after that fateful night in the gardens it becomes clear that the scars that Sarah carries run deep. Tender is the award-winning debut play from this young Sydney playwright. A haunting examination of love, loss and grief, this production brings together a wonderful cast and creative team.
MAD ABOUT HARRY by Jack Douglas
Winner of the DOHA Grey Matter Award (screenplay)
The Chelmsford Hospital scandal of the 1980’s was a major tragedy highlighting the plight of the mentally ill. It was an event which devastated Sydney and revealed the best and worst of human nature. These events form the background to ‘Mad About Harry’. A high-profile Sydney psychiatrist Doctor Harry Bailey treated his patients with deep sleep therapy leading to twenty-four patient deaths. The film describes how an ambitious young gonzo journalist, Jane Hunter, becomes involved with Bailey after her mother’s breakdown. She gradually becomes disillusioned with him, investigates his therapy in the face of official coverups and finally exposes him as a fraud on national television.
THE VISITOR by Greg Woodland
Winner of the Grange Securities Screenplay Award (screenplay)
1962. 12 year old Hal is a new boy to a country town in rural NSW. A mysterious nocturnal prowler descends on Hal’s family when his commercial traveller father is away on business. Hal’s investigation of the frightening Visitor draws him closer to the decaying caravan on the hill where a family once lived and was murdered. It leads him into the murky waters of adult sexuality and to some shattering revelations about his own family.
JUKEBOX BOYS by Nick Simpson Deeks
Winner of the Macquarie DEST Youth Award (TV pilot)
It’s two minutes to the New Year and the Jukebox Cafe party is in full swing. Spirits are high, people are happy. Except for Jack. Panicky, flustered, and frantic – he sits locked in the cafe’s downstairs bathroom, madly scrawling notes onto a piece of manuscript. The tip of his pencil breaks. It’s the last straw. He tears out into the cafe, kills the music and mounts a nearby table. “Does anybody in this whole god damn building have a fucking pencil?!” he cries. “My kingdom for a pencil!” It’s the plea of someone teetering on the edge. Jack has to finish a love song by the new year to woo back the love of his life.
MEMMIE LE BLANC by Hilary Bell
Winner of the WHK Greenwoods Open Playwriting Award (play script)
France, 1731. A savage girl is captured in the woods. Memmie Le Blanc, as they baptise her, is bounced from charity to convent, eventually becoming the ward of a widow who believes she can give Memmie the life she deserves, but in order to do this, Memmie’s wildness must be eradicated. Thus begins the brutal act of civilization. Memmie is beginning to respond to Catherine’s well-meaning discipline, when they are interrupted by an ambitious young doctor, who travels everywhere with his subject and companion, an orangutan named Robert. Doctor Legendre wants to see Memmie returned to her natural state.