On Monday night Theatre Now had the pleasure of attending the 2016 Silver Gull Play Award at The Old 505 Theatre in Newtown. The award, presented by subtlenuance and sponsored by The Buzz From Sydney, recognises an outstanding play by a local writer that explores philosophical or political themes. The aim of the award is to encourage interest in theatre that both offers insight and encourages action.

Paul Gilchrist and Daniela Giorgi from subtlenuance presented the finalists, and excerpts from each play were presented, much to the delight of attendees. The winner of this year’s Silver Gull Play Award – valued at $2000 – was then announced: congratulations to Joanna Erskine, for her play People Will Think You Don’t Love Me. (Joanna is pictured in the main image above, with Daniela and Paul from subtlenuance).IMG_3967

When asked for a statement about her win, Joanna wrote: “It’s an incredible honour to win The Silver Gull Award. I’m over the moon. This award is about communicating big ideas, perhaps dangerous ideas, questioning our world and the way we live in it. What an incredible way to honour writers and the work we do. Thank you to Paul and Daniela of subtlenuance for their work in championing and respecting the playwright. I hope all shortlisted plays are staged soon – these are the issues and ideas writers are concerned with, and that audiences need to see.”

The other finalists of the 2016 Silver Gull Play Award are listed below:

A Matter of Life and Death by John A D Fraser

This, This is Mine by Duncan Ragg (keep an eye out, this one’s already going to be produced! It opens on 14th Sept…)

The Ink Trail by Louis Klee

I sat and waited but you were gone too long by Olivia Satchell

The quality of writing among the finalists was outstanding across the board, and we at Theatre Now hope to see each and every one of these plays produced soon in Sydney. They all touched on important issues and ideas facing us in the world we live in, now. Paul Gilchrist said, in his introduction on the night, “sometimes acknowledging a problem is solution enough”. The playwright can only play his or her part in changing the world: acknowledge the problem. But only through acknowledging the problem can we incite action. This award is an important reminder of how vital it is to keep our artistic community alive.