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Best New Australian Work
Subcategory of Sydney Theatre Awards
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Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2022

winner The Jungle and the Sea S. Shakthidharan , Eamon Flack , 2020 single work drama

'A mother, in a time of war. She loses members of her family, one after the other – but she never loses hope. A rich, sweeping new play from the team that made the acclaimed Counting and CrackingThe Jungle and the Sea leans on two great pillars of literature – Antigone and the Mahābhārata – to forge a new story about surviving loss and the possibility of reconciliation.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2021

winner y separately published work icon The Visitors Jane Harrison , 2014 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2021 14202305 2014 single work drama

'Seven senior law men, in fine suits, meet on the shores of a harbour to discuss the 11 large boats that have just arrived. Should they be welcomed to country or should these seven clan representatives of the Dharug nation, people from what became known as Sydney, combine to get rid of the unwelcome visitors? They take a vote – it must be unanimous – and one of them reckons the visitors mightn’t be all bad. This is a powerful, imaginative response to the beginnings of modern Australia.' (Production summary)

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon Counting and Cracking S. Shakthidharan , 2019 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2020 14530930 2019 single work drama

'On the banks of the Georges River, Radha and her son Siddhartha release the ashes of Radha’s mother – their final connection to the past, to Sri Lanka and its struggles. Now they are free to embrace their lives in Australia. Then a phone call from Colombo brings the past spinning back to life, and we are plunged into an epic story of love and political strife, of home and exile, of parents and children

'Counting and Cracking is a big new play about Australia like none we’ve seen before. This is life on a large canvas, so we are leaving Belvoir St and building a Sri Lankan town hall inside Sydney Town Hall. Sixteen actors play four generations of a family, from Colombo to Pendle Hill, in a story about Australia as a land of refuge, about Sri Lanka’s efforts to remain united, about reconciliation within families, across countries, across generations.'

Source: Belvoir St Theatre.

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon The Harp in the South Trilogy : The Play : Parts One and Two Kate Mulvany , Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2018 11940858 2018 single work drama

'A great Australian novel. A landmark theatre event. A portrait of Sydney as it once was.

'The world premieres of The Harp in the South: Part One and The Harp in the South: Part Two are designed to be enjoyed as one unforgettable, epic theatrical experience.

'This major new work is one of the most ambitious productions STC has ever created. Celebrated playwright Kate Mulvany has adapted novelist Ruth Park’s revered Australian trilogy – Missus, The Harp in the South and Poor Man’s Orange – and spread these beloved stories across two equally ambitious plays.

'The two parts stand alone, but together they offer over five hours of monumental, exuberant theatre. It’s a moving family saga and a celebration of Sydney in all its funny, gritty glory.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2017

winner Shit Patricia Cornelius , 2015 single work drama
— Appears in: Muff [and] MinusOneSister [and] SHIT 2017;

'What of the women and girls who defy gender demarcations, who transgress the boundaries and restraints of social order and expectation?

'When a girl spits, or swears, or screams, or shouts, or pulls down her pants to moon someone from a car, or she laughs too loudly, or she’s too shrill, or she pulls up her t-shirt and flashes her tits, or she fights, really fights, head butts and with her fists, or she fucks too much or cuts her hair too short, and wears too much lipstick or none at all, or tells everyone she’s got a dick and she’s not a girl at all, all we want to do with this girl is lock her up and throw away the key. Out of control girls – angry, nasty girls – are a sight to behold. They’re terrifying, electrifying, they’re everything girls shouldn’t be, and we hate them.

'This is a work about these girls.

'Their names are Billy, Bobby and Sam.

'There’s not a single moment when the three young women transcend their ugliness. There’s no indication of a better, or in fact any, inner life. They don’t believe in anything. They’re mean, foul-mouthed, downtrodden, hard-bitten, utterly damaged women. They’re neither salt of the earth nor sexy. They love no one and no one loves them. They believe the world is shit, that their lives are shit, that they are shit.' (Production summary)

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