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The National Play Festival celebrates Australian playwriting excellence and showcases the best new Australian plays from 27 – 30 July in Melbourne at The Coopers Malthouse.  

This year, the key note address will be presented by one of Australia’s most celebrated playwrights, Michael Gow, entitled The Agony and the Agony.

One of Australia’s greatest living playwrights will give, in his words ‘A Totally Impractical Guide to Playwriting: Randomly covering things seen read and overheard that have meant something to me’ … expect a beautiful and unexpected order asserting itself from the writer of Once In Royal David’s City, Away, Europe, Sweet Phoebe and Toy Symphony.

The following six Showcase Plays will be presented during the Festival:

The Zen of Table Tennis by Melissa Reeves

Skylab by Melodie Reynolds-Diarra (Presented with Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, Ilbijerri Theatre Company and Moogahlin Performing Arts)

King of Pigs by Steve Rodgers

I Sat And Waited But You Were Gone Too Long by Olivia Satchell

Hell’s Canyon by Emily Sheehan (Winner 2015 Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award)

Pedagogy by Chris Summers (Winner 2016 Max Afford Award)

‘This year’s National Play Festival presents a snapshot of some of the most inspiring, uplifting, revelatory and jolting stories being written in Australia,’ says Tim Roseman, Artistic Director, Playwriting Australia. ‘From outer space to motel rooms, we peer into the magical minds of great artists and let our imaginations run wild. For four days, Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne will be host to a hive of wonderful new plays, panels, workshops and lectures, all celebrating the unique brilliance of new writing for the stage.’

$120 Full and $95 Concession Early Bird Festival Passes* on sale until 20 June at or call (03) 9685 5111
*Booking fees apply to all tickets when purchased online, by phone or in person.

The full program of events, including the Playwrights’ Program and public talk series will be announced on 20 June. For more details visit

Download the media release here

Playwriting Australia acknowledges the generous support received from Creative Victoria and is delighted to present the event in partnership with Malthouse Theatre. 

*A Festival Pass entitles the bearer to all public playreadings in the Beckett Theatre, including the keynote address. Passes will be available for collection from the venue during the Festival. Tickets for individual readings sessions will be available for purchase once the full programme is released on the 20th June 2016.

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