It’s an exciting time for Sydney’s independent artists.

An exciting time for those who are brave enough to throw themselves into the big, deep unknown.

It’s an exciting time for those teams who have been in rehearsal the last 4 weeks, refining and developing their scripts for the first taste of the Sydney Fringe… in the Off the Shelf showing this weekend…

The announcement of a new Sydney Fringe Festival has been a welcome catalyst for creative conversation. For many artists in Sydney, a Fringe festival so close to home is a daunting prospect- for some, there is now a home for what has previously been a journey to Adelaide or Melbourne. Queen Street Studio have been quick to support the artists of the Sydney local area create work/begin to create/ develop work for the Fringe festival through OFF THE SHELF.

Designed for emerging artists (typically that means artists in their first 5 years of practice) to explore a section of text based theatre in a safe a nurturing environment, Off the Shelf is for writer and director teams to develop their working relationship, develop a common language or approach to work, test/experiment/develop a section of a larger work- and then offer it to an invited audience of peers and industry professionals for feedback.

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of energy and ambition people have for their craft. All writers and directors who send in their work, I have found to be remarkable and driven people. I am always honoured to receive a script- it is always thrilling- as I have said before new work is like a treasure hunt!

This occasion the four writer/director teams were selected, not only on the potential of the script to tell the story- but on the strength/conviction of the directors and writers passion to have the work produced- after all this particular development has a fringe focus. This is not a development for development sake- this is about getting work out there- exposing it to the public. There is a tradjectory which aims for audience… and to writers and actors and to directors the audience is a dangerous thing.


The audience isn’t dangerous. The audience is not some unknown, nasty, judgemental, insatiable other… the audience is a group of people who want to be entertained and transformed- they want to love your work. They want to have a good time. No one walks into a theatre, pays money so they are made to feel awkward, sad, bad or regretful- they come to the theatre to have fun (sometimes rigorous and challenging types of fun) but they want to be engaged and delighted, challenged, suprised and excited- all in differing doses- in different ways.

On Friday night will be the first time all the writers, directors and actors will come together to meet… previously the writers and directors had a meeting- now we have the actors… and I can’t wait for them to see each others work! Sunday is when they show a segment of their work to an outside audience. And it’s the first taste of the Sydney Fringe Festival which has embraced the idea of “suck it and see”- this will be a bit of a “suck it and see” for artists and the test audience- the peers!

The projects are:
Sexy Tales of Paleontology
written by Patrick Lenton
directed by Anne-Maree Magi
with Lucy Goleby and Felix Jozeps

The Hideous Demise of Detective Slate
written by Alli Sebastian-Wolf
directed by Jane Grimley assisted by Ben Ellwood
with Merryn Winchester, Robert Gadsbey, Brendon Taylor, Anna Guy, Natalia Ladyko, Rowan McDonald.

Late Night Infomercials
written by Brooke Robinson
directed by Lisa Eisman
with Brendan Hawke and Danielle King

Peace at Last
written by John AD Fraser,
directed by Lizzie Doyle
with Phil Spencer, Scarlet McGlynn and Greg Eccleston

If you are keen to check it out this Sunday- drop me an email and I’ll let you know if I have enough room.