VDL Awards Entries 2024

Noises Off

Windmill Theatre Company
7 Feb 2024 - 11 Feb 2024

In a provincial English town, a theatre troupe rehearses a touring production of a sex comedy, Nothing On. Unfortunately, almost nothing is going right – the cast can’t remember their lines, they mix up their blocking, misplace props, and they’ve lost sight of why they’re acting! Even the director is certain that the show will be a disaster. Somehow the cast pulls through, but by mid-tour the drama has moved backstage, as cast and crews’ personal lives start to mirror the insanity in the play, with sexual dalliances, jealousies, and chaos reigning overall. By closing night, the play is in complete shambles both onstage and off, with open “warfare” occurring among cast members and everyone simply trying to survive until the final curtain.

Masterfully constructed, Noises Off is the “most dexterously realized comedy ever about putting on a comedy” (NY Times). Playwright and novelist Michael Frayn (Democracy, Copenhagen) devised the concept for Noises Off while watching another one of his plays from backstage. “It was funnier from behind than in front and I thought that one day I must write a farce from behind.” With an ingenious structure that showcased the action both onstage and off, Noises Off premiered in London in 1982, garnering immediate acclaim. NY Times critic Frank Rich, who saw the premiere as well as the Broadway production in 1983, proclaimed the work “The funniest play written in my lifetime.” Join us for an evening of rollicking hilarity and virtuosic timing.

Agent: Windmill Theatre Company

Author: Michael Frayn

Director: Ben Dowthwaite

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Photograph 51

Williamstown Little Theatre Inc.
7 Feb 2024 - 24 Feb 2024

It’s the age of scientific discovery in the 1950s, and researchers are scrambling to be the first to unlock the mysteries of DNA. Amongst these scientists is Rosalind Franklin, an underappreciated yet stubborn genius working in this male dominated field including her ambitious competitors Watson and Crick.

Based on a true story, Photograph 51 is a searing character study of an unsung hero of DNA research, set amidst one of history’s most fascinating scientific races.

Author: Anna Ziegler

Director: Natasha Boyd

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Mother And Son

The 1812 Theatre Ltd.
22 Feb 2024 - 16 Mar 2024

The stage adaptation of this much loved iconic Australian sitcom, takes the story into a modern day setting with the use of mobile phones, skype calls to the Grandchildren and other contemporary references.
Written by Geoffrey Atherden, the writer of the original TV series, with all the same well-constructed characters, the storyline follows Arthur as he tries to plan for a special (and much deserved) vacation away with his new girlfriend. But Maggie and Arthur’s scheming brother throw all sorts of obstacles into his path.

Agent: An Amateur production by arrangement with David Spicer Productions Pty Ltd

Author: Geoffrey Atherden

Director: Pip Le Blond

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

TRIBE Youth Theatre
4 Apr 2024 - 14 Apr 2024

Christopher Boone is 15 years old and lives in the English town of Swindon, located about 100 miles west of London. He is extremely curious, an excellent mathematics student, and has an extraordinary ability to observe and retain highly detailed information about any situation he finds himself in. Christopher lives with his father, Ed, and shares a close bond with his teacher, Siobhan, who encourages him to keep a written journal of his thoughts and activities, which they read aloud together as the play progresses. As a young person on the autism spectrum, certain social situations can be challenging or confusing for Christopher to navigate, and his work with Siobhan helps him express and process his unique perspective on the world around him.

Agent: Origin Theatrical

Author: Adapted by Simon Stephens

Director: Kerry Turpie

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Pack of Lies

Frankston Theatre Group Inc.
5 Apr 2024 - 21 Apr 2024

Pack of Lies is a 1983 play by English writer Hugh Whitemore, itself adapted from his Act of Betrayal, an episode of the BBC anthology series Play of the Month transmitted in 1971.

The Jacksons, a seemingly ordinary middle-aged English couple, share a close friendship with their Canadian neighbours, the Krogers. All appears blissful until a detective from Scotland Yard approaches them. The detective requests to use their house as an observation station to thwart a Soviet spy ring operating in the area during the autumn and winter of 1960-1961. Loyalty, duty, and friendship collide as the Jacksons slowly discover that the Krogers, their cherished friends, are not what they appear.

Author: Hugh Whitemore

Director: David Dodd

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The Basin Theatre Group Inc.
18 Apr 2024 - 28 Apr 2024

A spine-tingling romantic thriller.

Charlotte is a Berliner through and through. Tom is a foreigner, travelling around Europe. After meeting in a bar, sparks fly between them and she invites him to spend the night at her place. As they navigate the ritual of seduction, their desire gives way to secrets that cannot be ignored and questions neither of them can answer.

Does young love stand a chance against the suffocating reach of the past?

Agent: By Arrangement with Joanna Murray-Smith

Author: Joanna Murray-Smith

Director: Sharon MAine

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Still Alice

Lilydale Athenaeum Theatre Company
18 Apr 2024 - 4 May 2024

Alice Howland is a university professor at the height of her career when she is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Fiercely independent, with a husband and two children. Alice strives to make sense of her changing world as her memory begins to fail. this heartbreaking and hopeful adaptation of the award-winning book by Lisa Genova puts Alice onstage with Herself, providing the audience with an extraordinary window into the experience of living with dementia.

Agent: ORiGiNTM Theatrical, on behalf of Samuel French Inc.

Author: Adapted by Christine Mary Dunford. From the book by Lisa Genova

Director: Alan Burrows

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The Peppercorn Tree

Eltham Little Theatre Inc.
19 Apr 2024 - 4 May 2024

The Peppercorn Tree is a moving Australian drama, set in Melbourne in 1993 and first staged in 2010

Jonah, an Australian ex-serviceman, is nearing the end of his life. He has always been secretive about his wartime experiences, but he has reluctantly agreed to his wife’s suggestion that he recount these experiences to Zoe, a professional biographer. As his story unfolds, he reveals a secret that has an unexpected and powerful impact on his family.

Author: Alison Campbell Rate

Director: Roderick Chappel

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The Heartbreak Choir

Off The Leash Theatre Inc
19 Apr 2024 - 27 Apr 2024

In the old CFA hall, on the outskirts of town, five women gather,
to sing, to connect, to share food & daily life updates…
Having splintered from their original choir (on a matter of principle), Barbara, Mack, Savannah, Totty & Aseni, with latest recruit Peter along for the ride, have got themselves a new name, a space to rehearse in & a public debut booked.
All they need now is to right the wrongs of the past & to find a song that pairs perfectly with the local winery’s Pinot Grigio!
In the final work from beloved Australian playwright, Aidan Fennessy, we are gifted with this funny, uplifting & moving celebration of community, culture, beauty & love.
It’s a play with songs in it, a warm hearted hug of a show, a tribute to the power of friendship & the tonic of music. If your heart is breaking, the best thing you can do, is sing…together.

Author: Aidan Fennessy

Director: Kellie Bray

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The Architect

F.A.M.D.A. Inc.
26 Apr 2024 - 5 May 2024

Hiring a temporary carer requires some serious vetting and when Helen’s partner, John, heads off on a brief overseas trip she concedes to the arrangement by appointing the least likely candidate; a dubious drifter and jack-of-all-trades, Lennie. He could be just the medicine she needs, if it weren’t for the monumental secret he’s hiding. As their disparate worlds collide and an unexpected bond forms, Helen turns to Lennie to help her face her mortality.
Aidan Fennessy’s brilliant script is an accurate and at times amusing observation of life and family dynamics.

Agent: Creative Representation

Author: Aiden Fennessey

Director: Bernadette Grainger

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