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National Play Festival plays in Melbourne

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For the first time in its history the National Play Festival is being held in Melbourne. What National Play Festival? I know right! Presented by Playwrighting Australia, the festival travels to a different location each year, bringing together international guests and local playwrights for panels, writing development and discussion.

The Departure Lounge series of panels at The Wheeler Centre (starting Feb 16) brings playwrights together to discuss this year’s theme: departures. The panels will focus on connections and how we can (and do) bring our stories to the global stage.

The main body of the festival takes place from Feb 22 to 25 at The Malthouse Theatre. From over 100 submissions, five Australian plays have been chosen for further development during the festival, and will be performed on two sessions. Every Second by Vanessa Bates and Faces Look Ugly by Tom Holloway are my top picks if you can only attend a couple.

In between panels on playwriting from Broome to Scotland, local darlings MKA will be showcasing five of their newest works on the Red Eye Special – 11.30pm each night of the festival.

Perhaps the most interesting output of the festival is the Living Cities Tour, an audio guided tour downloadable as an MP3 from the National Play Festivals website.

Follow your map and listen to Melbourne’s secret places and clandestine histories told through music, spoken word, poetry and sound. The Living Cities Tour is developed by Owen Calvert-Lyons and Peter Higgin in conjunction with local artists. To say I’m excited about this is an understatement.

Below is a trailer about the National Play Festival.

The National Play Festival begins Feb 16 at The Wheeler Centre, and runs from Feb 22 – 25 at The Malthouse Theatre. For all ticketing and booking information visit the official website.


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