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2015: Christopher Bryant

Playscript: The other place

'I wonder if she felt she saw the reality...that it's all a play within a play.'

Carlton, 1967. Director Betty Burstall returns to Melbourne from New York and begins sketching plans for what will eventually become La Mama Theatre. With determination, Burstall drags Melbourne into the future at a time when new Australian work is practically non-existent, forcing La Mama to become a stalwart of independent work and the production of new, experimental and previously unseen Australian theatre.

Stratford-upon-Avon, 1975. Politically charged director Buzz Goodbody – associate director and founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Other Place, a producer of new, experimental and unseen theatre – is about to begin rehearsing her production of Hamlet. Like Burstall, she is attempting to drag her surroundings into the future and shape the world of theatre. Unlike Burstall, she is about to end her life.

In this inaugural Russell Beedles Performing Arts Fellowship, Christopher Bryant's The other place looked at the incredible lives of two influential women of theatre. His playscript explored the ways their lives were mirrored in the plays they produced, the roads they paved, often by force, as they kicked against the oppression and political turmoil of the world surrounding them, and the lives they changed, even in death.

Christopher Bryant is a Melbourne-based theatre-maker who has written, directed and performed at various venues around Australia, and has worked with a range of companies including MKA, ATYP, ACPA, La Mama, Theatre on a Horse and Monash University. His play A reading list for the outback housewife at La Mama (writer/co-director, 2011) also won Monash University's Andrew Bovell Playwriting Award. Christopher holds a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from Monash University and a Masters of Fine Arts (Writing for Performance) from NIDA.

Visit our fellows gallery to watch a reading of The other place.