Sunday, 31 July 2016
On the evening of Tuesday last, June 26th, a quite extraordinary event took place and we Sevens thought we should mark it. At The Pavillion at the Victorian Arts Centre, Carillo and Zijin Gantner hosted a dinner in celebration of playwrights (cunningly timed for just before the PWA Fest, therefore maximising attendance). If you weren’t there, well, you were missed, but for those of us closer to the grave and hence unable to anticipate such a thing ever occurring again in our lifetimes, it was fab.
When we first heard it was on, some of us (no names, no pack drill) were prompted to say, ‘What’s the catch?’ The answer was that there wasn’t one, it was simply an act of generosity by two people who value Australian playwriting and hence…Australian playwrights.
Some of the great and good of Australian playwriting were there. The pollies were there, too, and received some flack. David Williamson gave a few serves in his keynote speech. So we did maintain the rage, as a group, but we did also have a great time meeting and greeting the only other people in the world who know EXACTLY what it feels to write words that other people have to make come alive, and the peculiar intensity of that having been the choice of a way to attempt to make a living.
And Wesley Enoch also gave a speech of great charm and appreciation of the venerable and beloved John Romeril (pictured here with his permission).
Lastly, there was something of a competition to establish a collective noun for playwrights. I lost my suggestion, which was just as well, it being close to the end of the evening. I have two that I’d like to venture, however, stolen from others. Noëlle suggested ‘a plot of playwrights’, which I think is pretty good. Someone very close to me suggested ‘a paranoia of playwrights’. I wonder why he thought of that?