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PLATFORM PAPERS 52

PLATFORM PAPERS 52, PUTTING WORDS IN THEIR MOUTHS: The playwright and screenwriter at work

by ANDREW BOVELL

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This is the third of The Professionals, an occasional series within Platform Papers that hands our stage to our senior artists to tell their story. Andrew Bovell is one of Australia’s finest writers for performance. His play Speaking in Tongues was internationally successful before being adapted into his ground-breaking movie Lantana (2001). Other plays include Holy Day, When the Rain Stops Falling and his multi-award-winning adaptation of Kate Grenville’s masterly novel, The Secret River, His latest acclaimed work is Things I Know to be True (2016) , a family drama at present drawing packed houses in the UK. In this paper he reflects on his diverse body of work and shares the influences upon it—growing up in Western Australia, his apprenticeship in Melbourne’s independent theatre scene—before he was catapulted into an international career with the film Lantana (2001). He writes about the fervent friendships, collaborations and debate out of which of his plays grew, and the politics that drove them.

‘I want every piece I write to be different from the ones that preceded it., he writes. I want to venture into new ground each time I write a play.’