Suzie Miller

Griffin Theatre Company has awarded Suzie Miller the 2018 Griffin Award for new Australian writing, for her play On the Face of It. 

Playwright Suzie Miller was announced as the winner of this year’s Griffin Award for her play On the Face of It at the SBW Stables Theatre today. Accepting the award from Griffin’s Artistic Director Lee Lewis and Jane Curry of Copyright Agency, Miller said: “It’s such a joy just to be nominated, especially with the plays I was nominated alongside. I’d been nominated once before but to win is astonishing, and it shows that the whole journey is worth it. The thing for playwrights in this country is really just keeping at it. To all the other playwrights and playwrights to-be out there like I once was: if you’re passionate about it, keep doing it.” 

A one-woman show with a forward-thrusting script, On the Face of It follows a hot shot criminal lawyer who finds herself questioning her belief system when her personal life and the criminal justice system collide, exploring the fallibility of the law where it comes to the emotional complexities of the human experience. The other shortlisted plays in this year’s Griffin Award were: Laura by Jane Bodie, Minneapolis by Will O’Mahony, Burung Kakak Tua by Vernon Sik Chuan Pua and The Tragicall Hiftorie of Woollarawarre Bennelong, Native Ambassador of Nova Hollandia by Kirk Dodd. 

The national competition—which recognises an outstanding play or performance text that displays an authentic, inventive and contemporary Australian voice—has a rich history of recognizing new talent and propelling forward the careers of emerging Australian writers. Previous winners include Lachlan Philpott, Debra Oswald, Mary Rachel Brown and Brendan Cowell. Angus Cerini’s The Bleeding Tree took out the Award in 2014 and went on to win both a NSW Premier’s Literary Award and a Helpmann Award for Best Play in 2016. Miller now joins this prestigious list, along with receiving a $10,000 prize. 

Suzie Miller is a multi-award winning playwright who lives and works between Australia and the UK. She has had over 40 works produced to critical acclaim in theatres and festivals around the world including Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth), UK, Ireland, Canada, London and New York. Other works include an opera libretto for Opera Qld (Snow White); film scripts and TV screenplays. Miller has been professionally in-residence or formally attached to various theatre companies including: Ex Machina Quebec with Robert Lepage (2012), National Theatre in London (2011 and 2009), National Theatre of Scotland (2013), Griffin Theatre Company Sydney (2012), Ransom Theatre in Ireland (2009), Theatre Gargantua Toronto (2013), and La Boite Brisbane (2016). Miller spent two years mentored by renowned American playwright Edward Albee. In 2018 The Mathematics of Longing will open in June at La Boite in Brisbane; Velvet Evening Séance is currently touring Scotland; and the Griffin Independent show Sunset Strip is about to embark upon a national tour. Amongst other awards, Miller has won: the 2008 National Kit Denton Fellowship for writing with courage; 2016 Winner of the WA Premier’s award for drama; AWGIE award in 2013; Best New Play – Irish Times 2012; New York Fringe Festival ‘Overall Excellence Award for Outstanding Playwriting’. She has received a prestigious Australia council fellowship and various grants to write for theatre and film. She is the 2018 creative fellow at University of Queensland. 

The Griffin Award is generously supported by Copyright Agency Limited.