AustLit logo
Best Mainstage Production
Subcategory of Matilda Awards
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


2018 joint winner y separately published work icon Prize Fighter Fidel Future , 2015 Fortitude Valley : Playlab , 2016 7986106 2015 single work drama

'A talented young boxer, Isa, is preparing for the biggest fight of his career. On the line is the national title and the promise of fame and riches beyond his wildest dreams. What unfolds is a modern-day fable of a Congolese boy orphaned by war and forced to become a child soldier by the very people who killed his family. His powerful left hook offers a new life in Australia, but his greatest obstacle is not his opponent – it’s his past.

'La Boite Artist-in-Residence Future D. Fidel writes with the undeniable force of authenticity. Fleeing the Congo as a child, he lived in a Tanzanian refugee camp for eight years before being granted refugee status in Australia. Prize Fighter is inspired by his own story and those of people he has known.

'We are thrilled to present in the lead role one of Queensland’s most talented young actors, Pacharo Mzembe (The Mountaintop, Underbelly), who brings years of boxing training to the stage.' (Production summary)

2018 joint winner y separately published work icon The Longest Minute Robert Kronk , Nadine McDonald , 2018 13739187 2018 single work drama

'Where were you the night of the 2015 NRL Grand Final? The night when long-time underdogs the North Queensland Cowboys won in an all-QLD nail-biter that changed the game, and the state, forever. For one family of Cowboys diehards, their whole lives have led up to this moment.

'Jess was born on the night of the North Queensland Cowboys’ first game in Townsville. Daughter of Foley Shield legend Frank ‘Black Flash’ Wright, she grew up as a footy fanatic with big dreams, silky skills and boundless ambition to play. But as a girl in a male-dominated sport, she faces more than her fair share of knockbacks, just like the luckless Cowboys. Despite their relentless string of losses, Jess still dares to believe in her team, and herself.'

Source: Queensland Theatre Company.

2017 winner y separately published work icon Blue Bones Merlynn Tong , Fortitude Valley : Playlab , 2017 11978357 2017 single work drama

'When a woman finds scars left by her ex-boyfriend of many years etched into her bones, she begins a turbulent journey to unpack her past and discover how he got under her skin. Based on the true story of two teenagers' romance as it blossoms then warps in the heat of bustling Singapore, Blue Bones is a one-woman show told with incredible honesty by Merlynn Tong. With multiple characters, song and arcade dance games, Blue Bones is a whirlwind of love and sex, violence and courage, with the wreckage continuing to be felt across the years. Against the backdrop of Singapore with all its beauty, rigidity and insistent chaos, Blue Bones will enchant and disturb, and perhaps even wake the stories dormant in your bones.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2016 winner y separately published work icon Switzerland Joanna Murray-Smith , 2014 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2016 6433712 2014 single work drama

'Following the success of 'Fury' in 2013, playwright Joanna Murray-Smith, director Andrew Upton and actor Sarah Peirse join forces again for a suspenseful new thriller; a fictional postulation of an episode in the life of Patricia Highsmith. The spiky novelist, best known for her creation of the very talented con artist Tom Ripley, receives an unexpected visitor at her home in Switzerland - a young man sent by her publisher with the purpose of extracting one last Ripley novel from her before she dies. Switzerland cunningly explores what happens when the spark of life that a writer puts into a character has the potential to set off a fire and destroy more than it creates.' (Source: )