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Joanna Murray-Smith Joanna Murray-Smith i(A24114 works by)
Born: Established: 1962 Mount Eliza, Mornington Peninsula (Port Phillip Bay), Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Gender: Female
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Joanna Murray-Smith, while predominantly a playwright, has also worked as screenwriter, novelist, librettist and newspaper columnist. Murray-Smith's plays have been well-received in Australia and overseas. Honour was first read at the New York Stage and Film Festival in 1995 by Meryl Streep, Sam Waterson and Kyra Sedgwick, and was also produced on Broadway and in San Francisco. Honour has been performed throughout Australia and New Zealand, in Korea, Portugal, Mexico, Turkey, Brazil and Malaysia. Nightfall also had an acclaimed production in 2001 at the New York Stage and Film Festival. Several of Murray-Smith's plays have been adapted for European radio.

Since the early 1960s, Murray-Smith's father and mother led expeditions of family and friends to a remote uninhabited island in Bass Strait, called Erith. Erith is one of three main islands in the Kent Group, half way between the mainland and Tasmania and only accessible by fishing boat. Across from Erith is Deal Island which was inhabited by two lighthouse families who endured the volatile weather of Bass Strait all year. From their island, the Murray-Smiths could look across Murray Pass, the dangerous stretch of water between them and Deal, towards human habitation. At night, the triple beam of the lighthouse was a comfort against the darkness and loneliness of the Strait. In her novel, Judgement Rock (2002), Murray-Smith expresses her gratitude to her parents, Nita and Stephen Murray-Smith (qq.v.), whom she describes as her 'lighthouses'.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

L'Appartement 2019 single work drama

'It’s a dream holiday for Aussie couple Meg and Rooster – a decadent getaway in Paris in a swanky Airbnb, with fine wine, lavish food, and best of all, no three year old twins in tow – a chance for these parents to look after themselves, kick back and reconnect.

'But when they pick up the keys from their departing hosts – an achingly cool, overachieving young French couple – all it takes is 15 minutes for the trip to be derailed. And when they crack open a mysterious package that arrives on the doorstep, it throws up the biggest ethical dilemma they’ve ever faced.'

Source: Queensland Theatre Company.

2019 shortlisted Matilda Awards Best Mainstage Production
form y separately published work icon The Divorce ( dir. Dean Murphy ) Australia : Australian Broadcasting Corporation , 2015 8828846 2015 series - publisher film/TV opera

'In this musical soap era, [sic] wealthy couple Iris (Marina Prior) and Jed (John O’May) are getting a "modern" divorce after a long and satisfying marriage, and are throwing an elaborate party at their elegant home to celebrate. But by the end of the evening, Iris and Jed’s divorce has triggered a renegotiation of all that had seemed certain, and the characters are each set on an unanticipated course.'


'Creating a Four-Part Divorce', The Screen Blog, 12 August 2015. (Sighted: 24/8/2015)

2016 shortlisted Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Premier's Prize for an Emerging Writer
y separately published work icon Switzerland 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: )

2014 winner Sydney Theatre Awards Best New Australian Work
2014 nominated Sydney Theatre Awards Best Mainstage Production
Last amended 27 Jun 2018 15:56:58
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