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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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Works By

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1 1 y separately published work icon Berlin Joanna Murray-Smith , 2020 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2021 17252345 2020 single work drama

'Tom meets Charlotte in a bar. Tom’s a foreigner on his first trip to Berlin. Charlotte’s a beguiling bartender. They’re both young, smart and charismatic – and in the early hours, they end up back at Charlotte’s Prenzlauerberg apartment. Over the course of the night, desire and longing dance hand in hand with devastating secrets. Are they just two young people falling in love, or are they contemporary victims of history’s undiluted reach?'

Source: Melbourne Theatre Company.

1 L'Appartement Joanna Murray-Smith , 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.

1 3 form y separately published work icon Palm Beach Joanna Murray-Smith , ( dir. Rachel Ward ) Australia : New Town Films Soapbox Industries , 2019 13199760 2019 single work film/TV

'Palm Beach is a drama/comedy about a group of lifelong friends reuniting to celebrate a special birthday, with Sydney’s iconic Palm Beach providing a stunning backdrop for the unfolding drama. The good times roll, with loads of laughter, lavish meals, flowing wine and fantastic music, but slowly tensions mount and deep secrets arise.'

Source: Screen Australia ( (Sighted: 12/03/2018)

1 1 y separately published work icon Three Little Words Joanna Murray-Smith , 2017 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2019 13910675 2017 single work drama

'In this acerbic comedy of manners from one of Australia's most popular playwrights, the cosy world of carefree coupledom is torn to shreds as Catherine McClements navigates the everyday upheavals of modern life.' (Introduction)

1 1 American Song Joanna Murray-Smith , 2017 single work drama

'“What happened to Whitman’s America? There is no unified song. There is no harmony of voices.”

'Andy’s experience is common to many of us; the slow accumulation of a good life: love, work, friendship, family. But unforeseen events lead him to places he never imagined… Can we ever know the exact moment when a good life turns irredeemably wrong?

'As Andy heads off to work to give the biggest presentation of his career, he wishes his teenage son Robbie goodbye. Eight hours later, everything has changed. A profound tour-de-force for one actor, played by Red Stitch ensemble member Joe Petruzzi, American Song is an intimate exploration of parenting, love, and the question: What could I have done differently?' (Production summary)

1 6 form y separately published work icon The Divorce Joanna Murray-Smith , Elena Kats-Chernin (composer), ( 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)

1 y separately published work icon Stories of Love & Deception Joanna Murray-Smith , Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2015 8556265 2015 selected work drama

'Stories of Love and Deception is a keenly engaging discussion of our most dearly-held values and their ramifications. Ludicrous and incisive, this collection invites us to confront those questions of morality most threatening to life as we know it. Day One, A Hotel, Evening - Graciously irreverent, this play explores the revelations of three couples entangled in a web of extra-marital indiscretions. It asks us, 'What is love?' in a glaringly honest, deeply searching and ultimately sobering way. True Minds - An irresistible portrait of courage and inner conviction, True Minds is cogent and facetious. When two families on the brink of matrimonial union become stranded in a freak storm, will the couple's dawning incompatibility coax them to fight for integrity as the only reliably stable choice? Fury - After the news of their 19-year-old son's hate crime on a local mosque, Alice, an award-winning, cancer-curing scientist, and husband Patrick, a novelist,are forced into a whirlwind of self-examination and stripping back of decades-old secrets. In the harrowing unfolding of hypocrisies and brash pragmatism, Fury hones in on our true motivations and their lasting consequences.'

1 2 Pennsylvania Avenue Joanna Murray-Smith , 2014 single work musical theatre

'An astonishing collaboration of three artists in 2009 led to one of the runaway hits of the Australian theatre year, which stormed the stages of five states. That production was Songs for Nobodies by Joanna Murray-Smith, starring Bernadette Robinson and directed by Simon Phillips.

'Joining forces once again, this same creative team brings us Pennsylvania Avenue, a brilliant new music theatre work featuring a fresh collection of iconic singers, all of whom had a deep connection to the White House – as a performer, a friend or something more intimate.

'Joanna Murray-Smith, writing with Bernadette Robinson’s unique powers of transformation in mind, creates a sparkling narrative that brings show business history to life. Pennsylvania Avenue also sees the long-awaited and much sought-after return of former Artistic Director Simon Phillips to the MTC stage.' (Production summary)

1 10 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: )

1 3 Hedda Gabler Joanna Murray-Smith , 2013 single work drama 'A heroine. A victim. A villain. Hedda Gabler is all of these and more - a woman filled with a restless passion for life that cannot be satisfied by her marriage or her perfect home. Henrik Ibsen's towering classic will be given a sharp contemporary adaptation by Joanna Murray-Smith (The Female of the Species, Lovechild, Honour).

Reared to take her place as a society hostess but without the means to support such a lifestyle after her father's death, Hedda is trapped in a loveless marriage and must live out her life according to a set of standards totally alien to her upbringing.

As she strives to find a way to fulfil her desires, an old flame from the past reappears - the brilliant Lovborg whose prodigal talent serves to highlight the dull and plodding world of her husband. The connection cannot be resisted and leads to violent and tragic events even she could not have predicted or controlled.' (Producer's blurb)
1 5 True Minds Joanna Murray-Smith , 2013 single work drama humour
— Appears in: Stories of Love & Deception 2015; (p. 71-144)
'Alive with her characteristic wit and needle-sharp social observation, True Minds is Joanna Murray-Smith's most glittering comedy to date.

Meeting your future mother-in-law is an anxious moment for any young woman. The last thing Daisy needs is her lefty parents turning up uninvited, or her alcoholic ex-boyfriend cracking open the cellar door! How on earth can she win the approval of Australia's answer to Margaret Thatcher?

True Minds is not only a hilarious battle of the sexes and political polarities, but also a rewarding exploration of the triumph of modern love.'
1 3 Fury Joanna Murray-Smith , 2013 single work drama
— Appears in: Stories of Love & Deception 2015; (p. 145-202)

'Alice and Patrick are conscientious and thoughtful, educated and open-minded, and that’s how they’ve raised their son, Joe. One evening, Joe’s teacher arrives to tell them that Joe is in trouble. Detained by police, he has committed an act of vandalism. Against the local mosque.

'Fury pushes into controversial territory: where personal sacrifice and responsibility are pitted against political correctness, and “good” people must confront the limitations of their empathy in the face of terror.

Are the children who are inheriting the world forced to place pragmatism ahead of conscience, or are idealism and hope the only way forward?'

Source: Red Stitch Theatre.

1 Eulogy for Nita Murray-Smith Joanna Murray-Smith , 2013 single work obituary (for Nita Murray-Smith )
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , July 2013;
1 5 y separately published work icon Day One, A Hotel, Evening Joanna Murray-Smith , 2011 Melbourne : Joanna Murray-Smith , 2011 Z1787884 2011 single work drama 'A Hotel, Evening' is a smart, incisive comedy-of-manners about a group of well established couples and friends who, through a series of "La Ronde" style affairs, have spun an intricate web of feeling and indifference within their social circle. In a world where individual fulfilment is paramount, how do we all agree to play along?' (Red Stitch Actors Theatre website)
1 4 The Gift Joanna Murray-Smith , 2011 single work drama (taught in 4 units)

'Sadie and Ed meet Martin and Chloe at a holiday resort and instantly hit it off, despite coming from completely different worlds. When Martin saves Ed's life, everyone knows the debt can never be properly repaid. But Ed is rich and generous, and Martin and Chloe have a need so great it seems divine providence that the two couples should have found each other. So, given time to think, they return to make their wish - but surely it's a wish nobody could possibly grant?'

Source: Melbourne Theatre Company website, (sighted: 29/09/2010)

1 10 y separately published work icon Songs for Nobodies Joanna Murray-Smith , Strawberry Hills Melbourne : Currency Press Melbourne Theatre Company , 2010 Z1629707 2010 single work drama
1 When the Bough Breaks Joanna Murray-Smith , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 8 August 2009; (p. 18)
1 3 y separately published work icon Rockabye Joanna Murray-Smith , Strawberry Hills : Currency Press Melbourne Theatre Company , 2009 Z1561090 2009 single work drama satire

'Sidney can feel her career slipping down the plughole. No one loves a pop star when she's forty - not if she isn't Madonna or Kylie. So unless she wants to join the ranks of the has-beens on the casino circuit, she better get herself a hit. But what if she regains the whole world and still feels that something's missing? Baby hunger.'

Source: MTC website,
Sighted: 21/07/2009

1 6 y separately published work icon Ninety Joanna Murray-Smith , 2008 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2009 Z1522760 2008 single work drama

' It is no use, but William gives Isobel ninety minutes anyway. They were once married, but something happened. Something broke deep down in the mechanism of their lives together and, seeing no way to repair it, they threw it away.

'But perhaps they were too hasty. Perhaps there was something they could have done. Isabel just wants ninety minutes. Soon William will be married again, so ninety is all she has to make her case. Ninety to remember what they had. Ninety to regain what was lost. Just ninety to rediscover love or call it a day, forever.'

Source: Melbourne Theatre Company website,
Sighted: 18/08/2008

1 The First Time I...Wrote the Play Honour Joanna Murray-Smith , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: Limelight , November 2007; (p. 11)