Creative Writing Fellow Update

In this guest blog, our Creative Writing Fellow, Nicky Peelgrane, updates us as rehearsals get underway for her fellowship event in October.

Rehearsals begin for Prospero's Dukedom

Rehearsals began this week for the rehearsed reading of Prospero’s Dukedom which will be held at the Fryer Library on the evening of Friday 11 October. It was incredibly exciting to hear the words finally coming out of the mouths of the actors, to see them engage with the work and learn the songs in the show.

Actors Alex Letts, Kevin Hides and Brooke McElligott (L-R) learning the songs for the show composed by musician Anne Stanley (seated at piano)

The play is about the life of The Grin and Tonic Theatre Troupe, a Queensland company 50 years young. It contains the verbatim dialogue of actors who have worked with the company, past and present, as well as text from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, exploring how Queensland and Shakespeare intertwine.

A valuable source of dialogue and history for the project came from the Fryer Library – namely, the Grin and Tonic Photographs and programs (F3329) and the Paul Sherman Papers (UQFL428) - which served as inspiration for the play.

I’m very fortunate to have secured these actors for the reading: Brooke McElligott and Alex Letts are current Grin and Tonic touring actors who I interviewed as part of the project, and Kevin Hides is a well-known Brisbane actor and Drama teacher who was in Death of A Salesman earlier this year at Queensland Theatre.

During the next few weeks we will be fine-tuning the dialogue and presentation and devising simple blocking and direction. The reading will be a free event at the Fryer Library - I do hope you’ll be able to make it!

Original artwork for Prospero's Dukedom (copyright Ali Travers 2019).

Join us for the event!

Fryer Library will host a rehearsed reading of Prospero's Dukedom, written and directed by Nicky Peelgrane, on Friday 11 October at 6pm. Actors Alex Letts, Kevin Hides and Brooke McElligott will read the parts, with audience participation. Songs for the show have been composed by musician Anne Stanley.

Register to attend

Want to know more?

Find out more about Nicky in our blog from January 2019 and and about verbatim theatre in a blog post from July 2019.

Change to this fellowship for 2024

The 2024 Creative Writing Fellowship provides an early career Australian author with the opportunity to write a new creative work using the special collections in the Fryer Library.

The fellowship is offered by UQ’s Centre for Critical and Creative Writing in the School of Communication and Arts in conjunction with the Fryer Library and with the support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. 

Applications for the 2024 fellowship close at 5pm on Monday 13 November 2023.

The Fellowship is offered with the generous support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and library donors. An additional $90,000 in funding from the Cultural Fund, announced in late 2018, will enable us to continue to offer this fellowship in future years.

Last updated:
20 October 2023