Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Details

Tim Maddock (director) 'Like a Fishbone', Wharf Theatre 1, Sydney Theatre Company, Walsh Bay, NSW. Sydney Theatre Company/Griffin Theatre Company, (2010). Play written by Anthony Weigh. Dowlnoad a copy of the promotional video for the performance here; for more details see Sydney Theatre Company website; Griffin Theatre Company website; and reviews at M/C - Media/Culture, 10 June 2010, Australian Stage, 22 July 2010 and ABC Arts, 2 August 2010.



Research Background

Anthony Weigh wrote Like a Fishbone in response to his experience of ‘Ground Zero’ in New York. Fascinated by the issues surrounding the memorialisation of public tragedy, the play became a contest between two women of vastly different backgrounds and beliefs. The mother of a child who has died in a school rampage shooting attempts to stop an architect from presenting her design for the memorial because it has no religious meaning. The architect is obliged to articulate her motivations and beliefs, and the dramatic action shifts through a series of revelations until the underlying violence of both women’s positions surfaces.

Research Contribution

‘Like a Fishbone’ is an important play in the development of new Australian playwriting. Representing concerns that are global in scope, it opened almost simultaneously in London (the Bush Theatre) and Sydney. Morally complex this work is a searing critique of modern liberalism. Weigh’s work has generated enormous interest in Australia as well as the US and the UK, with several new commissions being undertaken. The scenography for ‘Like a Fishbone’ declared it an ‘argument play’; the staging was sparse except for a large embracing frame constructed as a light box.

Research Significance

Director Tim Maddock was invited by Nick Marchand, Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Company to direct this production within the Next Stages program at Sydney Theatre Company, one of Australia’s pre-eminent theatre companies. This joint commission represents an ongoing commitment to provide an arena for challenging and formally adventurous new Australian writing, and reviewed in both mainstream and alternative media.