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Mary Rachel Brown

Q Theatre Lab 2022 Artist-in-Residence Mary Rachel Brown is a widely respected and much-awarded writer, creating work for stage and screen. Her most recent play Dead Cat Bounce opened Griffin Theatre Company’s 2019 season. Mary’s most notable work, The Dapto Chaser, was commissioned by Merrigong and reproduced by Apocalypse Theatre for Griffin Independent, Glenn St and Hothouse. The play was also screened at Dendy Cinemas and on ABC iview.

Now Mary, working with Jamie Oxenbould, is well into the three-week residency period, and here she shares some thoughts and insights – and her early dream of becoming a mime artist.

What do you most want people to know about your work in development?

This work is welcoming. It is an admission that we are all a bit weird.

How has it evolved?

I think the work has more connective tissue, and the theme of the work has more clarity.

Please describe a day in residence…

Coffee. Writing the connective tissue between the many different characters. More coffee. Reading the work, discussing what is missing. Lunch. Writing and cutting. .

What did you want to do with your career when you were growing up?

I wanted to be a mime artist. I worshipped Marcel Marceau and Charlie Chaplin….now I work in words….go figure?

What has been your favourite moment or moments in the theatre?

As a child I got so swept away by a production of The Wizard of Oz that I attempted to run on stage and warn Dorothy about the witch, I was a very spirited child with a low tolerance for injustice and bullying, so that witch pushed me over the edge.

Tony Phelan’s performance in Belvoir’s production of The Care Taker made me cry.

I like anything that gets me enough to suspend my disbelief and open my heart….I reckon that is the job of theatre.

Name six people you’d invite to dinner if you could invite anyone at all, living or not.

Ray Winstone, Christopher Guest, Marcia Langton, Prince, Nina Simone, Germaine Greer (And Ricky Gervais if anyone cancels)


Q Theatre Lab is an intimate night of new experiences from leading independent artists. Two 30-minute preview performances offer audiences the chance to peek behind the curtain and see two plays, fresh off the page, back-to-back on the same night.

17 & 18 Feb, 7.30pm


The Dapto Chaser, by Mary Rachel Brown. Photo – Critical Stages
Photographer: Robert Catto.