True Picasso stories inspire first HotHouse Theatre show for kids and families

The true story of Picasso and the sausage dog Lump that arrived at the artist’s villa one fine spring morning during 1957 has inspired the gorgeous new puppetry show, Picasso and His Dog. The show will have its world premiere at HotHouse Theatre on 29 June and run until 2 July with a schedule of performances to suit families.

In the lead up to the show we’ll be celebrating all things dogs, art and love at QEII Square in Albury from 10am to noon with the Picasso and His Dog parade this Saturday, 4 June. Bring along your sausage dog, or other any other breed to take part in the categories Best Dressed – most artistic, Longest Sausage Dog and Best Tricks and you should wear your best beret and stripey shirt! We’ll have some giveaways so come along.

HotHouse Artistic Director, Lyn Wallis meets Sarah Kriegler, the writer and director of Picasso and His Dog. They talk about what kids will like about the show, Sarah’s real pooch ‘Clancy the Wonderdog’, and the pyjamas they will wear at ‘Picasso’s Pyjama Night’ on Friday 1 July.

Book your tickets now!


Image: Ben Grant, Tamara Rewse (peeping from behind Lump),  Jacob Williams and Sarah Kriegler with ‘Clancy the Wonderdog’. Image credit: Lyn Wallis

Mary Rachel Brown

Award winning playwright to give write advice to SOLO Monologue shortlist

Award winning playwright, Mary Rachel Brown, will be giving shortlisted SOLO Monologue competition entrants dramaturgical advice on their entries.

Emerging and established playwrights have just one month to get their entries into the HotHouse Theatre, La Trobe University and Write Around the Murray SOLO Monologue competition that closes 5pm AEST on Friday, 24 June .

International entries have been received from Ireland, California, London and South Africa, while most states and territories are represented in the Australian entries.

The competition carries a $500 prize for the winner of each of the three categories –  unpublished/unperformed monologues; published/performed and monologues written by high school students – and the chance for entrants to rewrite or fine tune their entries if shortlisted.

Mary, who wrote the highly popular opening play for the 2016 HotHouse Theatre season, The Dapto Chaser, is the recipient of the following National Playwriting Awards – 2016 Lysicrates Prize, the 2008 Rodney Seaborn Award, 2007 Max Affords Award and the 2006 Griffin Award. Her play Last Letters has been in repertory at the Australia War Memorial for the last seven years. Other works for the stage include – Inside Out -Christine Dunstan Productions, Die Fledermaus (Adaption) – Sydney Conservatorium of Music, National Security And The Art Of Taxidermy – The Glynn Nicholas Group, All My Sleep And Waking – TRS.  Her TV credits include sketch writing for The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fightin’ for ABC and several episodes of Home and Away for Channel 7.

As well as working with individual playwrights, Mary has worked in a dramaturgical capacity for Canberra Youth Theatre, Albany Youth Theatre and The Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre. She has also conducted playwriting workshops for The Canberra Theatre Centre, Griffin Theatre’s Ambassadors’ program, The Albany Writers Festival, NIDA, Canberra Youth Theatre, Charles Sturt University and Hothouse Theatre.

Mary has been a member of script selection panels for The Griffin Award and Inscriptions Edward Albee Playwriting Scholarship, and has also participated as both a speaker and a playwright in numerous Playwriting Australia script workshops and The National Play Festival.

After receiving advice from Mary, the shortlisted writers will be given the opportunity to rewrite or fine tune their monologues for the final assessment process. As part of the Write Around the Murray Festival there will be a rehearsed reading of their monologues by local performers on Thursday, 8 September.

For more information, competition guidelines and entry forms click here.







Hotspot Podcast #3: They Saw a Thylacine



Artistic Director Lyn Wallis talks to Sarah Hamilton and Justine Campbell, the creators of our current show They Saw a Thylacine.

Sarah and Justine talk about why they created their company Human Animal Exchange, how they made the show,  and their personal connections to Australian wildlife and the story of the Thylacine.



Classic Storytelling and Contemporary Theatre Merge in Thylacine Tale

They Saw a Thylacine, opening tomorrow night at The Butter Factory Theatre is described as ‘an enchanting and poetic story … storytelling at its best’ and a ‘timely reminder that we’re all in the same fight to survive’.

The award winning play runs until Saturday, 7 May with matinee performances on Thursday, 5 May at 11 am and Saturday 7 May at 3pm. Friday night’s performance features a ‘Meet the Artist’ opportunity.

Written and performed by Sarah Hamilton and Justine Campbell, who together form the artistic partnership HUMAN ANIMAL EXCHANGE, They Saw a Thylacine tells the stories of Alison Reid – the daughter of the last curator at Beaumaris Zoo and Beatrice McCullough – a trapper hunting the rare animal.

The two founded HUMAN ANIMAL EXCHANGE in 2011 and the company has successfully produced three shows, two that have toured nationally and internationally.

Sarah Hamilton told The Border Mail’s, John Chanter, that the play is ‘like sitting around a campfire with someone who tells you a really engaging story you don’t want to end.’

They Saw a Thylacine was first performed at Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2013, and in 2014 toured to the Adelaide Fringe Festival and New Zealand. In 2015 it was re-envisaged for a season at the Malthouse Theatre Melbourne before its current national tour that finishes with the seven show season at HotHouse Theatre.

Although Beatrice McCullough is a fictional character, Alison Reid is well documented through her efforts to save the last Thylacine, (Tasmanian Tiger) in captivity.

The play brings the audience’s attention to the fragility of our ecosystem and the unsettling truths about how small acts of ignorance can cause great destruction to current and future generations.

They Saw a Thylacine has particular resonance for Hamilton whose grandfather had an encounter with a drowned thylacine on a beach across the road from where they lived.

‘The regaling of Grandpa’s encounter with the Tassie Tiger was imbued with mystery and a sense of great importance,’ Hamilton said.

Hamilton and Campbell said the stories they had written were based on truth.

‘Beatie’s account is based on a collection of anecdotes and documented histories: the events surrounding Alison Reid and the last thylacine at Beaumaris Zoo are a truthful and tragic lesson.’

HotHouse Theatre Artistic director, Lyn Wallis said the show was a wonderful merging of classic storytelling and contemporary theatre.

‘The performers Sarah and Justine effortlessly draw you into an adventure story that is framed by injustice and tragedy for both the women characters and the thylacine itself,’ Ms Wallis said.

Thylacine is wry, moving and personal. It questions our relationship with nature, and how and why we obliterated an entire species, both willfully and methodically. It’s hard not to be touched by the lessons it holds for our future,’ she said.

There are generous discounts for group bookings and concessions.


Opening Night
$59 Full | $53 Concession | $40 Student

$49 Full | $43 Concession | $30 Student

Friday Night
$54 Full | $48 Concession | $35 Student

10 + $31 each | 6 + $33 each | 4+ $36.50 each

Further savings when you book a Flexi Pack 4. Book on 02 6021 7433 or here

We also have our Mother’s Day Flexi Pack 4 offer including four drink vouchers.  Phone 02 6021 7433 for more details.

Image credit: Justine Campbell (l) and Sarah Hamilton (r) in a scene from They Saw a Thylacine. Pia Johnson