Directors Beware – Authors unhappy with Changes


An article by Tim Douglas in today’s The Australian online tells the sorrowful story of Penrith’s Q Theatre who have pulled a show, a week before opening, because the production doesn’t accord with the author’s wishes. The play, called Alienation has been withdrawn because the playright, Lachlan Philpott has raised concerns that he considers the production of Alienation currently showing by the Perth Theatre Company (which was to show in Penrith between 18 and 27 July 2013), does not reflect his original, scripted or communicated intentions as the playwright. 

So Q Theatre have cancelled the show and are offering refunds on tickets sold. 

t’s a shame that Verdi isn’t still around to indicate displeasure with the recent A Masked Ball at the opera house. Perhaps the closing scene could then have been altered to prevent the chorus from coughing and spluttering all the way through one of the most beautiful choral moments in all of opera – in order to create a dystopian reference that was neither necessary nor sensitive to the score or libretto. 

More from the article:

“A THEATRE company in Sydney has dramatically pulled a show in solidarity with a playwright who distanced himself from the work after claiming it had been altered beyond recognition. 

Penrith’s Q Theatre yesterday cancelled its week-long season of Lachlan Philpott’s AlieNation following its controversial premiere at Perth Theatre Company on July 2. The playwright claims directorial changes to his script no longer represented his original intention and he has since had his name officially withdrawn as author of the work.

At its premiere in Perth, Philpott was allowed to leave notes on audience seats recording his displeasure: “I would like to acknowledge the people who bravely shared their stories and the actors and creative artists who contributed to this work in good faith. However, the outcome of this production does not reflect my original, scripted or communicated intentions as the playwright.”


Philpott told the Arts Hub website last week that he had been “seriously and persistently undermined” after large swaths of his text had been removed in Perth.

The Australian Writers Guild released a statement last night saying the playwright’s request to be officially withdrawn as the author of the work was done “to maintain his integrity as the author of the original script”.

Q Theatre released a statement expressing support for the playwright but refused to comment further.”

More here.
From Opera Australia’s 2013 production of
Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball) by G Verdi.