Ma­jor prize for Bren­dan

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - NEWS - By CORAL COOK­SLEY

ADVERTISER, Thurs­day, Septem­ber 13, 2018 -

A TAL­ENTED Yackan­dan­dah man who cre­ates plays for chil­dren scooped a pres­ti­gious na­tional award in Syd­ney last week with a prize worth $15,000.

Teacher, ac­tor, play­wright and founder of Yackan­dan­dah Young Play­ers, Bren­dan Ho­gan won the 2018 Martin Lys­i­crates Prize for his play ‘Farewell Mr Nippy’.

The award cel­e­brates the best new writ­ing in Aus­tralia for chil­dren.

Mr Ho­gan was one of three fi­nal­ists where the first 15 min­utes of their new play was judged by 550 stu­dents from years six, seven and eight from schools across Syd­ney.

‘Farewell Mr Nippy’ is about a boy’s first day at high school and his imag­i­nary friend.

He said part of the fi­nal­ists’ prize was the per­for­mance of plays by pro­fes­sional ac­tors who re­hearsed them for a week be­fore the show.

“Win­ning the prize has given me the con­fi­dence to fin­ish writ­ing the play,” Mr Ho­gan said.

He also said the award op­por­tu­nity was one of the few av­enues for a play­wright to have their work per­formed and has raised his pro­file in the theatre in­dus­try.

“It’s been amaz­ing to have my work shown in Syd­ney and it’s great to have artists par­tici- pat­ing who are based in ru­ral Aus­tralia too,” he said.

With a pas­sion to cre­ate and en­ter­tain young peo­ple, Mr Ho­gan said the 10 to 14 year-old age group for which the play was writ­ten were in­spi­ra­tional.

Not quite the age to un­der­stand older peo­ple’s hu­mour, he said they found things funny on a dif­fer­ent level.

“I’ve iden­ti­fied the need for sto­ries for them,” he said.

The Martin Lys­i­crates Prize is pre­sented by The Lys­i­crates Foun­da­tion to­gether with the Grif­fin Theatre Com­pany and Na­tional Theatre of Par­ra­matta.

Mr Ho­gan’s first pub­lished chil­dren’s play ‘Scaredy-Cat’ per­formed at the Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Com­edy Fes­ti­val in 2015 was fol­lowed by ‘How to Beat a Bully’ a year later.

Among other works for chil­dren writ­ten with the help of a Cre­ative Vic­to­ria grant in­cludes ‘The Last Boy on Earth’ per­formed in June this year.

Mr Ho­gan has writ­ten plays for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties in­clud­inh ‘From Here To There’ per­formed in Yackan­dan­dah last year.

The script was de­vel­oped from re­search un­der­taken with the Yackan­dan­dah Ceme­tery Trust and Yackan­dan­dah and District His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety.

PHOTO: Jamie Kron­borg.

PRIZED WIN: Yackan­dan­dah play­wright Bren­dan Ho­gan won a ma­jor chil­dren’s play award in Syd­ney last week.

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