What Future for the Arts in a post-Pandemic World? 

Australia’s leading journal for the performing arts has defied two years of disruption – and an  apparent hostility towards the arts – to launch a newly expanded series under a new editor, and a new annual volume of essays on how the arts can shape our future by bringing the creative  imagination and economics together.  

This first issue of the New Platform Papers – authored by philosopher Richard Bronk,  economist John Quiggin, satirist Jonathan Biggins, Pub Choir director Astrid Jorgensen and others  – draws on a Convention of former Platform Paper authors hosted last July by Currency House  and the University of Sydney.  

The Authors Convention and its concluding publication in December will become an annual event.  

This volume also includes the final essay in the original series, No.63, by its founder and patron  Katharine Brisbane. On the Lessons of History looks back over two decades to review outcomes  envisaged by 62 past Papers since 2004, and asks why the arts and humanities have become so  marginalised in government planning.  

“The times demand a radical change in our way of thinking, particularly about what the  economy and creativity mean in a plan for national recovery,” says the new NPP General  Editor, Julian Meyrick, Professor of Creative Arts at Griffith University.  

What Future for the Arts in a post-Pandemic World? demands we take up the opportunity  for social and cultural transformation that lies beyond the COVID pandemic.” 

Currency House also announces a major increase in fees to the writers of its two annual NPPs, at  $14,250 for each 15,000-word essay. Proposals for the July 2022 issue are now invited.  Following the retirement of Katharine Brisbane in 2018, the new Director of Currency House is Dr  Harriet Parsons, her daughter.  

“Both Harriet and I are concerned with the connections between art forms and the bigger  policy picture in which arts and culture are immersed – an enlarged perspective perfectly  expressed in the vision, lateral thinking, and wit and whimsy of the contributions to this our  first New Platform Paper,” says Meyrick.  

“Rethinking the Papers, making the series anew, is essential as artists and companies face the  digital, social, financial, ethical and personal challenges of the post-pandemic world.”  

Richard Bronk is a leading academic and author, best known for The Romantic Economist: Imagination  in Economics; John Quiggin is Professor of Economics at the University of Queensland; actor and  director Jonathan Biggins is well known as a satirist; and Astrid Jorgenson is founding director of  the Pub Choir and, during lockdown, the online Couch Choir.  

New Platform Paper Vol. 1 in shops and on sale ($32) from December 1  at https://www.currency.com.au/ (click Currency House Callout in menu)



Darcie Irwin-Simpson plays an obsessed schoolgirl in Emily Sheehan's EATING SUNSHINE. Pic Gez Xavier Mansfield
Darcie Irwin-Simpson plays an obsessed schoolgirl in Emily Sheehan’s EATING SUNSHINE.
Pic Gez Xavier Mansfield

ATYP (Australian Theatre For Young People) deserves praise and recognition for their ongoing support for our young writers and actors, giving them an annual showcase called “The Voices Project”, which was successfully launched in 2011.

Hundreds of young writers, aged between 18 and 26 submit their work.  Of these, 18 are chosen for a workshop at the Fresh Ink Writers’ Retreat at Bundanon.  Twelve of these monologues have been published by Currency Press and ten of these are performed at ATYP’s Studio Theatre Under the Wharf.

This year’s theme for the seven-minute monologues is food, aptly named BITE ME.  Accomplished director, Anthony Skuse, has given inspiration and life to these ten pieces, which blend into each other effortlessly, allowing the audience to save their applause until the end.  The occasional transition has the actors using their gymnastic skills for a bit too long, unrelated to the texts.  However, the use of the only real prop on stage, a table, is very effectively used – under it, on top of it, choreographed cleverly by Adele Jeffreys, movement coach.

Continue reading BITE ME