Play Reading


The Desirables by Tommy Murphy

Ensemble Theatre and National Theatre of Parramatta are presenting a play reading of
THE DESIRABLES by playwright Tommy Murphy.

We are looking forward to welcoming Tommy Murphy, one of Australia’s most respected and popular playwrights to Ensemble Theatre. Tommy is well known for his plays, Timothy Conigrave’s memoir HOLDING THE MAN and most recently MARK COLVIN’S KIDNEY. This is your chance to be amongst the first to experience this exceptional and topical new Australian play and participate in a Q&A with Tommy, before its eventual theatrical season. To be directed by Samantha Young and read by a talented cast.

THE DESIRABLES is the story of an aspiring young lawyer who smuggles members of a visiting Afghan soccer team into her mother’s house. The comforts of home are shaken. The law comes knocking. Deceits pile up. Hidden agendas and broken efforts to express love culminate in disaster. Finally there is nowhere to run. There are no simple answers – as our current political debate suggests – and this play offers up the quandaries of the price and the prize of charity.


Tommy Murphy

Tommy Murphy is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. His most recent work Mark Colvin’s Kidney played to critical acclaim at Belvoir this year. He is currently the Patrick White Fellow at the Sydney Theatre Company. His screenplay for Holding the Man, for which he was Associate Producer, won the Australian Writers’ Guild Award and the Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay. The play won multiple awards including the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the Australian Writers’ Guild Award and the Philip Parsons Award. He was the youngest and only dual winner in consecutive years of the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, having won for Stranger’s in Between, at Griffin Theatre, in 2005. A new UK production of Strangers in Between had a return season at The Kings Head this year, whilst Holding the Man played across town at Jack Studio also in a new UK production. Tommy’s adaptation of Lorca’s Blood Wedding formed part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. His play Gwen in Purgatory (Belvoir, La Boite) won the WA Premier’s Award and the prestigious Richard Burton Prize. Other plays include Troy’s House (Old Fitz, ATYP) andMassacre at Paris (after Marlowe, at ATYP, directed by David Berthold). He is a graduate of the NIDA directors’ course, is now writing for two miniseries having written on Devil’s Playground (winner Logie Most Outstanding Miniseries or Telemovie and AACTA Best Mini Series) as well as developing new works for the stage.


Samantha Young is an Actor and Director who graduated from NIDA with a BDA (Acting) in 2007 and an MFA (Directing) in 2014. Samantha was an Affiliate Director at Griffin Theatre Company in 2015 and the 2016 Director in Residence at Sport For Jove. Samantha has directed productions at: Seymour Centre, Parramatta Riverside, Old 505, The Old Fitz, Rocksurfers, Mardi Gras Festival, PIA, ACPA, Melbourne Fringe, Sydney Fringe, ATYP, Darwin Festival, Darwin Entertainment Centre, DTC, Browns Mart and CIYA. Samantha has performed at: The Royal Opera House; Covent Garden, Belvoir, STC, Rocksurfers, Melbourne Festival, Adelaide Fringe and Darwin Festival. Samantha also writes short films, cabarets, poetry and full length plays. She was a Phillip Parsons Award Finalist in 2013 and the 2012 Northern Territory Young Achiever of the Year.