Queensland Premier's Drama Award | Queensland Theatre

Winner Announced for QPDA 2018-19.

Brisbane writer David Megarrity announced as winner

of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2018-19

with ‘The Holidays’


From over 90 entries for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2018-19 (QDPA), and the trio of finalists revealed earlier this year, Brisbane writer David Megarrity has been announced the winner with his tender and lyrical family-oriented play, The Holidays.


Megarrity’s work was selected ahead of fellow finalists Hannah Belanszky for ‘don’t ask what the bird look like’ and Anna Yen for her work Slow Boat. Delivered through Queensland Theatre, the QPDA is a prestigious and important award for Australian Theatre in that it guarantees a professional production of the winning entry. 


The Holidays introduces us to 12-year-old Oliver Holiday and his Mum and Dad who are suddenly on their way to his Grandfather’s beachside cottage. However, as more clouds loom, it appears that the Holidays, instead of getting away from it all, have taken on a burden - or a legacy - they are unsure how to manage.


David Megarrity’s The Holidays is a disarming meditation on mortality and father son relationships. It’s a delicious combination of high-tech ambition and low-fi theatricality. David’s unique imagination and command of all of the elements of storytelling will create a deeply affecting sensory experience for audiences when we bring it to the stage”, said Queensland Theatre Artistic Director Sam Strong, who was part of the judging panel for the awards. 


“The QPDA sits at the centre of Queensland Theatre’s ambition to lead from Queensland in the nurturing of new stories and new talent. This cycle of the award featured a wonderfully diverse range of works from writers from all around the country, including an all-Queensland shortlist of an impressively crafted debut play from Hannah Belanszky, and an epic multi-disciplinary historical story from Anna Yen. Congratulations to all the artists who contributed to and worked on the award,” he said.


“We’re also thrilled to announce that to even better reflect the importance of new stories to Queensland Theatre, we will be presenting a full production of The Holidays as part of our 50th Anniversary season in 2020.”


David Megarrity, who was also a finalist the 2012-13 cycle of the QPDA is an experienced theatre practitioner, writer, composer, musician and academic. Describing his winning play, Megarrity said, “this visual theatre piece combines live performers, projection, audience participation and music to explore the impact of dementia, as experienced by one family, focussing on the connections between son, father and grandfather - told through the eyes of a young person.”


Since its inception, Queensland Theatre has developed 30 plays as part of the QDPA, employed more than 180 actors, writers and directors, and generated audiences of more than 30,000 to new Australian plays.  Previous winning works include Rice by Michele Lee (2016-17), Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore by Daniel Evans (2014-15), Trollop by Maxine Mellor (2012-13) and Fractions by Marcel Dorney (2010-11).


Judges for the 2018-19 Awards include Mr Matthew Rigby, Executive Director Integrated Communications and Protocol, Department of the Premier and Cabinet; Mr Sam Strong, Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre; Mr Isaac Drandic, Resident Dramaturg of Queensland Theatre; Ms Lee Lewis, Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Company and Mr Ian Lawson, Artistic Director of Playlab.



MEDIA QUERIES: please contact Kath Rose direct on 0416 291 493 or email kath@kathrose.com



About QPDA:

The Queensland Premier’s Drama Award is a national development award assisting writers and performance makers to grow their first drafts, pitch documents, sample scenes, or creative development findings into a production-ready text.

The goals of the Award are:

  • To produce a platform for Australian theatre makers and playwrights to develop new works that reflect our contemporary culture, and expose audiences to this work.
  • To promote the creation of high quality, original, artistic work
  • To recognise and develop creative artists, their work and their standing within our society.
  • To enhance the employment of Queensland actors, creative teams and production artists

The Award is open to writers, and theatre-making collectives, of all ages and experience; however it is imperative that the applicants have an understanding of the demands of a professional production and are able to meet these responsibilities as they develop their project with Queensland Theatre.

To receive updates about the launch of the next cycle of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, please join our Enews, or contact Producer, New Work: Shari Irwin; Sirwin@queenslandtheatre.com.au






Queensland Government


Hannah Belanszky, don’t ask what the bird look like
David Megarrity, The Holidays (winner)
Anna Yen, Slow Boat

Michele Lee, Rice (winner)
Kathryn Marquet, Furious Creatures
Suzie Miller, I Looked Up and There You Were

Tim Benzie, The Overflow
Daniel Evans, Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (winner)
Megan Shorey, One in Seven (music-theatre)

Stephen Carleton, 
Bastard Territory
David Megarrity (for The Human Company), The Empty City
Maxine Mellor, Trollop (winner)

Rebecca Clarke, 
Philip Dean, Unreliable Bodies
Marcel Dorney, Fractions (winner) 

Richard Jordan, 25 Down (winner)
Katherine Lyall-Watson, Tinder
Sven Swenson, Dangerfield Park

David Brown,  The Estimator (winner)
Anthony Funnell,  The Tram
Michael Riordan,  String

Adam Grossetti, Mano Nera (winner) 
Stephen Carleton, Constance Drinkwater and the Last Days of Somerset
Philip Chappell, Welcome to Dreamland

Sven Swenson, Road to the She-Devil’s Salon (winner)
Kathryn Ash,  Flutter
Bruce Clark, The Kaufman Letter
Simon Ratcliffe, Conurb
Hugh Watson,  The Valley
Gayle Wilkinson,  Goat Head Burs