22 August, 2019
Playwright Kate Mulvany’s epic and acclaimed stage adaptation of the Australian classic The Harp in the South has taken out the highest honour of the Australian Writers’ Guild’s annual AWGIE Awards, the 2019 Major Award.
On a night celebrating the enduring art of storytelling and the exceptional craft and creativity of Australia’s top writers, Mulvany’s win captured the spirit of the 2019 Awards, where beloved and iconic Australian stories and rich, bold works with global reach were honoured in equal measure.
This was evident in the feature film categories, where the Oscar-nominated tour-de-force of wit and historical satire The Favourite garnered Tony McNamara an Award for best original script with co-writer Deborah Davis, while Shaun Grant’s upcoming True History of the Kelly Gang took home the Award for adaptation.
'The breadth of our nominees and winners is tremendous,' said AWG CEO Jacqueline Elaine. 'Last year a seven-minute dialogue-free animation took out our top award, and this year the extraordinary effort behind a six-hour stage adaptation. What a delightful example of the diversity and range characteristic of Australia’s screen and stage writers.'
The Harp in the South has been heralded as breathing new life into the beloved novel, and earlier in the evening received the AWGIE Award in the stage category as well as the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre, awarded each year to the most outstanding script selected from the winners of each of the theatre categories. The Prize is worth $100,000, with $20,000 of the prize awarded to the playwright of the winning theatre script, and $80,000 of the prize going to the theatre company that commissioned and developed it for the stage, with the express purpose of the prize money being used to commission, develop and program a new Australian work.
Two former AWG Presidents were honoured on the night with special awards:
Writer, actor, and comedian Magda Szubanski was awarded the Fred Parsons Award for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Comedy, recognising the invaluable contribution she has made to Australian comedy writing, and the iconic characters created, in a career spanning 30 years.
Longstanding Australian Writers’ Guild member Patrick Edgeworth was made a Life Member.
Other 2019 AWGIE Award winners:
In the theatre and audio categories, winners were:
The Australian Writers’ Guild acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future traditional custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.