Friday on My Mind Sydney - Holding the Man: Adapting Stage to Screen with Tommy Murphy and Kylie du Fresne
Australian Film Television and Radio School - Theatre 1
Holding the Man: Adapting stage to screen with Tommy Murphy and Kylie du Fresne

The mechanics of screenwriting are very different from stage play writing, so how does one go about adapting an award winning play that is itself an adaptation of a much loved memoir?

Published in 1995, only months after the death of its author, Holding the Man is a best-selling Australian story that follows the 15-year relationship between writer and activist Tim Conigrave and John Caleo, who came of age during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. The stage production of Holding the Man, written by Tommy Murphy, wowed audiences and broke box office records in Sydney going on to win the 2007 NSW Premier¹s Literary Award and be nominated for an AWGIE and a Helpmann Award for Best Play. It also played in London, San Francisco and Los Angeles to much acclaim. Most recently Tommy Murphy adapted Holding the Man once more into a feature film directed by Neil Armfield that premiered as the closing night film of this years Sydney Film Festival.

Fundamentally a love story with a premise that would sound unbelievable if it had been written as fiction Holding the Man, six years in the making, is one of four plays that have made it to Australian screens this year along with Brendan Cowell's Ruben Guthrie, Jeremy Sims' Last Cab to Darwin and Simon Stone's The Daughter.

Screenwriting, particularly for an adaptation, is about making selection, from the way a scene is set, to how actors enter and exit scenes, to allowing the pictures and not just the words to also tell the story. Tommy Murphy and producer Kylie du Fresne join host Sam Meikle to talk about the process, drivers and the cinematic opportunities they found as they brought an Australian classic to cinema screens.

Tommy Murphy (Screenwriter)
Kylie du Fresne (Producer)
AFTRS Theatre 1
Doors Open 5:30pm
Building 130, Lang Road Moore Park
2021 NSW Australia
Doors Open 5:30pm
All Welcome