Playwright Katy Warner must surely be one of the most exciting discoveries in Australian theatre to have emerged in recent memory. Flying largely under the radar of the nation’s larger presenters (so far, at least), her breathtakingly assured one-man text, A Prudent Man, which explored the collision between political spin and hidden emotional truth, earned a slew of rave reviews, including five-stars from The Music, when it premiered last year. With such incandescent praise comes a great weight of expectation, but this has been met – and then some – with Warner’s superbly observed and unexpectedly moving new play, Spencer.
Katy studied at the Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne), receiving a Master of Writing for Performance in 2012. Her plays have been presented across Australia and in Edinburgh as part of Festival Fringe.
She is an AWGIE winner (Best Children’s Theatre for Reasons to Stay Inside), recipient of the Melbourne Fringe Award for Best Emerging Writer (These are the isolate) and nominee for a Green Room award for new writing (A Prudent Man). Her play, nest, recently made the long list of Theatre503’s Playwriting Award and will have its debut in London with Small Truth Theatre, directed by Yasmeen Ardeen.
Her most recent play, Spencer, premiered in May 2017 at Chapel off Chapel (Melbourne, Victoria) were it received excellent reviews. Including Maxim Boon for the Music who wrote of the production, “Simply put, this may very well be the birth of a future Australian classic.”
Other works include A Prudent Man (People’s Choice Award and WA Touring Award; Melbourne Fringe, 2016), Reasons to Stay Inside (Best Kids Show; Melbourne Fringe 2015, and Best Children’s Theatre; AWGIE, 2016), Dropped (Highly Commended – Best Emerging Writer; Melbourne Fringe 2013) and These are the isolate (Winner – Best Emerging Writer; Melbourne Fringe 2010).
She is currently writing a commission for the Old Fitz’s New Voices Program (Sydney) and was selected to be a part of the Malthouse Theatre’s Besen Family Artist Program (Writer Development).
Her fiction has received the Rachel Furnai Prize for Literature (Lip Magazine) and Overland Magazine’s Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize. Her writing has been shortlisted for awards including the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Prize and Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Prize.
Katy is currently working on her debut novel, Regime, to be published by Black Inc. Books in 2018.
She is a proud member of the Australian Writers’ Guild.
Image by Jamie Breen (Reasons to Stay Inside at The Blue Room Theatre for Perth Fringe)