Silent Disco

produced by Griffin Theatre Co and Hothouse Albury, Q Penrith and The Victorian Arts Centre 2011, reading at Singapore Writers Festival 2013, Aurora Theatre San Francisco, Magic Theatre San Francisco and The Perseverance Theatre, Juneau Alaska. Selected for National Script Workshop Playwriting Australia, Brisbane 2009. Published by Currency Press 2011.



Winner Australian Writer’s Guild National AWGIE Awards: Best Australian Play 2012. Winner Griffin Award for most outstanding new Australian Play 2009. Winner GAP Theatre Competition, Aurora Theatre, Berkeley California 2011. Shortlisted for Best New Australian work at The Helpmann Awards 2011. Shortlisted for Best New Australian Play Sydney Theatre Critics Awards. Shortlisted for NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2012.

quote from play

So many questions. Questions people asked over and over again.
What happened that day? Did I sense that the boy, because they always call them that, did I sense the boy was on edge? Was he taking something? Had he been taking something?
In classes the week leading up to the incident how had his behaviour been? Did he sit up the back and stare out a window or did he fidget like pins had been stuck in all over his legs and arms or did he do work? If he did work, what work was done? Did anything he did or wrote or said signify anything? So many questions.
What were his family like? Did he have friends? How did he relate to the other kids in the class? Was he a leader or a follower?
And then of the day. Questions about the time it happened, about the weather about what I was teaching when the lockdown bell rang and did I think it was a drill because schools have drills and what made me realise that it wasn’t a drill -that it was actually happening?


Tamara and Jasyn are in love. Tamara is fourteen. Jasyn lives with Aunty and his brother Dane is in prison for dealing. Jasyn wants to take Tamara to the formal, but he hasn’t got the cash.

In a world of absent mothers and missing fathers, Mrs Petchell battles to keep another year of students out of the ranks of the vanished. The Outsiders is on the syllabus again, but instead of Socs and Greasers, this is the world of Speds and Skanks – fuelled by Red Bull and powered by iPods. It can be hard to find your own rhythm when everyone is marching to the beat of a different drum.

Production history

Workshopped by Playwriting Australia at National Script Workshop 2010, Produced by Australian Theatre for Young People/ Griffin Theatre Company/ Hothouse Theatre 2011

Publisher details


★★★★★Critic’s Choice ‘This is a fine play, a fine production, and probably one of the small stage highlights of the year.’ Jason Blake, Sydney Morning Herald

‘Philpott’s writing incorporates realistic dialogue, impeccably observed characters and balances broad contemporary comedy with pathos and near tragedy. Scenes move quickly and Philpott intercuts smart dialogue with asides and the inner thoughts of the characters.’ Kate Herbert, Herald Sun Melbourne

‘First, foremost, and finally, there’s Philpott’s play, which deploys devices but no artifice; methods but no superfluous, attention-getting madness. It’s a knowing play written from the inside: inside the system; inside the hearts and minds of teachers and students alike….It’s only April, but I’ll be damned if this doesn’t turn out to be one of the most memorable highlights of 2011. And maybe a couple of years either side as well.’ Lloyd Bradford Skye Crikey

‘Lachlan Philpott’s 2009 Griffin Award winning play nails characters, situations and genuine issues with aching accuracy, and relieving wit. There’s an intense lyricism to his writing, balanced by the vital rawness, muscle and sensitivity of Lee Lewis’s direction, rich in truth and texture.’ Neil Litchfield Stage Whispers

‘Silent Disco accomplishes something all too rare in current theatre – it really makes you feel. This is easily one of the standout productions of the year so far.’ Emma Cole The Ember