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Arthur Meek Awarded Scotland Playwrights Residency

3 Aug 2015

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Playmarket, New Zealand’s playwrights service organisation, in partnership with Creative New Zealand and Playwrights’ Studio Scotland, has awarded Arthur Meek a three-month playwriting residency in Scotland. 

The project funded by Creative New Zealand is for a New Zealand playwright to be partnered with a theatre company in Scotland. Playwrights were invited to submit an idea for the residency while at the same time Scottish theatre companies were invited to put forward a partnership proposal. Arthur’s proposal was selected by the Scottish /NZ panel with the working title of The Fighter’s Pap. The play will be set in the world of women’s sportfighting.

The partnership with the Scottish Theatre company is currently being negotiated and they will work with Arthur to develop the script and commission the play with a potential production resulting.

“Scotland is renowned for its tradition of playwriting and has been producing some of the most successful playwrights and plays in the United Kingdom in recent years. We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Playwrights’ Studio and to offer Arthur this opportunity,” Murray Lynch, Director Playmarket.

Arthur Meek graduated from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. He was the 2012 recipient of the Bruce Mason Award for playwriting and, in the same year, he became the third recipient of the Harriet Friedlander New York Residency awarded by the Arts Foundation.

He launched his playwriting career in 2006 with The Cottage set in the toilet stalls of a scandalous local gay club. On The Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking me as her Young Lover co-written with Geoff Pinfield, and based on the book by Richard Meros garnered best production of the year nominations and picked up awards throughout the country. The subsequent play Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man also toured nationally.

Arthur was a founder of Billy-T award-nominated musical comedy band The Lonesome Buckwhips. He co-wrote and anchored the satirical newscast Feedback, which ran on TV2 in 2010. Arthur has also co-written short films with John Ong.

His Young & Hungry commissioned work Yolk premiered at BATS Theatre and he was commissioned by the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution to write Charles Darwin: Collapsing Creation as part of worldwide celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Darwin's masterpiece: On the Origin of Species.

After some time away from playwriting, working as an actor in shows such as The Almighty Johnsons; Nothing Trivial and Underbelly, he burst back onto the theatre scene with Sheep, written for Long Cloud Youth Theatre’s summer season and the critically acclaimed On The Upside-Down of the World commissioned, produced and toured by Auckland Theatre Company and based on the 1884 memoirs of Lady Anne Martin - Our Maoris.

Arthur took up his Harriet Friedlander New York Residency in 2013.  While in New York he had two plays performed in the United Solo Festival, New York: Upside Down of the World and Dark Stars which won the Best Non-Fiction Script.

Meek played a guest-starring role in the fourth season of TVNZ’s Go Girls, and wrote Trees Beneath the Lake commissioned and premiered by Auckland Theatre Company.

He has since toured the one-man shows developed in partnership with Geoff Pinfield, including a season at La Mama in New York of On the conditions and possibilities of Helen Clark taking me as her Young Lover re-fashioned as On the conditions and possibilities of Hillary Clinton taking me as her Young Lover