Mugs Like Us

Mugs Like Us

You’re in the custody suite at Sydney’s Central police station. They did a bust at the racecourse last night and there’s no space in the cells so they’ve had you sitting out here for the last two hours. It’s chaos, and Circus Jimmy is kicking up a fight, telling the coppers they’ve got nothing on him. A tall bloke with a hat and a large bag enters and crosses the room. He’s not a D but no one stops him as he walks towards the cells. He looks back at you over his shoulder and gives the slightest jerk of his head. He’s telling you to follow him. You look around. No one seems to be paying much attention – they’ve got their hands full with Jimmy. So you get up from the bench and follow the man down into the cells…

Mugs Like Us is a trilogy of three one-woman plays, of 40 minutes to an hour in length, inspired by photographs taken in Australia in the 1920s of people just after they had been arrested. This collection of photographs was recently discovered and compiled into a book and exhibition, Crooks Like Us by researcher and academic Peter Doyle. The plays explore Sydney in the 1920s, the social factors that motivated crimes committed by women during that period and the history of photography.

Riff Raff is working with three playwrights to develop three one-woman plays of 40 minutes to an hour in length inspired by this photo collection. An R&D of the work will be shown in 2015.

The Creative Team

Writer Georgia Keighery

Georgia Keighery’s love affair with theatre has been long-running and saucy. She co-founded Prompt Theatre with Imara Savage in Sydney in 1998 and has been writing for the stage ever since. Her first full-length play The Flats won a commendation at the 2003 Philip Parsons Award and she was a writer for the B’Sharp 24 Hour Play Project in the same year. Her play FiRE was part of Darlinghurst Theatre’s In The Raw festival in November 2006, and more recently, her monologue Awkward Redemption was performed by Dominik Golding and directed by Emma Sampson as part of the Bits Of Obits Festival in London in 2012. In 2013 her monologue The Other Foot was directed by Amie Taylor and performed by Leanna Wigginton for Riff Raff Theatre’s Lost Soles, and was subsequently selected for performance in early 2014 as part of The Space’s One Festival.

Georgia’s works as a Creative Content Writer & Producer, writing copy and creating bespoke video content includes clients Spacehacker (launching 2014), Satori & Co. and Pretty Penny.

Georgia was a columnist for ArtsHub Australia, a travel writer for SheGoes, and she hopes to grow up to be a valid human being one day.
Visit her website.

Writer Susan Kingman

Currently based in Cardiff, Susan is an actress and writer. She is currently working on her one-woman show, I’ll be There Now, which began life as an audition piece for National Theatre Wales and Michael Sheen. In fact, if it wasn’t for Michael Sheen’s response of ”you should do that more (write!)” she may not have developed the piece at all! Having recently received Research and Development funding from Arts Council Wales, she is hoping to tour the show later this year. Susan wrote and performed a piece for Riff Raff’s ‘Bits of Obits’ Festival and she is very excited to be involved in ‘Mugs Like Us’.

Writer Michèle Winstanley

Michèle Winstanley is a former actor, turned playwright. In 1999 her first play, Keepers, was selected by Hampstead Theatre for inclusion in their festival of play readings by new writers, called A Small Drop of Ink, which led to a full production there in 2000 and a commission from Soho Theatre for her second play, Edging Gently Forwards (via dramaturg and writer Paul Sirett). Michèle’s third play, Broken Water, was short-listed for the Verity Bargate Awards 2013 (placing it in the top 25 out of over 800 submissions). A rehearsed reading directed by one of the UK’s leading actors, Phil Davis, saw Broken Water launch PlayWrought 2014, Arcola Theatre’s week-long festival of new writing. It was also the first play to be read at ArtHouse Crouch End’s Live Space. A full production is planned for 2016.

Director Emma Sampson

Emma Sampson is a producer and director and a co-founder of Riff Raff Theatre. She was the Associate Director for the Peculius Theatre Company’s Handlebards 2013 and 2014 tours of Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth and Comedy of Errors. In 2015 she will work with the Handlebards again, directing Hamlet. She directed Riff Raff’s Lost Soles project, a pop-up theatre and art gallery in London’s West End, which was part of the London Design Festival and their Bits of Obits new writing festival. Her other directing credits include Tartuffe (the Space), Small Lives, Global Ties (Tamasha Theatre Company, Unicorn Theatre). She was the Associate Director for Space Productions’ A Doll’s House (Arcola Theatre) and has assisted on a number of productions including; The Shape of Things (The Space), Gut Girls (the Space) and an outdoor production of Much Ado About Nothing (Veni Vidi Theatre Company). She is one of Tamasha Theatre Company’s developing artists and an Associate Artist of the Space.