Seventeen of my One-Act plays and three of my Full-Length plays have been produced in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and London.
I have won a number of awards on the Fringe circuit and I have a number of self-published collections of plays; one-act and full-length. I was born in Melbourne, Australia and my heritage descend from Irish and English stock.
No White Mongoose For Wilma was my London Theatre debut, held at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden in the Black Box Festival; the first step towards my goal of a West End production. Following my London debut, In The Eyes Of My Heart opened at The Lost Theatre, Stockwell as part of the 5-Minute Festival. The Cockpit Theatre welcomed Fergus' Envy as part of their theatre in the pound festival with positive and supportive feedback from the MC and audience.
My mother says my theatre awakening came to light watching a performance of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs when I was aged 4. Now, I’m taller, a lot older and a playwright with writing and producing expertise beholden in the Fringe theatre arena.
Working with Malcolm C. Cooke and Associates on the professional Australian tour of, The Hobbit, was a hallmark of my professional development.
I'm the author of several plays, short film scripts, monologues and short stories. My book, Performing The Goat - A Collection of One-Act Plays, was published in 2006.
My debut launch into writing and producing for the theatre came in the guise of my first full-length play, The Meeting Place as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. New York Broadway choreographer and actor, Matt West was the sole financial supporter. The Meeting Place was a critical and public success with Ralph McLean from radio station 3RRR critiquing the play as:
“The Meeting Place was a simple even old-fashioned story of family and loss. I rarely cry in the theatre - at least for emotional reasons - but there I was enjoying some new talent. And I was bawling, with the joy of it and of the magic of a good yarn well put, the tears running down my cheeks like a bloody baby.”
The play was selected by the Board and Staff of the Melbourne Fringe and Awards Judges, awarding it a Special Recommendation Award.
Next came, Three Shorts produced at Melbourne’s Workhouse Theatre. Three Shorts comprised of three self-contained plays: ‘Disturbing Mavis’, ‘The Stair’ and ‘Champagne Ladies’. Once again, critical and public reaction to the work was favourable, with ‘Champagne Ladies’ singled out for particular praise:
“With Three Shorts, Darren Brealey has written an eclectic mixture of observations that manage, somehow, to connect … with the satirical ‘Champagne Ladies’ definitely my favourite” (Stage Whispers Magazine).
Disturbing Mavis and The Mechanics were produced in Singapore as part of the Short+Sweet Singapore Festival; Disturbing Mavis winning the People’s Choice Award in the Top 30 Week 1 section.
Spring was produced in Malaysia as part of the Short+Sweet Malaysia Festival.
The staged production of Performing The Goat containing four one-act plays: 'Country Relations', 'A Couple Of S.N.A.Gs.', 'The Mechanics' and 'The Chicks' was performed at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. The production was a strong and gained positive audience reaction and critical comment:
“Darren Brealey delivers four humorous and often terrifyingly accurate portrayals … four short plays that capture colloquial Aussie stereotypes and presents them with hilarious accuracy” (Buzz Cuts).
Shattered Reflection, a full-length play opened at the Guild Theatre. Shattered Reflection, a most confronting and controversial piece of theatre tackling the serious problem of white-collar addiction to alcohol and drugs. Zachary Lurje, Arts Journalist wrote:
“Writer, Darren Brealey, is to be commended for such well-drawn and developed characters. The strength of Shattered Reflection comes in these interesting characters that you can relate to” (Buzz Cuts).
Comfort Zone followed, co-written with playwright and friend, Stuart Pursell, it's comical and diverse theatrical topics had strong audience appreciation, the production received rave critical acclaim:
“Comfort Zone has delivered a rare piece of new theatre that is hilariously self-referential and thematically bold” (BNews).
Separating The Dust, a poignant and controversial 45-minute one act play competed in the Victorian Drama League One Act Play festivals causing the play to be banned from two festivals, receiving three radio interviews (one with Fiona Banks on ABC Country Radio), three front page news articles, a swag of nominations at most festivals and winning two awards; Best Production at the 16th Dandenong Ranges One Act Play Festival and Best Male Actor at the Anglesea One Act Play Festival.
My new writing project, Mayhem At Mumbles Manor (working title) is a new, un-produced and unfinished full-length farce.
The Early Years
I learned drama from the age of six with Arena Theatre and first appeared on stage at the Palais Theatre in St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia when I was ten, in the Gang Show.
In addition to my training in theatre, I studied writing at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).
I attended the Robert McKee, ‘Story Seminar’, claimed to be the world’s ultimate writing course taught by Hollywood’s master of the craft.
I joined Arena Theatre Company in Cromwell Road, South Yarra at the age of 6 (now the home to Polyglot Puppet Theatre) as part of the youth theatre contingent, for four years. Here I learned the art of acting, character development, and other theatrical skills.
For five years I was involved with various community theatre groups, including the Scouting movement’s Gang Show and Springvale Youth Theatre.
For 17 years, I was a member of the Dandenong Light Opera Company (DLOC), which became Dandenong Theatre Company (DTC) in later years. Here, I was to learn the business of Community Theatre, and the community of theatre from many and varied theatre veterans in set design, construction, props and sets, fire and safety (OH&S), theatre design, stage management, lighting, makeup, and of course, acting, dancing and singing. During this period I also joined other community theatre groups, such as Cheltenham Light Opera Company (CLOC) and Panorama Theatre Company (VIC).
I spent four years as the Secretary of Kyneton Theatre Company, fostering creative and sustainable relationships with local and visiting artists.
I continue to create, consult, forge and make my career in theatre; producing, writing, backstage, and technical and construction.
Professional Theatre, Film & Television
I was involved in professional theatre, film, and television over a 10 year period. I was involved with performing in the television and film industry as an actor.
I appeared in television soaps, such as Neighbours, Australia’s Most Wanted, Flying Doctors, The Comedy Company, Janus, The Four Minute Mile, and many more. Commercials such as BP, HBA, Susan, and many more.
I had supporting speaking roles in The Flying Doctors, The Battlers (TV movie filmed in South Australia) and a Drink Drive commercial for SATAC.