How to cope when your work remains stuck in limbo

Jane Harrison’s ‘new’ play was left sitting in a drawer for six years following a rehearsed reading, with promises to stage it failing to eventuate until now. She tells us how she coped.

In February 2014 Jane Harrison’s play The Visitors was presented as a rehearsed reading by the Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) as part of their Cybec Electric program. Six years later it is finally receiving its world premiere – though not by the MTC.

‘Often I felt it was never going to get up. Especially since for a few year’s running I was told that MTC had shortlisted it. It got down to “It’s between this play and one other,’ and both times they chose the one other. But Stolen took six years to get to the stage, so I guess I’m used to being patient,’ said Harrison.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts