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The End of Winter

2023 - Shortlisted


Judges' Comments

This play for one woman — she is named The Lover of Winter — begins in the piss-yellow light and soupy air of the devastating 2019 bushfires. Horrified by the apocalyptic scenes and driven by the fear that winter will be lost forever, our narrator embarks on a search for the cold weather she loves. She shares accounts of the geography of cold places and Antarctic exploration, intertwined with stories of her mother dying in England. Loss, personal and environmental, is never far away. 

The End of Winter is designed so that it can be read aloud instead of memorised or performed with some combination of both. It is a type of performance essay. Its remarkable achievement is that it manages to share facts and science in a richly poetic voice with a vulnerability of character. We come to the end of the journey feeling invested, both in this woman’s personal story and in the story of our planet.