Show artwork for SLAP. BANG. KISS
Media Release



Opening on Thursday 21 April as part of MTC’s acclaimed Families and Education Program, SLAP. BANG. KISS. tracks three young people whose stories kickstart a series of events none of them could have anticipated, transforming them into global symbols of revolution.

Exploring themes of hope, identity and activism, this is a bold MTC NEXT STAGE Original from multi-award-winning playwright Dan Giovannoni (Merciless Gods), directed by Katy Maudlin (Cybec Electric 2021).

Commenting on the inspiration for his play, Dan Giovannoni said, ‘I’d been thinking about the myths we are told about teenagers – that they're all apathetic, apolitical, disinterested. The teenagers I meet are engaged, curious, angry, and keen to be listened to. I wanted to write something that rejected the idea of a teenager as a smelly grump sulking in their bedroom. Those two ideas came together and I decided to write a play about teenagers who, accidentally or otherwise, change the world.’

Starring Sarah Fitzgerald (The Great Australian Play), Conor Leach (Hell’s Canyon) and Tsungirai Wachenuka (Paw Patrol Live), SLAP. BANG. KISS. will hit the road following its season at Southbank Theatre, touring regional Victorian arts venues. The production will also have a one-off livestreamed performance for schools unable to attend an in-person performance.

Director Katy Maudlin said, ‘SLAP. BANG. KISS. is a fast-moving play that sets alight a series of inter-woven stories about young people sparkling global movements. It’s timely, exciting and a rallying cry for the power of teenage voices and their capacity to generate change. I’m thrilled to be working with this exceptional cast and creative team to bring the show to life and can’t wait for audiences around Victoria to see what we’ve made.’

The production will be complemented by a suite of detailed digital resources to support students’ study and learning outcomes. MTC Education’s array of study resources are provided free of charge and available alongside a growing library of award-winning materials designed to enhance students’ experience and engagement with the arts.

About the play: SLAP. A video of 16-year-old Immi hitting a security officer goes viral. BANG. Sofia’s impassioned speech for the victims of a school shooting makes international news. KISS. In the car park of a small-town Woolies, people rally around Darby and Daniel as the boys lock lips in an attempt to set the world record for the longest kiss. But when their stories go viral and the whole world is watching, what will they do next?

Dan Giovannoni has been writing plays for adults and children since his graduation from NIDA in 2010. His recent adaptation of Merciless Gods, based on the book by Christos Tsiolkas, played to critical acclaim in Melbourne and went on to have a season at Griffin Theatre Company. In 2021, SLAP. BANG. KISS. was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. His play Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories won the Helpmann Award for Best Children’s Presentation in 2016 and was also nominated for Best New Australian Work. His Red Stitch Actors Theatre commission, Jurassica won him a Green Room Award for New Writing for the Australian Stage. For independent theatre company Arthur, Dan collaborated with Amelia Evans and Duncan Graham on The Myth Project: Twin (MTC NEON Festival 2014) and, with Amelia Evans, wrote the award-winning Cut Snake (Best Emerging Writer Melbourne Fringe) for children and young audiences. Its sequel, Mad As a Cute Snake, premiered at Theatre Works in September 2019.

Katy Maudlin is an award-winning director focused on new writing and feminist dramaturgies. She has worked extensively across Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Notable directing credits include Cybec Electric (Melbourne Theatre Company); Right Now (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre); AntigoneX (Midsumma Festival); The Last Ten Minutes of History (Victorian College of the Arts); Giant Teeth (Auckland Theatre Company). Assisting credits include Lungs (MTC); For The Ones Who Walk Away (St Martins Youth Arts); Merciless Gods (Little Ones); The Moors (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre); Otello (Croatian National Theatre); Giulio Cesare (Croatian National Theatre). She was the dramaturg for Apokalypsis (Next Wave Festival), which won numerous Green Room Awards, including Best Production. Katy undertook a secondment with Katie Mitchell on Lucia Di Lammermoor (The Royal Opera, Covent Garden). She has been the recipient of the Veronica Kelly Award (2021), the Melbourne Global Scholars Award (2016) and the Orloff Family Trust Scholarship (2015).

SLAP. BANG. KISS. was commissioned through MTC’s NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program with the support of our Playwrights Giving Circle Donors, The Ian Potter Foundation, Naomi Milgrom Foundation, The Myer Foundation, Malcolm Robertson Foundation and The University of Melbourne.

This production of SLAP. BANG. KISS. was developed in 2019 and 2020 under the direction of Prue Clark and with the participation of Tahlee Fereday and Artemis Ioannides.

2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award shortlist

A beautifully economical and evocative use of language.' Daily Review (on Merciless Gods)

Sarah Fitzgerald, Conor Leach, Tsungirai Wachenuka

Director Katy Maudlin
Set & Costume Designer Kate Davis
Lighting Designer Amelia Lever-Davidson
Composer & Sound Designer Ian Moorhead 

Melbourne Season Dates
19 — 30 April
Opening Night
Thursday 21 April, 7pm
Southbank Theatre, The Lawler

 Livestream Performance
Thursday 28 April, 1.30pm

Regional Tour Dates
3 – 10 May 
Bunjil Place, Narre Warren
Tuesday 3 May, 10.30am & 1.30pm
The Potato Shed, Drysdale
Wednesday 4 May, 1pm & 7pm 
Mildura Arts Centre
Tuesday 10 May, 1pm 


School booking enquiries


Published on 24 March 2022

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