Merchant: a Sydney document

Merchant: a Sydney document

The development of this performance text will seek to re-contextualise The Merchant of Venice in the recent GFC affected money markets of Sydney. Using Shakespeare’s play as an inspirational starting point, this new piece will employ dramatic storytelling and a documentary collage/essay style, using interview based research and documentary material, alongside sound and media excerpts. The style in which the work will be dramatized will also be influenced strongly by the radiophonic possibilities of documentary interviews and editing processes and will seek to incorporate this in a fully recorded form, or as one style of the dramatized performance.


Catherine is an AWGIE award-winning scriptwriter, whose scripts have been produced for radio, puppetry, hybrid performance, theatre and children’s theatre by Sydney Opera House, Redmoon Theatre Chicago, Experimental Art Foundation/Vitalstatistix (SA), ABC Radio Airplay, Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Vitalstatistix National Women’s Theatre, Sidetrack Performance Group, Death Defying Theatre, and Theatre of the Deaf. She has performed widely in cabaret and contemporary performance in Australia, the UK and US.

In 2008 she completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts at Wollongong University where she developed performance texts from a series of original bio-ethical fables. Her play, Dr Egg and the Man with No Ear, a puppet theatre and new media production (Sydney Opera House) received critical acclaim and toured the US and Canada from 2008–10. She is currently developing it into an interactive storybook, The Dr Egg Adventures, as Creative Director of Dr Egg Digital funded by the Literature Brd and Inter-arts fund of the Australia Council. In 2013–14 she has received an established writer New Work grant to write the full prose and interactive versions of The Dr Egg Adventures. Catherine won the 2010 AWGIE (national scriptwriting awards) award for her ABC radio play, The Violin Player, and the 2011 AWGIE for Children’s Theatre for Dr Egg and The Man with No Ear. She also currently teaches scriptwriting, performance practice and practical ethics at Macquarie University, Department of Music, Media, Cultural studies and Communication


Christopher Williams studied Drama at UNSW and trained in movement with Steven Berkoff, Lindsay Kemp and in Decroux technique. He was a founding member of the movement-based theatre company Entr’acte. Christopher trained as a director at NIDA, AFTRS and the Australian Opera, and under Yevgeny Lanskoy of Stella Adler’s School, NY. He undertook post-graduate research in Performance Studies at the University of Sydney (1994–98), and is currently a PhD candidate in Radiophonic Performance & Production at UTS. 

Christopher worked as a freelance director (1979–94) before joining the ABC Radio Drama department (1994–2013).  Career highlights include directing the premier production of Low by Daniel Keene at Belvoir St Theatre, creating the immersive electronic opera As If Electrically Controlled for IHOS Opera, and working on international co-productions of Vanishing Points (Keene) with Bayerischer Rundfunk, and Crashing Aeroplanes (Ammer/Einheit) with West Deutscher Rundfunk. He is a former President of the Radio Fiction Jury for the Prix Italia, and was awarded a Prix Italia himself for Rita’s Lullaby (Bobis).  Christopher’s production of Testimony (Komunyakaa/Evans) was recently released as a book/CD by Wesleyan University Press.

Christopher also practices as a sound artist and has exhibited in many galleries across South Australia and Victoria including Greenaway Gallery, Melbourne Now for the NGV, Dianne Tanzer, and the Mildura Palimpsest. In 2013, he won the ZKM “Atmospheres” Soundscape Composition Award in Berlin.  He is co-curator of Sounding Off, dedicated to the presentation of Sonic Arts in Adelaide.

Merchant: a Sydney document


Research commenced.