22 Short Plays

by David Finnigan

Workshop |
MKA Open Season, 2010
Premiere |
MKA Season One, MKA Prahran, 2011
Toured |
The Street Theatre, Canberra, 2011
New Years Revolution, Geelong 2012
MKA Pop-Up, Melbourne, 2013
MKA Pop-Up, Adelaide, 2013
Performers | 3  Crew | 0/1  Duration | 70 minutes  Interval | None
Genre |Post-modern theatre, sketch comedy, contemporary theatre
Siting | Previous or same day set-up and open
Max Shows/Week | 16
Touring Availability | This project is available for immediate tour in Australia and internationally. For information please contact tobias@mka.org.au

22 Short Plays is a compact, comic performance work featuring three charismatic performers, a mind-bending text, and a classic vaudeville stage set. Widely praised as a work of quality and comedy 22 Short Plays is now available to tour. Flexible, scalable, and capable of playing audiences from 50-500 people, this is MKA’s most accessible and engaging performance work – the perfect show to bring MKA’s idiosyncratic sociological insight and entertainment to audiences everywhere!

With 22 Short Plays, over 70 unpredictable minutes, starting with the opening of the blue velvet curtains – and interrupted 21 more times as they drop and rise again – you’re taken on a magical and absurd ride, slipping from bizarre scenario to scenario in strange and hilarious ways; experiencing 
a pop culture-soaked soundtrack, all framed within an intense, disciplined, and ridiculous execution, within a beautiful Lynchian presentation, a simulacrum of a theatre – a dream of a show.

The work epitomises director Tobias Manderson-Galvin‘s signature style – combining classic Australian, theatrical traditions, incendiary bouffon performances, and a savvy and exciting contemporary knowing.

David Finnigan’s writing is challenging and distinctly 21st Century. Part ADHD day-dream, part essay; he effortlessly subverts the everyday and the banal; combining philosophy, poetry and pop-culture into devastating and hysterical satirical writings.


MKA is a Melbourne, Australia-based new writing performance company. MKA creates, presents, and produces idiosyncratic, political, and speculative entertainment. MKA shows operate as critique of contemporary issues at local, national and global levels. MKA creates platforms for concerns of philosophy, sociology, and culture. MKA is renowned and awarded for creating work in unconventional spaces, pop-up theatres, and has persistently led Australian performance practice, while continuing a line created decades earlier.

MKA has presented work by artists from across Australia (Victoria, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia, New South Wales) as well as artists from Croatia, Finland, Singapore, the UK, the USA.

MKA has received direct support from groups including Australia Council of the Arts, Creative Victoria, the City of Yarra, Darebin City Council, Hot House, ArtsHouse, Melbourne Theatre Company, La Mama Theatre, TheatreWorks and also received support from Moreland City Council, the City of Paris,Arts Centre Melbourne, and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation; amongst others.


David is a writer, theatre-maker, festival producer and pharmacy assistant from Canberra, Australia.

HE’S a Churchill Fellow (2012) and an Australia Council Early Career Fellow (2014-16).

With science-theatre ensemble Boho, HE works with research scientists from institutions including University College London, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, CSIRO and the Australian Academy of Sciences.

HE’S been a resident artist for the Battersea Arts Centre in London, Tanghalang Pilipino in Manila and Campos de Gutierrez in Medellin, Colombia.

HE’S been commissioned to create new work for organisations including Coney, the Powerhouse Museum, the Canberra Street Theatre, Opera Australia, the National Film and Sound Archive, and the Free Word Centre in London.

HIS scripts have been nominated for the Max Afford National Playwrights Award and the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award. HE founded and co-directed two ongoing arts festivals: the Crack Theatre Festival in Newcastle (2009-10), and the You Are Here festival in Canberra (2011-13).


An award winning performance artist, writer and theatre director from Canberra, Australia. Best known works include ‘The Economist’, ‘Thank You, Thank You Love’ & ‘Dogmeat’. He is much awarded and critically acclaimed as a performer, producer, writer and director and holds a Master of Writing for Performance from the Victorian College of the Arts, and has a continuing relationship with the University of Melbourne. In 2010 Tobias co-founded MKA: Theatre of New Writing. One of their first activities was to build a 45 seat theatre in a Richmond warehouse. Since then, under his Creative Direction, the company has built over 15 pop-up theatres, has presented and toured over 30 unique productions, as well as touring and remounting works, and has an extensive development program. Manderson-Galvin first shot to notoriety playing Adolf Hitler and David Hasslehoff simultaneously in the cultural solution ‘Hitlerhoff’. At nineteen Tobias held a terrorist ranking from the Australian Federal Police for his poetry.


22 Short Plays is a partially-responsive project. The exact composition of the show can change from tour-to-tour as required and has a range of potential options including more or less lighting, stage size, stunts, and content. The following technical specifications are indicative only. Please contact tobias@mka.org.au to discuss your wishes!


70 Minutes, No Interval


MKA are trained educators; and able to present workshops; panels; artist Q+As; performance lectures; seminars; and real-time performed walk-through director’s notes of the production. MKA can also offer a limited licence to basic, downloadable ‘directors’ notes’ that audience members can listen to during the production on their own portable listening devices, as well as a variety of resources for students from secondary to post-graduate.Additional Content / Educational

Please contact tobias@mka.org.au to discuss the options, most of which the company is delighted to offer without additional charge.


3 Persons
2 performer/operators and 1 performer/manager


Same day open – example only

Day One
0800-1300 Unload, rig and lighting LX focus, set and rig curtains, set any automated lighting, prepare consumables.
1300 – 1330 Tune and sound check audio system
1300 – 1400 Lighting Focus & Plot/Program
1700 – 1940 Show call, Performers warm up onstage
2000 – 2115 Performance
2115 – 2130 Break
2130 – 2300 Get out

Day Two
0800 – 0830 Removal of Kit


Get-In (2-3 hours)
Lighting/Sound System Technician x 1

Show Call
No crew for show required

Get Out (1-2 hours)
No crew for get out required



  • Performing area size may vary, and can accomodate most stage sizes
  • The surface and surrounds shall not display any logos or advertising without consultation with MKA Management.
  • The performance space shall be swept and mopped prior to MKA’s arrival.

MKA Supplies:

  • additional flooring
  • velvet fireproof curtains & back drop
  • Crew to unload and lay set and props
  • two 800w fog machines and cables to power them from one socket

Venue Supplies (where possible):

  • Flat, performance space
  • One ladders, between 2.4m-2.7m
  • 1 x standard 240V power supply to power fog machines


22 Short Plays can tour with an operator and a more complex design or a performer-operated version with a less demanding lighting design.
MKA Supplies:

  • All playback equipment for Lighting and Sound including cable to engage with any control

Venue Supplies (where possible):

  • Rear of audience seating position / desk or control room.
  • 1 x 110Vor 240V power supply for audio control


  • As of July 2016 MKA can now light the entire show using re-chargeable, portable lighting equipment; that does not require external control. In theatres with programable basic rigs, it’s requested that we use this also.

MKA Supplies:

  • All lighting equipment
  • Charging stations for the lighting

Venue Supplies (where possible):

  • 3 x Standard 240v power supplies to power the charging stations


MKA tours with its own laptop based audio system.

MKA has it’s own 12 channel sound desk than can tour if the venue does not have a desk at hand.

As a backup for the laptop, MKA uses an iphone6.

The venue could supply cabling from MKA’s outputs to the house desk where one exists. The PA would ideally be rigged and tuned prior to Doppelgangster’s arrival.

MKA Supplies

  • Laptop based audio system
  • Iphone6 is also used for show backup and warm-up and MKA supplies a mini jack to stereo 6.5mm jacks cable.
  • 2 x Radio Vocal microphones, and radio receiver; it is advised to discuss whether these can be used as they risk clashing if other productions are being presented nearby using similar mics.
  • 2 x Standard Mics and cables

Venue Supplies:

  • FOH PA with even distribution to all parts of Auditorium rigged and tuned prior to MKA’s arrival; ideally this means

a/ 2 x Primary L + R Speakers, b/ 2 x Secondary L + R speakers, and c/ 1 or 2 x subwoofer speakers

  • Sound console to control MKA sound signal (analogue where available is appreciated).
  • 2 x Radio Vocal microphones and receiver where MKA’s are not usable.
  • 1 clean 240V or 110v power supply


MKA Supplies:

  • All costumes
  • hand washing and air-drying of all four costumes on an as need basis.

Venue Supplies (where possible):

  • Wardrobe facilities in venue including Washing Machine/Dryer and Iron/Ironing Board


To ensure the performers are in peak condition to deliver the best performance possible, we request the following to be provided by the venue per performance

  • 2 clean towels per performance
  • Ample bottled or filtered water for each performance
  • High-energy Vegan snacks such as muesli bars, chocolate, fruit and nuts
  • ‘Blue’, ‘Black’, or ‘Blue-Black’ flavoured sports drinks or Kombucha or homemade lemonade to your own secret recipe
  • Where a venue has a bar it is requested that the bar provide ice available near stage to immediately treat injury and for warming down.
  • Where possible a dressing room to accommodate 2 performers, preferably climate controlled. Preferred with shower.


  • Clear unobstructed sight lines to all parts of performance space
  • It is preferable that the audience can see the performance floor/ground; this does not necessitate raked or raised seating – or raising of the performance space – but an audience of more than 60 would suffer from loss of sight lines and as such would require these amendments.
  • No unauthorised personnel not cleared with MKA Management, and Venue allowed on-set prior to performance.
  • Seating for the maximum agreed audience number (dependent on Venue size, between 60-600)



To be attached..


“Inspired genius.”


“The punch line is the first victim… Dent, Gallacher and Manderson-Galvin – under the incisive direction of the latter’s brother and MKA Creative Director, Tobias – are unstinting in their commitment to the silliness”

“MKA certainly hit the mark..Don’t bring the kids.. No! No! No!”

“keenly observant, sometimes hilarious, sometimes bizarre, sometimes enigmatic… certainly entertaining”



“An ideal snapshot of postmodern theory in theatrical form.”

“edgy, absurd sketch comedy…handled with effortless comic skill..on the strength of this show, MKA is a company that will make its mark.”

“this rapid fire collection of 22 concentrated bits of comedy make this another MKA show worth seeing”

“22 Short Plays hits you like a slap in the face, and I feel energised by the experience”

“I loved this show”

” Officially my favourite company this year… a middle finger salute to boring theatre… far funnier than any sketch show.”



“Often funny and always clever.. Finnigan is a master of the form.”

CREATED BY MKA | Theatre of New Writing

WRITTEN BY | David Finnigan

DIRECTED and DESIGNED BY | Tobias Manderson-Galvin

PERFORMED BY (current head shots of performers are available)
Company members of MKA

COMPOSER | Jules Pascoe (JazzParty, Jaala)

W | www.mka.org.au
FB | facebook.com/mkatheatreau
T | @mkatheatre

Additional Logos 2. Creative Victoria
PLEASE NOTE: the full name of the production is ‘22 Short Plays’. The production title cannot be lengthened to ‘Twenty-Two Short Plays’.

22 Short Plays was first workshopped as part of MKA Richmond’s Open Season development program, in 2010.

The premiere season of 22 Short Plays was presented by MKA Theatre of New Writing in association with Prahran Mission, as part of MKA Season One.

In 2011 22 Short Plays subsequently toured to Canberra to the Street Theatre in partnership with the ACT Government, and with the support of an MKA CrowdFunding campaign. 22 Short Plays was presented in 2012 for New Years Revolution in association with Courthouse Youth Arts Centre, in partnership with City of Greater Geelong, the Australia Council of the Arts, and Arts Victoria. In 2013 MKA then re-booted the work in Melbourne, at Second Story, and toured it to Adelaide Fringe, in association with The Producers Hotel.

Research, Development & Production Credits
Open Season 2010 |
Performers – Ellen Grimshaw, John Peck, & Joshua Cameron
Director – Tobias Manderson-Galvin
Premiere Melbourne 2011 |
Performers – Ellen Grimshaw, Conor Gallacher, & Paul Blenheim
Director, Sound Designer + Videographer  – Tobias Manderson-Galvin
Stage and Lighting Designer – David Samuel
Assistant Director – Louris Van De Geer
Additional Videographer – Trewlea Peters
Additional Sound Designer – Ben Hutchings
Production Manager – Simonne Johansen
Canberra 2011 |
Performers – Kerith Manderson-Galvin, Conor Gallacher, & Brad Williams
Director + Sound Designer – Tobias Manderson-Galvin
Set Designer – David Samuel
Geelong 2012 |
Performers – Tobias Manderson-Galvin, Conor Gallacher, & Brad Williams
Director + Sound Designer – Tobias Manderson-Galvin
Set Designer – David Samuel
Technician – Nick McCorriston
Reboot Melbourne 2013 |
Performers – Kerith Manderson-Galvin, Conor Gallacher, & Tom Dent
Director + Sound Designer – Tobias Manderson-Galvin
Set Designer – Amaya Vecellio
Adelaide 2013 |
Performers – Kerith Manderson-Galvin, Conor Gallacher, & Tom Dent
Director + Sound Designer – Tobias Manderson-Galvin
Set Designer – Amaya Vecellio

NOTE: Complete risk assessments, including solutions and explicit risks, from all previous productions- and a base assessment for any venue – are available on request.

The following is a basic list only.

1/ Trips and falls caused by wet floor in light

2/ Trips and falls caused by wet floor in darkness

3/ Clash with audience during human pyramid

4/ Curtain falling


1/ Tripping on electrical cables

2/ Loud sound

3/ Bright Light

4/ Explicit language and nudity


1/ Moving in fog (from twin fog machines)

2/ Choking on yoghurt

THE PRODUCTION comes with:

– a growing and innovative online company presence;

– video footage of previous performances

– interviews in text from the artists

– education packs for tertiary and secondary levels

– the company are delighted to give interviews, sit on panels, run workshops, and engage with educational institutions in order to best extend the audience of the production

THE PRODUCTION can also come with:

– full design for posters, flyers, business cards, and other print promotions

– hi-definition video interviews with the artists


more photos coming soon…

Excerpts, 2011