Tropes To Leave in 2017

In honour of the end of this most manic and polarising year, I’m having trouble trying to make some kind of holistic reflection on 2017. SO much has happened at such a frenetic pace that the only thing I can safely say is that, for me, this year was totally unprecedented – personally, professionally, and politically.

So, instead of trying to make some kind of sweeping statement on the year that was, I want to focus on the things left behind. There are a lot of things I hope will stay put in 2017 – Kevin Spacey, Geoffrey Rush, neo-Nazis, Alec Baldwin’s Trump impression, the term ‘clussy’ – and leave us free to build a better society in the years to come.

I also hope we’ll continue to build higher standards for our Art and the discussions around it. As such, I want to leave everyone with this list of tropes from film, television, theatre, and fiction, that I think have run their course and can now go gentle into that good Drafts folder in the sky.


  • Plot Twist: SUICIDE!!!
  • Plot Twist: RAPE BACKSTORY!!!
  • I Am The Only White Man Who Has Ever Had A Mental Health Crisis
  • I Am The Only White Man Who Has Ever Cared About These Brown People
  • I Am The Only White Man Who Has Ever Cared About These Women / Queers / Trans People
  • Bow At My Feet! For I Am ~Benevolent Saint Who Would Deign To Fuck A Disabled Person~!
  • I Went To Screen/Stage/Creative Writing School For A Year And All I Got Was This Stupid Play/Film/Novel That Could At Best Be Considered A Barely-Veiled Attempt At Autobiography
  • This Work Is So EDGY And REAL And NOW That I Didn’t Even Need To Do Any Research Into Islam Or Muslim People Or Race Or Oppression Or Anything With More Depth And Nuance Than The Stuff I Hear From Studio10
  • Sure I’ll Kiss This Other Man, But First I Have To Punch Him In The Face
  • Man Who Begs “Separate The Man From The Art!!!” Only Makes Art About The Same Problematic Shit As The Shit He’s Done
  • I Know It’s A Two Act Two Hour Play But The Playwright Felt That This One Character Who Is In No Other Part Of The Play Should Really Be Brought Into The Penultimate Scene
  • I Did Not Do Any Research In Order To Write This Farce
  • I Did Not Do Any Research In Order To Write This Absurdist/Post-dramatic/Avant Garde Piece
  • I Did Not Do Any Research In Order To Write This Novel Set In War Torn Unspecifiedland
  • “Before You Judge Me For This Objectively Horrible Thing I Did, Let Me Just Say That I Have Cancer”
  • Problematic Australian Figure With A Memorable Catchphrase: The Musical!
  • I Was Struggling To Give This Female Character Any Strong Storyline Or Personality So Let’s Just Say She Was Abused In The Past Or Something
  • Straight White “Progressive” Male is A Dick To Women For The Good of The Left!! For the Left!!!!!! It’s For The Left!!!!!!!!
  • Straight White “Progressive” Male is A Dick To Women Because He is Damaged! He’s Damaged!!!! So Damaged!!!!!!!!!
  • Social Conservatism Dressed Up As Futuristic Speculative Fiction (cf: “what if phones, but, too much?”)
  • It’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy So It’s Totally Cool That We Cast No POC (Even In Roles That Are Written As People of Colour), And Yes We’re Unwittingly Implying That Our Fantasy Is A World Devoid Of Diversity
  • Historical Queer Figure Who Did A Good Things Once: The Story Of How We Used To Be A Homophobic Society But We’re Definitely Not Any More. Not At All. Never. So Good Now. No Need For Queer Activism Any More. See?
  • A Flaccid Old Play By A Dead White Misogynist, But, We Kind Of Made It About Gays/Gender Equality/Marriage Equality/Donald Trump, So, You Can’t Accuse Us Of Not Being Progressive
  • “____” : a film by Woody Allen
  • “____” : starring Johnny Depp
  • “____” : starring Jared Leto
  • “____” : starring Benedict Cumberbatch
  • “____” : created by Stephen Moffat
  • “____” : by Milo Yiannopoulos/Pauline Hanson/[insert alt-right abomination the general population ironically enables because “what a troll lmao”]
  • “””Method Acting”””, i.e. “I voluntarily tortured myself and aggravated the people around me for months to get this shiny gold thing”
  • Man In Dress Still Funny, Right? Right????? RIGHT?!??!?!?!
  • James Franco
  • Boss Baby


All things said, I’ve truly had a special year. I’ve had the luck to work with a long list of extremely talented people – some of whom I never thought I’d be allowed in a room with – and I’ve learned a lot about myself, my ethos, my practice, and how to make arts more good.

Globally speaking, 2017 has been a shitfuck, and it’s entirely likely that 2018 will be just as much of one. But for now I’m happy to reflect on a year in which I did a whole lot of shit with a whole lot of people, and get pumped for the year of work to come.

Already I’m gearing up for two remounts of shows I did in 2017, a complete rewrite of my very first play, a completely new and exhilarating verbatim piece about a wonderfully complex woman, an actual cabaret with me in it (SCREAMS), and a mid-year relocation to Melbourne to write about Caitlyn Jenner and peddle my sad gay wares to a new state (read: take over the entire east coast of Australia and achieve trans supremacy).

I love all of you very much, and I hope you have a merry and safe New Year’s Eve, and that 2018 brings nothing but wonderful things and wonderful people into your lives.

Take care of yourselves.

See ya next year!

C xx


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