The Starry Messenger
by Justin Fleming
The play is set in modern day Florence, where Rachel, a festival playwright, is writing about the year 1600 in Italy when Vincenzo Galilei is working with a team towards the world's first opera, while his son, Galileo Galilei, disovers that the earth moves round the sun. Together, they cause mayhem. But in unexpected and gradually chilling ways, the past invades Rachel's life, placing her and her ardent lover, James, at the centre of a dangerous web of intrigue.
Justin Fleming has been a Vice-President of The Australian Writers' Guild and a
board member of The Australian National Playwrights' Centre. His plays include Hammer (Ensemble), The Cobra (starring Sir Robert Helpmann), Harold In Italy (STC), Burnt Piano (Belvoir/MTC/Herbert Berghof Theater New York, Mainstage Hobart/Dallas Theater Centre/France Australia Theatre, Paris/Centaur Theatre, Montréal), Coup d’Etat (MTC/Western Canada Theatre), Kangaroo (Square Brackets Theatre) and Junction (NIDA). Burnt Piano won the New York New Dramatists’ Exchange Award in 2000. Coup D’Etat won the Banff PlayRites Residency, Canada 2002, made the final short-list for the Patrick White Award 2003 and was nominated for an AWGIE award for Best Play 2004. Burnt Piano was selected as the inaugural play for the Australia/Canada exchange between Melbourne Theatre Company and the Centaur Theatre, Montréal. The Department Store was first presented by Parnassus Den, and won the inaugural Mitch Matews Award. The Myth of the Passive Citizen premiered in the Short & Sweet Festival in Sydney, 2005.
As librettist, Justin collaborated with Thos Hodgson on Ripper for Ensemble Productions, and with
Stephen Edwards on Accidental Miracles (WAAPA/Sydney Theatre Company), The Ninth
Wonder (Sydney Theatre Company) the English Tour and London season of Crystal Balls
(Compact Opera/Sadler's Wells) and TESS of the D'Urbervilles, which toured Britain before
its run at The Savoy Theatre in London's West End. Justin was recently librettist on the Griffin
Theatre/Riverside Theatres hit, Satango with Stewart D'Arrietta. Current work includes the
musical, J.C. Williamson with Gale Edwards, John Senczuk and Craig Christie, and Babel in New York withThos Hodgson and Martin Charnin.
Justin has degrees in law from Sydney and Dublin, and a Master of Laws from University College London.