Doghole Review

ATYP’s reviewing program was created to give young people a platform to voice their opinions and experiences while developing skills in critical reflection. The views expressed are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of ATYP or its staff.


It’s easy as a young creative to feel so much pressure to write well that you develop an unhealthy relationship with storytelling fuelled by a need to be “the” new voice in a homogenous literary canon.

As a play, Doghole by Grace Wilson knows that the canon is in desperate need of a shakeup, and chooses to ask the question: why are young writers placed under so much pressure to write the next Tim Winton novel when they’re not like Tim Winton at all?

As Grace Wilson’s first venture into comedy playwrighting, Doghole has an assured style and tone that extends a welcoming hand to its young audience. As an aspiring writer myself, the feelings of inadequacy the main character Camille (Dog) Evans experiences throughout were so relatable it felt like it had stolen from my Year 10 experience of disliking ‘Cloudstreet’ solely because it was written by an “old white guy” (I did however swallow my pride and come to love it as a novel). 

Jiordie Lobwein, Aimee Tacon and Mia Chisholm in Doghole, 2024. Photo by Phoebe Roseae ©

Where Doghole struggles is its clarity in the message. It never became abundantly clear how Dog was supposed to grow throughout the play, and as such their arc fell into an angst that hindered the relationships within the story. Zee Bartley nailed the cockiness and vulnerability of Dog, showing their skill as an actor by balancing both the comedy and tragedy of their leading character. However without a clear imaginative voice woven throughout their journey as a novelist, the charm of Camille Evans failed to get the audience on side with their goal. 

That being said, the talent and potential of these creatives is admirable. El Waddingham’s clever and comedic direction keeps the audience on its toes and laughing the whole way through. The costume and set design is creative in its minimalistic but playful nature. Tom Anderson as Patrick White is a standout, with a commitment to his physicality that elicits raucous laughter and at times a slight concern for his safety. Other comedic powerhouses in the ensemble include Mia Chisolm as a hilariously bogan Year 6 student and Bridie Middleton as a very dad-like Tim Winton. The entire cast worked marvellously together, and there was a clear love for the piece they were performing that made the experience all the more fun.

These innovative, young creatives certainly promise to shake up the industry in the near future, and I for one am looking forward to seeing them do it.

Aimee Tacon, Doghole, 2024. Photo by Sinead McBrien ©


Doghole played at the Queensland Multicultural Centre from the 26th-28th of April.

— Eleanor, 20 (she/her)