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The creative team for DON’T READ THE COMMENTS comprises Ben Brooker, Elliot Howard, Bridget Mackey, and Lucy Slattery.

Ben Brooker

Ben Brooker is a writer, editor, critic, essayist, director, and playwright. Ben has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) with a major in drama from Flinders University and an Advanced Diploma of Professional Writing from Adelaide College of the Arts. His work has been featured by Overland, New Matilda, New Internationalist, Australian Book Review, RealTime, The Lifted Brow, and Daily Review.

Ben was a 2013 Emerging Writer in Residence at the SA Writers’ Centre, and a featured playwright at the 2014 Emerging Writers’ Festival Adelaide Roadshow and the 2015 National Play Festival. His plays have been performed in Sydney and Adelaide, including by the award-winning Adelaide independent theatre company and SAYarts (Child X, Everybody Dies, Best Youth Theatre Show – ATG ‘Curtain Call’ Awards).

His most recently produced work for the stage was the dystopian triptych This Storm (2016, Adelaide Fringe Festival), which he also directed under the mentorship of Julian Meyrick.

Ben is a co-facilitator of the Quart Short literary reading salons and Game Makers, a workshop program for kids and their dads run by ActNow Theatre and Carclew. In 2016 Ben was an inaugural Sydney Review of Books Emerging Critics Fellow.


Elliot Howard 

Elliot Howard is an Adelaide-based actor and musician. Upon graduating from ACArts in 2007, he played Macduff and King Duncan in Waxing Lyrical’s production of Macbeth and hosted a live Pokémon entertainment show in Singapore in 2008. Since 2010, Elliot has toured rural SA/Victoria in Splash Theatre’s travelling Australiana cabaret shows, And Their Ghosts May Be Heard, Me N’ Me Mate and CJ Dennis – The Bloke.

In 2012 he played Tom in Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig at the Bakehouse. In 2013 he performed as an actor and guitarist in Kulturfiliale’s T.R.I.P. In 2014 he reprised his role as Duncan in Foul Play’s production of Macbeth and played the character of Tom Jackson in the award-winning Fringe show Now We Can Talk. He also performed Caleb Lewis’ one-man play Death In Bowengabbie at the Bakehouse Theatre in 2014 to critical acclaim. Elliot will reprise his role as a guitarist and performer in the children’s theatre show McNirt Hates Dirt, presented as part of the DreamBIG festival in May 2017.

Bridget Mackey

Bridget Mackey is a Melbourne-based playwright and dramaturge. She holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Acting) from Flinders University and a Master of Writing for Performance from the Victorian College of the Arts.

In 2014 Bridget completed a dramaturgy internship at MTC facilitated by Chris Mead. Her playwriting credits include The Exact Dimensions of Hell (Reading at MTC’s Cybec Electric 2016), Exit Everything (Little Sister Projects, 2015), Kindness (dir. Alice Darling & Kate Shearman, 2015), Hose (MKA: Theatre of New Writing, 2012) and More Intimate Than (Honeycreepers, 2012). As a dramaturge Bridget has worked on a number of projects, including Blessed by Fleur Kilpatrick (, 2015) and The Lake by Ben Brooker (, 2013). Bridget has also assessed scripts for Playwriting Australia, Melbourne Theatre Company, MKA: Theatre of New Writing, and In 2017 she is lead artist intern with feminist theatre company The Rabble.

Lucy Slattery

Lucy is a graduate from the former Centre for Performing Arts (now ACArts). She has performed for the State Theatre Company of SA as Felice in Kafka Dances, Jill in Equus, and Helen Carver in Design for Living. Lucy has played to acclaim in Squizzy Taylor for La Mama and as Kate in Taming of the Shrew for the Australian Shakespeare Company.

Television credits include Secret Life of Us, Blue Heelers, and Last Man Standing. Lucy recently returned home to Adelaide, after 10 years in Melbourne. Since returning, she has performed at Holden St in Bob Ellis’ Shakespeare in Italy, at The Bakehouse in If the Walls Could Talk, and at Tandanya Live in A Fraction of the Whole in the 2016 Fringe.