Help us take Benchmarks to the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2019. We need financial support to cover transport, accommodation, venue hire and many other incidentals associated with the project. None of our four-person team will receive payment for our participation. Weare associated with any specific charity. this is a totally independent project in which we wish to use theatre a instrument of social betterment.

Benchmarks is an intense, engaging and mystifying psychological drama involving the interaction of two very different characters who share one thing in common; they are both homeless.

“I am the mirror of the shadow of your dreams,” says the old Ivan to the youthful Luke.

Ivan is in his seventies. He has been homeless for many, many years.  Luke is seventeen.  He has been homeless for about seven hours.

Each character has a streak of cruelty which manifests itself in his wicked and heartless manipulation of the other. We learn from the shreds of clues that each character has run away as much as he has been driven away by the ghosts of his past.   Each character also hints at some sort of psychological instability which, again, contributes to his behaviour as much as it does to his present condition.

Benchmarks does not profess to suggest answers for these characters any more than it does for the endemic phenomenon of homelessness that is common to all countries in the world.

What it aims to do, however, is leave the audience with as many doubts and questions about these two enigmatic characters as it does to the broader issue of homelessness.

Any funds left after performances and ticket sales will go to an organisation which helps homeless people.

About our team:

John Hincks who plays Ivan.

“I have performed in well over 40 major productions of many genres, but I have never played, in fact, I have never met, a character like Ivan,” said Hincks. “The deeper I immerse myself into this persona, the more kaleidoscopic I see myself as Ivan. Ivan feels intense remorse for his actions in his past life, a consequent determination to punish himself in his present life and a willingness to hurt anyone who dares to intrude upon his self-inflicted hell. He has a sense of animal cunning that has enabled him to survive in the ‘wild’ of the homeless ether. His past is fascinating; his alleged ‘fall’ from such a position of power is akin to a Shakespearean tragic figure,” he added. “The script is very demanding; the text rich with layers of meaning. The audience is very quickly put en garde to Ivan’s apparent verbal meanderings.  Somewhere in the thread and somewhere in the layers are traces, hints and reflected images of this faceted and flawed character. I am looking forward to bringing him to life on stage.”

Chris Phillips who plays Luke:

“I am thrilled to be part of this project! I have performed in many large-scale productions, mainly in musical theatre. Stepping into the world of Benchmarks is a radical departure for me. But I love it! The play engages you right from the beginning.  Our early workshops revealed just how intricate the script is and the how demanding the work is for the audience.  I can see the play engaging people on so many different levels. My character, Luke, is a seventeen-year-old who has run away from home that night. There are many sides to his character. One is the angst-driven Luke.  He is alienated from his family, his friends, his school, indeed everything around him.  Another is a cruel Luke who appears to hold no sympathy for the seventy-year-old Ivan. It is difficult to see any constancy in him. The more I delve into his character, the more damaged I see he is.  I can’t wait to bring him to life on stage.”

Chris Dockrill - writer/director:
Chris has been writing, directing, teaching and producing theatre for over 30 years. His scripts have appeared in many collections published by major authors both in Australia and, in translation, across Europe.  He has written 5 rock musicals, collaborating with his wife, Lyn, as composer. His writings range from the deeply serious to the outrageously escapist such as the rock musical, The Island of Doctor Moron® which is a unique achievement as it is has gone from being a sold-out   live   production   in   Paddington, Australia to being the first and only film of its type to have been produced in Australia to date. It has now screened in many countries around the world including England, the USA, France, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Scotland Canada and soon in Italy. The film is part of the collection of National Film and Sound Archives of Australia. Other works by Chris Dockrill including the one act plays: Angry People, Old Girls, Cage, The Interrogation, Precious Metal, Barbed Wire Canoes, Middle Class Fantasies, Scalpel and The Joker. His works have been published in the collections: Power Plays (Methuen), Super Scripts (Longman), Modern Moralities (Thomas Nelson), Dynamic Dramatics (Cambridge University Press) and Enter the Players (Thomas Nelson).   Chris has written numerous articles and papers for various education publications.  He also wrote an academic study, Frankenstein, A Born-Again Legend. Chris has also written many songs and short stories. Chris also manages an active Blog Site at:   Three of Chris’s plays have been translated in to German and Swiss German and published by Swiss Theatre Publishing House, Teaterverlag Elgg (TVE).

Chris also had a long and distinguished career as an English and Drama Head teacher, during which he was committed to teaching and help indigenous and non-indigenous students from one of the most disadvantaged areas in Australia.

Lyn Dockrill - production manager and stage manager

Lyn has been teaching in and a principal of schools for thirty-five years.  During that time, she has been a leader of numerous initiatives to assist disadvantaged students. She is also a gold medallist for representing Australia in various international hockey competitions. Lyn is also a musician, performing in two bands at present.  In addition, Lyn has been the composer of five rock musicals in conjunction with her husband, Chris. In May this year, she won the best original score award at the Madrid International Film Festival where the Australian ambassador represented her to receive the award and later presented it to Lyn after she had finished representing Australia in Barcelona.

Donations (0)

  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
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    • $60 
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  • Tim Blu 
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  • Paul Bishop 
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Fundraising team: Benchmarks (2) 

Chris Dockrill 
Raised $1,615 from 25 donations
Kempsey, NSW
Christopher John Phillips 
Team member
Raised $50 from 1 donation
This team raised $1,190 from 13 other donations.
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