Stage Plays


    11 - 14 August 2021

    State Theatre Centre of WA, Rehearsal Room 1

    Presented by Steamworks Arts and Variegated Productions

    We are celebrating 21 years of Steamworks Arts, bringing back our inaugural award-winning smash-hit production, SAVAGE GRACE, by one of Australia’s leading playwrights, Alana Valentine.

    With the original cast, we revisit this powerful classic Australian play by Alana Valentine. SAVAGE GRACE is the story of Dr. Tex Cladakis, an American HIV specialist who meets bioethics professor Robert Bavaro.

    They clash over ethical issues, but despite (or because of) this, a passionate affair develops between them. As Cladakis considers assisting the suicide of one of his terminally ill patients, the moral ground shifts and stakes escalate, threatening their personal beliefs and the trust and love that is growing between them.

    A ground-breaking play and a timely provocation, a contemporary update to the original, see both characters are experiencing the 'new' pandemic of COVID-19, as they look back twenty-plus years reflecting on love, loss, and their experience of the HIV-Aids pandemic that changed their lives forever.

    "SAVAGE GRACE is everything that good theatre should be… a beautiful piece of work in every regard, from scripting to set, sound and production design, although the lion's share of praise will ultimately lie at the feet of Bower and Nolte. SAVAGE GRACE is probably one of the most powerful pieces of theatre performed in Perth."

    - X-Press Magazine

    "A brave, searching play, Bower and Nolte do a superb job... this is a powerful and deeply affecting piece."

    - Melbourne Times


    Alana Valentine


    Sally Richardson & Joe Paradise Lui


    Joe Paradise Lui


    Dr. Cat Hope


    Matthew McVeigh


    Nicole Marrington



    Timothy Green


    Humphrey Bower (Green Room Award - Best Actor), Gibson Nolte (WA Equity Award - Best Actor) PRODUCERS Libby Klysz & Sally Richardson
  • WAYSIDE BRIDE - Belvoir Theatre

    by Alana Valentine in consultation with the Wayside Chapel community

    Directed by Hannah Goodwin and Eamon Flack

    After years of research, and a lot of help from the community, Alana Valentine’s much-anticipated story of a little chapel in a back street of the Cross premieres at Belvoir. The Wayside Chapel under the Reverend Ted Noffs set itself up for those who might not find a place elsewhere to welcome them, and over the years has become a home and haven in a sometimes brutal town.

    This play is about the quietly revolutionary act of marriage – sometimes in the face of fierce resistance from family, from society, from the church hierarchy. It’s the story of a space where those who didn’t quite fit in to the mainstream could have their walk down the aisle.

    Moving, inspiring, Valentine’s play is about all of us – and a portrait of this city at its raffish, recalcitrant best.

    More Info »

  • SYDFEST 2021 – Walkleys Live

    Writer/Director: Alana Valentine

    Great journalism holds the powerful to account, changes lives and strengthens Australia’s democracy. The annual Walkley Awards recognise the year’s most impactful and courageous journalism – the stories that define Australia and our history.

    Walkleys Live brings a selection of these powerful stories to life onstage; a deep dive with the journalists and reporters who were on the scene and broke the scoops. From the scandals broken by top investigative journalists to gripping accounts of reporting from natural disasters, hear the yarns behind the biggest news stories.

  • Flight Memory

    The man and invention that challenged the belief  ‘everything good would get invented somewhere else’.

    Composed by Sandra France, words by Alana Valentine

    A suite of songs inspired by the mechanics of invention, the pain of parochialism, the unconscious grind of childhood grief and the elation of hard-won success. Flight Memory is a work of contemporary song that weaves innovation and improvisation with sassy jazz fusion to meditate on the journey of David Warren, inventor of the now ubiquitous black box aircraft flight recorder. Both cleverly narrative and ultimately impressionistic, this is a contemporary vocal performance of ten original songs.

    Enter the mind of a creative genius, into the shock of a world in mourning and ultimately, into the responsibility of those who, even today, must listen to the recorded voices of the dead in order to work for the prevention of future tragedies. Part requiem, part cheeky finger in the air to our relentless cultural cringe, ultimately this is a work which will transport its audience into the mystery of human endeavour, the beauty of the voice and a celebration of original Australian cultural expression.

    Commissioned by The Street Theatre, this remarkable new work pairs ARIA-nominated composer Sandra France (From a Black Sky) with Helpmann-Award winning playwright and librettist Alana Valentine (Barbara and the Camp Dogs, Cold Light, MP) and delivers songs of emotional resonance and engaging intellectual conjecture. The combination of an experienced dramatist with a profoundly lyrical and passionate composer has resulted in a work of heart, head and humour that will genuinely engage your senses.

    Directed by The Street’s Artistic Director Caroline Stacey the work features multi award-winning  jazz musician Michelle Nicolle [2017 Bell Award Winner Jazz Vocal Album], alongside Canberra’s acclaimed Leisa Keen and Liam Budge supported by a six-piece ensemble of Canberra’s finest musicians. Flight Memory celebrates the power of music and its ability to express our deepest human desires and most remarkable scientific achievements.

    Book Tickets ›

    Performance Dates
    Thursday 14 November 8pm
    Friday 15 November 8pm
    Saturday 16 November 8pm
    Sunday 17 November 4pm ( 3pm Meet The Makers)

    Standard: $49
    Concession: $46
    Group 6+: $44

  • Notre-Dame

    Featuring music by French composers Campra, Lully, Rameau, Rebel and more.

    When Notre-Dame de Paris was partially consumed by fire in April 2019, the French people grieved and the world ached over the loss. Notre-Dame is a narrative concert inspired by Our Lady of Paris and commemorates eight centuries of music stirred by the masterpiece of Gothic architecture that is both the soul of France and an artistic embodiment of human achievement.

    Battered, dilapidated and restored, witness to revolution and miracles - this is a celebration of Notre-Dame as a centre for musical innovation and choral transcendence curated by Artistic Director Paul Dyer and woven around cleverly dramatised moments by award-winning playwright and director Alana Valentine. Notre-Dame will transport you into the past, move you into the pain of the present, and affirm hope in the certain resurrection of both the Cathedral and the human spirit.

    Alana Valentine: Script, Director
    Paul Dyer: Conductor, harpsichord, original concept
    Australian Brandenburg Orchestra
    Brandenburg Choir

    More Info ›

    Performance Dates

    Sydney 2020
    Wed, 2 September, 7:00 PM
    Fri, 4 September, 7:00 PM
    Wed, 16 September, 7:00 PM
    Fri, 18 September, 7:00 PM
    Sat, 19 September, 2:00 PM
    Sat, 19 September, 7:00 PM

    Melbourne 2020
    Thu, 10 September, 7:00 PM
    Sat, 12 September, 7:00 PM
    Sun, 13 September, 5:00 PM

  • Made to Measure

    Made to Measure is the stunning new work by multi-award winning playwright Alana Valentine about finding love, trust and that perfect dress.

    Bride-to-be Ashleigh commissions Monica, a couture designer, to make the wedding dress of her dreams. She is reassured by Monica’s promises that the process will celebrate Ashleigh and fill her with confidence, but Ashleigh’s outward assurance masks internal conflict and doubt. As the wedding approaches, both client and stylist are forced to face the complicated relationship they have with each other, body shape and social prejudice.

    Drawing on interviews with designers, brides and health-based scientists, Made to Measure shimmers with Alana Valentine’s hallmark authenticity, empathy, and humour.

    Commissioned by the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, dedicated to easing the world’s lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and related conditions, Made to Measure gives voice to the body positive community whilst exploring the science behind the effect of weight on our health.

    Made to Measure is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

    By Alana Valentine and presented in association with the Bupa Health Foundation.

    Book Tickets ›

    Performance Dates
    16 May - 1 June 2019

    Full $46
    Concession $37

  • Wayside Bride

    COMING IN 2021 . . .

    We wouldn’t normally announce a work-in-progress but this one’s special. Alana Valentine has been making work with communities for decades but for this show she needs your help. Alana’s mother and stepfather were married at Wayside Chapel when she was just a little girl. That’s her there in the picture.

    Now Alana wants to hear from anyone who was married at Wayside Chapel and has a story to share. She’ll be interviewing people and conducting community forums throughout 2020 and building their stories into a new work exploring the radical contribution of this mighty little chapel on a Kings Cross side street for a world premiere at another rag tag organisation in a Surry Hills side street…

    RSVP for the first community forum at Wayside Chapel at 6.30pm 21 January 2020 or register your story here.

    Written by Alana Valentine
    In consultation with the Wayside Chapel community

    Performance Dates
    21 January 2020 - 31 January 2021

    More Info ›

  • Barbara and the Camp Dogs

    Produced in association with Vicki Gordon Music Productions Pty Ltd.

    Roar in on a motorbike, pull up a seat at the bar and settle in for an unforgettable rock musical.

    Barbara fronts a pub rock band, captivating crowds with cutting wit, diabolical rage and unrepentant sexuality. She may be fun, she may be dangerous, and she may be speeding headlong towards a dead end.

    Rene, her cousin, hears that Mum is sick. So, they set out on a wrenching road trip to reconnect with their disconnected family. The roar of motorbikes and growling dialogue are intercut with guitar-driven arias.

    The stage is made over into a sticky-carpet band venue—a transformation that will see some lucky audience members seated up-close and a part of the action with Barbara and the band. There, Ursula Yovich (Heart is a Wasteland) and Elaine Crombie (Blaque Showgirls) are rocking out again after a sell-out season in Sydney. Their powerful vocals are accompanied, live, by an all-female three-piece outfit.

    Barbara and the Camp Dogs awards

    So, take a stool at the bar and amp up for a noisy night with Barbara and the Camp Dogs.

    "This is a wonderfully stirring show, funny and moving. It enriches the heart." The Australian

    Performance Dates
    7 February - 3 March: Malthouse Theatre ›
    30 May - 1 June: Canberra Theatre Centre ›


  • Dubboo - Life of a Songman

    David Page was the musical heartbeat of Bangarra Dance Theatre. In 27 original scores for the company, he reinvented the art of the soundtrack to encompass traditional language, song and instruments with the sounds of electronica, hip-hop, classical and the natural world. If you’ve heard his scores to OchresMathinnaTerrain or Patyegarang, you’ve heard his genius at play. 

    Dubboo – life of a songman celebrates this incredible artist. Featuring a notable cast of David’s collaborators, including acclaimed Indigenous artists Archie RoachUrsula Yovich and Djakapurra Munyarryun, this one-off celebration will be a heartfelt response to his lasting creative legacy and music. Composer and arranger Iain Grandage will respond to David’s music, animated by a string quartet and performances by Bangarra Dance Theatre’s dancers.

    In a change of pace and a joyous celebration, the second half of the show will recall David’s acclaimed one-man show Page 8. * Featuring narration from Ningali Lawford-Wolf, with the creative talents of Bangarra’s dance ensemble, and performer Ben Graetz’s infamous alter ego Miss Ellaneous, it explores the many mediums where David was at home, from cabaret and storytelling, to film and drag.

    Dubboo – life of a songman Creative Ensemble 
    Stephen Page, Archie Roach, Djakapurra Munyarryun, Ursula Yovich, Ningali Lawford-Wolf, Ben Graetz, Iain Grandage, Steve Francis, Brendon Boney, Jacob Nash, Jennifer Irwin, Matt Cox, Alana Valentine and the Bangarra Dance Theatre Ensemble

    Book Tickets › More Info ›

    Performance Dates & Times
    5th Dec 7:30pm
    6th Dec 7:30pm
    7th Dec 7:30pm
    8th Dec 1:30pm
    9th Dec 7:30pm

  • Ear to the Edge of Time

    'I wanted to reach into the rib cage of space and time and pull out not one but two beating hearts. One in each hand. And I’ve never wanted anything like that before.'

    A world premiere, Ear to the Edge of Time is the product of an extraordinary odyssey of discovery and exploration for one of Australia’s great contemporary playwrights, Alana Valentine.

    Inspired by true events and interviews with astrophysicists and astronomers all over the world, Valentine has written a captivating drama about a young radio astronomer who makes a universe-shifting discovery, only for her work to be taken over by her older, male, supervisor. As she wrestles with her frustration and the potential consequences of speaking out, the decision about whether to go public is taken out of her hands when a poet publishes a contentious verse about her work. Even to the least scientific, the physics in the play is accessible, fascinating and provocative, opening a window into the world of space and time as a metaphor for the relationship of art and science.

    Book Tickets › More Info ›

    Performance Dates
    11 - 27 October 2018

    Performance Times
    Thu 11 Oct 7:30pm
    Fri 12 Oct 7:30pm
    Sat 13 Oct 7:30pm
    Tue 16 Oct 6:30pm (plus Forum)
    Wed 17 Oct 11am (plus Q&A), 7:30pm
    Thu 18 Oct 7:30pm
    Fri 19 Oct 7:30pm
    Sat 20 Oct 2pm, 7:30pm
    Mon 22 Oct 6:30pm
    Tue 23 Oct 6:30pm
    Wed 24 Oct 7:30pm
    Thu 25 Oct 7:30pm
    Fri 26 Oct 7:30pm
    Sat 27 Oct 2pm, 7:30pm

    Adult $45
    Concession $36
    School Bookings $26

    Reginald Theatre

    By Alana Valentine. Presented by Sport For Jove Theatre Co & Seymour Centre.
  • Letters to Lindy

    “There are three things that have divided this nation right down the center. Conscription, Whitlam and Lindy Chamberlain.” Filled with humour and heartbreak, this stunning new work by award-winning playwright Alana Valentine explores the public’s relationship with one of 20th Century Australia’s most iconic figures. The court case captivated a nation. A mother accused of murdering her child, her claim — that the baby was taken by a dingo — denied and discredited by zealous police and a flawed legal system. The media circus, the rumours, the nation’s prejudices laid bare. And in the eye of the storm — Lindy Chamberlain.

    More Info ›

    2018 Performance Dates:
    Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, 22 - 23 Jun
    The Joan Penrith 26 – 27 Jun
    Capitol Theatre Tamworth 30 Jun
    Dubbo Regional Theatre 3 Jul
    Orange Civic Theatre 5 Jul
    Civic Theatre Newcastle 7 Jul
    The Art House, Wyong 10 Jul
    Riverside Theatres, Parramatta 12 - 14 Jul
    BMEC, Bathurst 17 Jul
    Civic Theatre, Wagga Wagga 19 Jul
    Griffith Regional Theatre 21 Jul
    Burrinja Cultural Centre, Upwey 24 Jul
    Gasworks Arts Park, Albert Park 26 - 28 Jul
    Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane 1 - 4 Aug
    Empire Theatre, Toowoomba 7 Aug
    The Cell Theatre, Gove (Play reading) 11 Aug
    Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin Festival 14 - 15 Aug
    Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre 18 Aug
    Barkly Regional Arts, Tennant Creek (Play reading) 22 Aug
    Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs 24 Aug
    Glen St Theatre, Belrose 28 Aug - 2 Sep

    More Information:
    Lindy's letters set to become a play - ABC TV News
    Letters to Lindy show outpouring of support - Canberra Times
    Playwright sees great drama in the letters that Lindy filed away - The Age

  • The Sugar House

    Narelle is Sydney born and bred but lately she’s lost her sense of belonging. Something keeps bringing her back to Pyrmont. This peninsula was her family’s bedrock, and the home of her extraordinary grandmother June, who held everything together through the decades: a son’s brush with the law, a daughter’s battles with demons, a husband’s decline.

    Life revolved around the sugar refinery. For a time this was the sweetest neighbourhood in the country. But the family bedrock, like the sugar, has dissolved away. Narelle can’t fix the past, but maybe she can fix the future.

    A story of Sydney — work and corruption, family and massive social change. A story of how Australia went from working class to middle class. Best of all, the great Kris McQuade returns to Belvoir.

    By Alana Valentine. Director Sarah Goodes.

    More Info ›

    Performance Dates
    5 May - 3 June 2018

    Performance Times
    Tuesday & Wednesday 6.30pm
    Thursday & Friday 8pm
    Saturday 2pm & 8pm
    Sunday 5pm

    Previews (bookable)
    8pm, 5 May
    6.30pm, 6 May
    8pm, 8 May

    Opening Night (invitation only): 8pm, 9 May
    Unwaged Performance: 2pm, 31 May
    Captioned Performance: 2pm, 26 May
    Belvoir Briefing: 6.30pm, 26 April

    Supported by The Group.

  • Barbara and the Camp Dogs

    Barbara and the Camp Dogs awards

    Produced in association with Vicki Gordon Music Productions Pty Ltd.

    Wild, unpredictable, and deeply vulnerable, Barbara and her sister René are singing for their lives. Barbara’s been trying to make it in Sydney, but when their mother’s health deteriorates, the sisters embark on a pilgrimage back home to country. Full of painful, unfinished business for Barbara, their return sends her into a downward spiral. Can Barbara find a way to resolve the past in time to preserve love in the only family she has known?

Through music that ranges from punk-inspired explosions of rage, to tender rock and soul ballads full of yearning, Barbara and the Camp Dogs is a gob-spit of fun, frenzy and family that finds beauty in honesty and hope in confronting the past.

    More Info ›

    Performance Dates
    2 - 23 December 2017
    Opening Night (invitation only): 8pm, 6 December

    Warning: Strong course language and adult themes.

  • Public Reading Of Made To Measure

    Seymour Centre 10am 9th November, 2017
    Made To Measure, commissioned by the Charles Perkins Centre, is an interview-inspired project which has involved consultations with couturiers, seamstresses and their clients about making wedding day clothes to measure. Confronting, informative and moving, this is a play that dramatizes the relationship that people have with their wedding day appearance and how it expresses their dreams about their body shape and life. Made to Measure seeks to go beyond the debate about fat shaming and health epidemics and look with empathy and scrutiny about the lived experience of bridal couturiers and their clients.

    Date: Thursday 9 November 2017
    Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Location: Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre

    Commissioned by the Charles Perkins Centre, Sydney with special thanks to patron Judy Harris.
  • The Ravens

    Truth may seem but cannot be;  Beauty brag but is not she;  Truth and Beauty buried be. The Ravens is about Kira, a trying-to- be-ex sex worker in Kings Cross, Sydney, Australia. When she receives a large victim’s compensation payout, deciding what to do with the money becomes more of a problem than a relief. A friend from her former life feels that she is ‘owed’ by Kira, and moves back into her life and her flat.

    Then a chance meeting with Nina, a young social work student working at the local chocolate shop, seems like it might give Kira the courage and support she needs to finally get the violent Marg out of her life. An encounter with one of Nina’s old age clients at a nursing home focuses Kira’s determination but now she wants to help her friend Nancy, who is still working at a brothel but living in a dominating lesbian relationship. Finally Nina suggests that she might use the money for her and Nancy to put on a play — a version of Shakespeare’s poem The Phoenix and the Turtle.

    It’s a routine Kira and Nancy used to do as a striptease for an old client — can they learn to change themselves, phoenix like, into something other than they have been for so long? Can love — of life, of self, of friends - be resurrected and transformed by art? As an evocative radio play, The Ravens won the 2015 BBC International Radio Writing Award from the BBC World Service.

    Venus Theatre is delighted to be presenting the world premiere of the stage play - a visceral, provocative work of fierce insight and compassion for womens’ struggle out of violence.

    Performance Times:
    Thursday 2nd Nov, 2017 8:00pm
    Sunday 26th Nov, 2017 4:00pm

    Venus Theatre
    21 C Street Laurel, Maryland

  • Bennelong

    Bangarra Dance Theatre is acclaimed worldwide for its authentic storytelling, distinctive voice and moving performances. In 2017, the company returns with Bennelong, a new full-length work by Artistic Director Stephen Page. Woollarawarre Bennelong was a senior man of the Eora, from the Port Jackson area in Sydney. With extraordinary curiosity and diplomacy, Bennelong led his community to survive a clash of cultures, and left a legacy that reverberates through contemporary life.

    More Information:

    Performance Dates:
    Sydney Opera House: 29 June - 22 July 2017
    Canberra Theatre Centre: 3 - 5 August 2017
    QPAC, Brisbane: 25 August - 2 September 2017
    Arts Centre Melbourne: 7 - 16 September 2017
  • Cold Light

    Adapted by Alana Valentine
    Based on the novel Cold Light by Frank Moorhouse

    How far can a woman of vision go?

    Here comes Edith Campbell Berry, fresh from International acclaim at the League of Nations, handsome British diplomatic husband in tow. Look out 1950’s Canberra, she’s on her way to the top. Or is she? The League was after all a failure, and hubby dear is a secret cross dresser and her long lost brother is a Communist agitator watched by a fledgling ASIO. Maybe those dreams of renewed diplomatic honour might take longer than she thinks to materialize. A lot longer.

    Cold Light is an epic story of national significance surveying the transformation of Australia from the post-WWII Menzies era to the mid-1970’s Whitlam government.  

    Pull on your gloves and cinch in that waist, Edith is going to whip The Street Theatre into shape.

    "Edith is the sort of character with whom anyone would like to have dinner. She is clever, and principled, and foolish, and vain, and decisive, and fierce, and hopeless, and interested in shoes. We love her and that’s that". ANNABEL CRABB

    "Like Edith, Cold Light is dutiful, brooding, witty and salacious — and indefatigable. It’s Edith’s story but Australia’s too".  THE SUN HERALD

    Performance Dates:
    Friday 3 March @ 7.30pm (PREVIEW)
    Saturday 4 March 2017 @ 7.30pm
    Sunday 5 March 2017 @ 4pm
    Wednesday 8 - Saturday 11 March 2007 @ 7.30pm
    Sunday 12 March 2017 @ 4pm
    Wednesday 15 - Saturday 18 March 2017 @7.30pm

    Ticket Prices:
    Standard: $55
    Concession: $49
    Group 4+: $46
    Student: $39
    Preview: $35
    Mid-week Special: $46 (March 8th/March 9th + March 15th/March 16th ONLY)

    More Information:
    The Street Theatre

  • Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah (Soft Revolution)

    What do you do when you profoundly disagree with someone you love? 
    At the heart of Soft Revolution: Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah is the story of a young Australian-born Muslim woman and an intergenerational clash with her own Aunt.

    Based on interviews with Afghani/ Australian Muslim women and produced with the support of a large number of Muslim women from a diversity of Muslim cultures in Australia, this play will compel audiences with its portrait of women who are articulate, highly educated and deeply spiritual.

    University student Shafana turns to the religion of her heritage for answers after a terrorist attack, resulting in a deep experience of faith and a controversial decision to wear the hijab. But for her Aunt Sarrinah, also a devout Muslim but old enough to regret the changes in her Afghan homeland, the hijab represents both a world from which she has escaped and her fears about the new world she has embraced.

    Above all, this play is a startling meditation on the clash between individual freedom and cultural context, experienced through two tender and fiercely drawn female characters.

    Performance Dates:
    Venus Theatre Maryland USA
    November 25 - December 18 2016

    Soft Revolution Media: Venus Theatre Maryland USA
  • The Tree Widows

    Tasmanian Theatre Awards 2017

    Up on the Queen’s Domain is a quiet jewel in Hobart’s history. An avenue of memorial trees, planted after WW1, by relatives and friends of soldiers who sacrificed their lives in that terrible conflict.

    The Tree Widows tells the stories of not just the soldiers whose trees are on the Soldier’s Memorial Avenue but gives a surprising glimpse into the families, relatives, friends and members of the general public who have a connection to this contemplative, beautiful place.

    Moving with the performers from tree to tree along the Avenue, these monologues are an engaging, funny, and deeply moving way to see a place you may think you know in an entirely new way — a way to breathe in the past through your own city.

    The Tree Widows is a unique Tasmanian piece of theatre that celebrates why families today continue to lovingly care for this place of memory and meaning.

    Produced by Tasmanian Theatre Company
    Director Alana Valentine
    Designers Jill Munro & Alana Valentine
    Sound designer Max Ford
    Cast Guy Hooper, Iain Lang, Jane Longhurst and Jane Johnson

    Dates: 6 to 17 April 2016
    Venue: Soldiers Memorial Walk, Queen’s Domain - meet at car park behind TCA Ground
    Duration: 90 minutes (including interval)

    More Information: Tasmanian Theatre Company

    Tasmanian Mercury: Intimate Links With Grief of a Past Age

  • Ladies Day

    2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

    It’s Ladies Day at the Broome races and the pinely beautiful Mike is the toast of the track. But amongst the froth and festivity, a brutal act of violence reminds us that life is not just all swishy hemlines, debonair gents and fascinators galore.

    Known for her incredibly successful verbatim works, she takes her interviews and research with inpiduals and communities, and mixes them with a healthy dose of drama. The result is powerful, thought-provoking theatre in which the voices of her protagonists ring absolutely true.

    Alana spent months interviewing the gay community in the Top End, Katherine and Broome to create a play that asks questions about tolerance, isolation, love, hope and the right to have your story told. Griffin is proud to present the world premiere of Ladies Day -­ a vivid, richly evocative play with a big heart, directed by Darren Yap.

    Ladies Day will be supported by Griffin’s ‘Production Partnerships Program’. Remarkable productions made possible through the support of individual donors. 

    The research and writing of Ladies Day was supported by the Literature Fund of the Australia Council for the Arts.

    Performance Dates: 15 February — 26 March 2016

    LADIES DAY has been shortlisted for the Nick Enright Prize in the Playwriting category for the 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards


    Ladies Day presents Australia’s foremost verbatim playwright, Alana Valentine, at the height of her powers as she deftly interrogates the boundaries of her preferred form. Surprising and moving, Ladies Day is also confronting and compassionate. Characters that initially seem stereotypical develop into people for whom we feel anguish and outrage, before morphing again and demanding we reconsider the nature of truth-telling and theatre. The complexity of the story and the interrogation of sexuality, identity and violence are masterly.”

    More Info ›

    Ladies Day Reviews:

    ‘… a profound investigation into what it means to be truthful in the theatre’ — The Australian

    ‘Quite simply I believed every word’ — Australian Stage Online

    ‘Alana Valentine is probably Australia’s greatest verbatim playwright. For well over a decade now, Valentine has been interviewing people from all walks of life about their experiences, traumas and passions, and bringing their words to the stage’ — The Daily Review

    …an intriguing line between fact and fiction, with epic techniques keeping us alive to the contradictions inherent in turning the stuff of real lives into theatre’ — Sydney Morning Herald

    ‘Facts are hard to capture, but our humanity can hear the truth ringing no matter what guise it takes’ — Suzy Goes See

    ‘Ladies Day is one of the most intelligent pieces I have ever seen on stage. Alana Valentine is a writer at the peak of her career, offering a crafted play that will live on well beyond this fabulous production at Griffin. Ladies Day is a play we will be talking about for years to come, because it uses theatre to really interrogate what writing is, what humanity is, what compassion is and it does so in the hands of a writer who can offer the cleverest of wit with a full helping of authentic politics, humanity and the capacity to completely surprise you just when you think you have it all figured out’ — Suzie Miller on the Griffin blog

    “Australian” and “new” means that the work can often hit a little closer to home in terms of language, setting and relevance. In their latest production, Ladies Day, nothing is more fitting then describing it as hitting, for it gets you. Right there in the feelings’ — the AU Review

    ‘[Valentine is] giving a voice to inhabitants of this world that may not always get the opportunity to speak. And they should, because they have incredible stories should we take the time to listen’ — Theatre Now

    ‘Studded with powerful monologues and charged finally with an articulate denouement about the enigma of remembered truth, and who has the right to tell what stories’ — Stage Whispers

    ‘Confronting and funny, brutal and compassionate, Valentine’s Ladies Day reaches two important benchmarks of the best theatre: the 100 minutes duration seems like half an hour and as the play gets underway we cease to notice actors but see other people.’ — South Sydney Herald

    ‘Daring stuff, both subjectively and objectively to put into the public space in the theatre.’ — Kevin Jackson Theatre Diary

    ‘The questions of justice, identity, revenge, reality and truth suddenly open up an electrifying new range of dilemmas.’ — Stage Noise

    Ladies Day Media:
    Sydney Morning Herald
    The Brag

    ‘This is a funny, smart and tremendously moving new Australian work that does something different within its genre, and expands it’ — Time Out
  • One Billion Beats

    Conceived and performed by Goenpul Jagara/Bundjulung poet and filmmaker Romaine Moreton and co-written, co-directed by Alana Valentine, One Billion Beats is a new theatre work that draws together Australian cinematic history with poetry and original score. The work examines the historical representation of Aboriginal people in Australian cinema and its projection onto Romaine’s own lived experience and personal stories.

    One Billion Beats is a profoundly political and resonant work, an act of intellectual courage and personal candor that privileges an Indigenous perspective on cultural representation in film and beyond. A story of insight, horror, relevance and beauty.

    One Billion Beats Reviews:
    South Sydney Herald
    Realtime Magazine

    One Billion Beats Media:
    Sydney Morning Herald


    by Alana Valentine

    26 October - 20 November 2021

    "You know the worst thing about pretending to be all polished and posh, people start to believe that's all you've ever been. They tear everything down in this city, tear it down, gussy it up. We paid for this city like everyone else, so why are we never listened to? Why are our memories and our sense of belonging so worthless in this city?"

    The European premiere

    Narelle is Sydney born and bred, but lately she’s lost her sense of belonging.

    The city changes all the time, places are torn down and with them go her certainties.

    She finds herself drawn back to Pyrmont, formerly the working class industrial heartland of the city, but now newly gentrified as 19th century factories become shiny apartment blocks with million dollar views of Sydney Harbour. But it remains her family’s bedrock, and the home of her extraordinary grandmother June.

    As she keeps going over the forces that formed her – the last man hanged in Australia, the mistakes that changed lives, her mother’s divorce, her grandfather’s decline – she tries to make sense of what she, her city, and her country have become. And what has been lost along the way.

    Focusing on three generations of remarkable women, The Sugar House is a deeply moving family drama that distils the conflict of how we are raised against what we choose, and how the hope of social transformation as we move forward to embrace the future sometimes means the irretrievable loss of what built us.

    The Sugar House was a hit at Sydney’s renowned Belvoir Street Theatre in 2018, where it was nominated for Best New Australian Work in the Sydney Theatre Awards. It now receives its first production outside Australia at the Finborough Theatre.

  • Head Full of Love

    QLD Literary Award Nomination 2011
    Head Full of Love is the story of two remarkable women and their unlikely but inspiring friendship.

    The annual Alice Springs Beanie Festival is fast approaching and Tilly Napuljari is running out of time to finish her new creation in time to enter it for judging. Meanwhile, Sydneysider Nessa Tavistock is a long way from home, having run away to the red centre to escape her problems back in the big smoke.

    This intricate, warm and wisely told tale by award-winning playwright Alana Valentine (Dead Man Brake, Run Rabbit Run, Parramatta Girls) was created through extensive consultation with the Central Desert community. The result is an unsentimental, humorous and moving portrait of the complexity of cross-cultural relationships rewoven, like a beanie, into a simple and humble beauty.

    Sensitively directed by acclaimed theatremaker, Queensland Theatre Company's Artistic Director Wesley Enoch, Head Full of Love is a tale of new friendships and breaking down barriers that's as warm, charming and full of love as a handmade beanie.

    “…contagious humour and disarming charm. Director Wesley Enoch's touch is imprinted on every story - honesty, simplicity and imagination pervading all… Head Full of Love is a head-warming, heart-searching story.”
    — The Australian

    Recommended for ages 15+. Contains strong language, adult themes and smoke effects.

    More information:
  • Barefoot Divas - Hong Kong Arts Festival

    BAREFOOT DIVAS join a stellar line up of International artists when they perform at the Hong Kong Concert Hall as part of the 43rd Hong Kong Arts Festival March 7th 2015.

    For one performance only, the Barefoot Divas’ magical five-part harmonies come to Hong Kong for the first time. Let their voices fill your heart and nourish your soul.

    “A truly heart-warming, spine-tingling experience…the voices are exquisite…a tour de force.”
    — ABC TV NEWS 24

    Date: 7 Mar 2015 (Sat)
    Time: 8:00 PM
    Venue: Concert Hall, HK Cultural Centre

    Book Tickets SOLD OUT
  • The Fox And The Freedom Fighters

    The Fox and the Freedom Fighters is a new theatre work about Aboriginal activist Charles ‘Chicka’ Dixon, told from the perspective of his daughter Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor and granddaughter Nadeena Dixon. An iconic figure in Australian history, Chicka’s political activism left his family at the wayside at the height of his success. Mother and daughter celebrate Chicka’s lifetime of achievements, which highlight the ongoing fight to maintain cultural and spiritual freedom for Indigenous Australians in this country. This is their story.

    Realised in collaboration with playwright Alana Valentine and designer Clare Britton, The Fox and the Freedom Fighters is a deeply personal recollection of the life and legacy of a man whose contribution to Indigenous cultural history is immeasurable.

    World premiere season presented by Performance Space

  • Patyegarang

    Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, Bangarra — Australia’s multi award winning dance theatre company — tells the story of Patyegarang, the inspirational journey of a potent Indigenous spirit alive in Australia’s past and present. As the colonial fleet arrived on Eora country in the late 18th Century, Patyegarang befriended the colony’s timekeeper, Lieutenant William Dawes, gifting him her language in an extraordinary display of trust and friendship, which now inspires our imaginations about ‘first contact’.

    In Dawes’ notebooks, rediscovered in 1972, are transcripts of this remarkable cultural exchange. Patyegarang’s words are a window into a rich, complex and utterly different perspective on her world, its values and its sacred meanings. Bangarra liberates Patyegarang from the library shelves, putting spirit into her heart, as a striking visionary and educator.

    This deeply moving production is told through the acclaimed creativity of Stephen Page’s choreography and David Page’s soundscape, in a powerful and meaningful dance theatre experience.

    Choreography Stephen Page
    Music David Page
    Set Design Jacob Nash
    Costume Design Jennifer Irwin
    Lighting Design Nick Schlieper
    Dramaturgy Alana Valentine

    Patyegarang Reviews:
  • Parramatta Girls

    Helpmann Nomination Best New Australian Work 2008A stellar cast. An absolutely astonishing story. Making for a night of unforgettable theatre. Eight former inmates return to the notorious Parramatta Girls Detention Centre for a reunion forty years later. For some it’s a way to find healing, for others it’s a way to dispel the ghosts, for all of them it is a way to share the pain.

    This vibrant, confronting and often very funny play explores the defiance, endurance and psychological legacy of being branded a home girl. Interspersed with songs, and storytelling this is a tribute to the mischief and humor in the face of hardship suffered by countless girls, forgotten Australians who were victims of this harsh juvenile detention center.

    Award-winning playwright Alana Valentine has woven together the true stories of women who were once Parramatta Girls into a masterful tribute to their courage, humor, strength and optimism. Under the direction of Tanya Goldberg, eight extraordinary actresses bring this powerful work to audiences in Parramatta as part of the anniversary that marks 40 years since the closure of the institution.
  • Dead Man Brake

    A powerful, compassionate examination of tragedy and human resilience.

    In January 2003, a State Rail train travelling from Sydney to Port Kembla derailed just south of Waterfall station. Seven people were killed and dozens injured in what became known as the Waterfall train disaster. A Special Commission of Inquiry concluded that the accident could have been avoided if earlier safety warnings regarding the `deadman’s emergency brake’ had not been ignored. 

    To commemorate the 10th anniversary of this tragic event, Merrigong is honoured to commission and produce this new work from critically-acclaimed playwright Alana Valentine. Using verbatim sources including the Inquiry transcript, as well as original text, the play explores the impact of this tragedy, not only on the individuals involved, but on the community as a whole. 

    At the heart of the work is an acknowledgment of those who, after tragedies such as Waterfall, are brought in to counsel survivors and the families of victims. Through the words of these extraordinary individuals, the work explores profound questions about the nature of tragedy, offering a compassionate insight into the human condition. Dead Man Brake is ultimately an uplifting and powerful examination of human resilience in the face of tragedy.
  • Tricky Girl (Public Reading) August 2013

    ‘Its words on a screen. Like squirming creatures with teeth.’

    Alana Valentine's new verbatim-based adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew is relocated to a contemporary teenage world where cyberbullying, sexting, online porn and rootrater sites are the norm of an Australian adolescence. 

    Grappling with Shakespeare's apparent lack of squeamishness around the misogyny inherent in The Taming of the Shrew, Alana's new work gives voice to teenagers who are not afraid to use notoriety, scandal and betrayal to make their online life go viral. In our hyper-connected world, Tricky Girl engages young audiences, their parents and others who care about them, with searing and urgent relevance.

    Commissioned by BELL Shakespeare's Mind's Eye Development Inititative.
  • Barefoot Divas

    The Powerhouse Theatre in Brisbane will be alight with incredible stories and song as six highly acclaimed Indigenous entertainers present Barefoot Divas: Walk a Mile in My Shoes as part of Queensland Music Festival on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 of July. Showcasing their spiritual homeland connections, Aboriginal singer/songwriters Ursula Yovich and Emma Donovan join Papua New Guinean Ngaiire and their Maori sistas Maisey Rika, Merenia and Whirimako Black in a stunning tribute to endurance, honour, identity and life affirmation.

    "The stories of these incredible ladies are as beautiful and compelling as the songs themselves. There will not be a dry eye in the house," QMF Artistic Director James Morrison said.

    "Overall, this is truly a celebration of hope and resilience."

    Helped by the creative minds of Alana Valentine (writer and co-director), Vicki Gordon (director and producer) and Adam Ventoura (musical director), the Divas will be supported by first-rate musicians Steve Marin, Giorgio Rojas, Percy Robinson and James Sandon.

    Always breathtakingly poignant, this production is fresh from sell out shows at both Sydney Festival and the New Zealand International Arts Festival and is likely to be a standout hit for this year's Queensland Music Festival.

    Barefoot Divas: Walk a Mile in My Shoes is presented by Queensland Music Festival, Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Powerhouse and 612 ABC Brisbane.

    Barefoot Divas: Walk a Mile in My Shoes is part of Esperanto, 26-28 July at Brisbane Powerhouse.

    Originally co-commissioned and produced by Sydney Festival and New Zealand International Arts Festival in association with Vicki Gordon Music Productions 2012.

    Visit the Barefoot Divas website ›

  • Cold Light (Public Reading) July 2013

    Novelist Frank Moorhouse loves Canberra. He is the author of the critically acclaimed novel COLD LIGHT set in 1950's Canberra and featuring one of Australia's greatest fictional characters Edith Campbell Berry.

    Frank has never had a novel adapted for the stage but in 2012 Canberra's The Street Theatre optioned the rights to the Edith Campbell Trilogy and award-winning playwright, Alana Valentine, accepted the commission from The Street and has adapted the work to first draft stage.

    Canberra audiences are invited to the first showing of the first draft of this adaptation of COLD LIGHT and also to a discussion post-read with novelist Frank Moorhouse, playwright Alana Valentine, director Caroline Stacey, and the cast. By sharing your thoughts with the creative team you will assist us progress the work to production-ready stage.

    Cast: Raoul Craemer, Craig Higgs, Soren Jensen, Belinda McClory, Emma Strand, William Zappa.
  • Comin' Home Soon

    AWGIE Winner Youth/Community Theatre 2014
    A deeply authentic, verbatim-inspired conversation between inmates, their children and the people who work with them as clients, Comin' Home Soon brings to the stage rarely heard perspectives on incarceration and its effects on families, most especially on children.

    As part of a multi-year commitment to art classes in Goulburn gaol by GRAG which has seen a succession of Aboriginal artists go into the gaol, in 2012 playwright Alana Valentine was asked to conduct writing workshops with Aboriginal inmate artists. Informed by privileged access to these men, and with the participation and engagement of the Shine For Kids organization who work with children of inmates, this work rings with an abiding call for understanding the complexity, diversity and vulnerability of this community.

    Performed at Goulburn's Lieder Theatre by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal performers, with the endorsement of many Aboriginal locals in the cast and as supporters, this is a surprising, confronting and genuinely original encounter with the ongoing effects of punitive justice on Australian communities.
  • Barbara & The Camp Dogs (Public Reading) April 2013

    Barbara and the Camp Dogs, co-written with Ursula Yovich, is a ground-breaking drama with music that confronts the dilemmas faced by a young singer on the road to music industry success, most especially the betrayals and sacrifices and personality transformations that create heartbreaking choices.

    Through dynamic rock music and heart-felt ballads, Barbara and the Camp Dogs showcases the sometimes vicious, often brutal, very sexy and totally exciting ride of a newly minted Aboriginal star and takes the audience on a riveting dramatic and musical journey.

    An insight into what life is like for high-profile but still vulnerable women in the music industry, this work boldly rejects romantic notions of the certainty of family love and instead seeks to face the painful but galvanizing truth about the cost of success.
  • Tree Widows (Public Reading) March 2013

    Poignant. Courageous. Echoing.

    The Tasmanian Theatre Company proudly presents a new work-in-development by on of Australia's most highly respected theatre makers, Alana Valentine.

    This is a special opportunity to look inside the process of making a verbatim-inspired play.

    Like silent sentinels, 520 trees line an historic avenue in Hobart's beautiful Queen's Domain Park, each one poignantly linked to a fallen solider; they also represent an ongoing legacy for the families left behind. Planted between 1918 ad 1919, the Memorial Avenue has recently been replanted by the families of the Tasmanian soldiers who lost their lives during World War I.

    Playwright Alana Valentine is in the process of capturing the moving and often witty personal stories of the families for whom these trees are a potent metaphor, a living set and an enduring testament.

    A full on-site production of The Tree Widows is planned for Ten Days on the Island 2015.

    Commissioned by Ten Days on the Island, Hobart City Council and the Friends of the Soldiers Memorial Avenue.
  • Tinderbox

    When I see a forest of trees
    I see a lot of old growth
    Old ideas
    Comfortable trunks with their feet dug in
    Not making any room for anything new
    Starving out anything young
    That's what I see
    and it makes me
    want to have
    a bit of a clear out.

    Tinderbox, by Alana Valentine, reunites the acclaimed team who recently presented the rave-reviewed Tarantula at King Street Theatre in October 2012. With an original score by John Encarnacao, Tinderbox is a searing theatrical experimentation of poetry and music and a harrowing story of destruction and regeneration in the lives of three compelling characters. Is it possible to love someone who has committed an act of unspeakable wrong? Tinderbox will intrigue and inspire you with the durability of love under even the most onerous circumstances. Produced by Tredwood Productions, this Theatre 19 production marks the play's world premiere.

  • Tarantula

    "Desire is a tarantula that bites, and not only the young. Desire is a venom that courses through the veins long past the days of its ability to be satisfied" - Lola Montez

    Narcissistic, impervious to criticism, and a pathological liar. Scandalous, bigamous, and the ruination of royalty. Countess, dancer and actress. The most generous, most wilful, and most self-obsessed woman of her generation was Lola Montez. "Tarantula" picks up her story on July 8, 1856, when returning to San Francisco from an exhausting and scandal filled Australian tour, Lola's lover, Noel Folland, disappeared from the deck of the Jane A Falkenburg and was never seen again, presumed drowned.

    Using the conceit of a play within a play, "Tarantula" traces the story of Lola's life to unlock the mystery of this tragic disappearance, by having a contemporary actress making a play about her hero Lola. Set alternatively in a rehearsal room where the play is being made, and in flashback to Lola's world, the play is an hilarious and thought-provoking examination of the battle of the sexes - both from an historic and contemporary point of view. Erotic, passionate and very funny, this is a play which asks questions about just how much and in what way women's power had changed in the intervening years between Lola and our contemporary heroine, Gina and provides the opportunity for a virtuoso performance both from the gently aging "Lola" and her ardent young suitor.  First presented as a staged reading as part of Griffin Theatre's Searchlight program this Tredwood Production marks the play's world premiere.

  • Head Full of Love

    QLD Literary Award Nomination 2011

    Written by Alana Valentine

    The Annual Alice Springs Beanie Festival is fast approaching and Tilly Napuljari is running out of time to finish her new creation in time to enter it for judging. Nessa Tavistock, a Sydneysider, has run away to the red centre to escape her own problems back in the big smoke.

    Head Full of Love is the story of these two remarkable women and the unlikely but inspiring friendship which forms between them. It invites you to look differently at the possibilities of the humble beanie: a much-loved everyday item, and an extension of our selves and the everyday lives we wear.

    This intricate, warm and wisely told tale by Australian playwright Alana Valentine (Run Rabbit Run, Parramatta Girls) is directed by Wesley Enoch and stars Colette Mann (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Strange Bedfellows) and Roxanne McDonald (Skin of our Teeth, Parramatta Girls, The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table).

    "Head Full of Love is wonderful. It is a story that tells us so much about where we are and what we need to do about it." The Australian

    Head Full of Love was commissioned and first produced by Darwin Festival 2010.

  • Grounded

    Winner AWGIE 2013 - Youth and Community Theatre

    Written by
    Alana Valentine

    In association with
    Australian Theatre for Young People

    Presented as part of
    The Civic Theatres Inspirations Season

    Against the backdrop of one of the most intriguing events in Newcastles recent history, the grounding of the Pasha Bulker, we meet Farrah, a young Novocastrian with a fascination for Newcastles industrial port, a fascination none of her peers share or comprehend.

    Yet when a storm forces the ship on Nobbys Beach and the worlds attention turns to the harbour she knows so well, the impact on Farrahs own reality is not what she expects. Farrahs obsession with shipping and bulk carriers allows audiences to explore universal themes of isolation, belonging and identity, and that time in your life when the obsessions of childhood get grounded in reality.

    Tantrum Theatre and Australias flagship youth theatre company Australian Theatre for Young People have co-commissioned nationally recognised playwright Alana Valentine to create this new work which celebrates Newcastles identity and the significance of the working harbour to Newcastles culture.

    Grounded will be performed by a cast of talented young people, accompanied by professional actor Paul Kelman.  Paul is known for appearing in feature films such as Mullet with Ben Mendlsohn, Terra Nova and A Cold Summer, along with having roles in All Saints, McLeods Daughters, Home & Away, Water Rats and A Country Practice.

    Grounded will be performed for a local audience at the Playhouse and also to Sydney audiences for a season at the Australian Theatre for Young People Studio 1, The Wharf.

    Approximate running time 1hr and 30min with no interval. Recommended for ages 12 +

  • Barefoot Divas

    Some of Australia's most acclaimed female Indigenous singer/songwriters join together with their sisters from New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in a powerful symbolic collaboration. Walk a Mile in My Shoes is a combination of spoken word poetry, storytelling and song.  More than a concert, the show is a cultural experience and intimate disclosure about the lives of these talented performers and about finding commonality and strength in culture and language, as well as showcasing the phenomenal voices of the troupe.

    Helpmann Award winner Ursula Yovich (Serbia/Burarra) and Black Arm Band favorite Emma Donovan (Gumbaynggirr NSW) join Whirimako Black (Māori), Maisey Rika (Māori), Merenia (Māori/Roma) and Ngaiire (Papua New Guinea) to share hilarious and heartfelt stories of -life on the stage and on the road, fortified by deep connections to their land and culture.

    Barefoot Divas are a group of funny, cheeky and uplifting women who can sometimes take their commentary on the contemporary music industry just that little bit too far.  Provocative, hilarious, moving and insightful, Walk a Mile in My Shoes seeks to fulfill an audience’s desire for authentic, deeply-felt entertainment that will inspire and resonate with anyone interested in contemporary song writing and musical expression.

    The Divas will be led by Music Director Adam Ventoura (Greek Australian) and the all-star Barefoot Band, Marcello Maio (Greek Sicilian) Keys & Accordion, Steve Marin (Chile) Drumset, Percussion & Vocal, Percy Robinson (Maori) Guitar & Vocal and Giorgio Rojas (Peruvian) Drumset & Percussion.

  • Cyberbile

    AWGIE Nomination 2012 - Youth and Community Theatre

    Cyberbile is a candid, moving and sometimes shocking glimpse into the online world of today's teen generation. Based on interviews conducted by PLC students with teachers, parents and their fellow students, Cyberbile is a verbatim-based drama which speaks from and to the hearts of a Australia's young adults. Sometimes frightening, more often courageously funny, Cyberbile is a play for any parent who is worried about their child's relationship to the online community or any young person who wants to understand how to survive the bullying that technology can uniquely unleash.

    1 & 2 December, 7.00pm at Audrey Keown Theatre (PLC Croydon Sydney)

  • Women, Power & Culture – Then and Now

    Women, Power and Culture: Then and Now will explore the role of women in Australian society from a diverse number of complex, enlightening and amusing perspectives.

    Over a two week season in repertory, audiences will journey from the past to the present on a celebration of the role women have played in the cultural development of this country and her influence in the political arena.

    This project continues New Theatre’s commitment to fostering new Australian writing with a unique take on the role of women in our community through the eyes of a number of talented Australian playwrights.

    (Women, Power and Culture: Then and Now runs at the New Theatre Sydney from October 26th to November 5th 2011)

  • MP.

    Commissioned and presented by the Street Theatre Canberra

    You’ve laughed along with the political satirists and you’ve enjoyed seeing the pollies taken down a peg or two by the cartoonists. You’ve joined in the chorus that accuses them of being trough feeders and dishonest, self-interested bastards. But what if you’re wrong? Ever wonder if it’s actually your cynicism and negativity toward our public representatives that is compromising one of the most high-functioning democracies in the Western world?

    MP. is a timely and provocative look at the experience of female politicians working as elected representatives in our parliaments. Based on extensive interviews with politicians as diverse as Julie Bishop, Tanya Plibersek, Judy Hopwood, Kay Hull, Kate Lundy and Vicki Dunne, the play looks behind the scenes at how they juggle their relationships with party colleagues, journalists, public servants, electoral constituents, staff advisors, friends and family members. What emerges is a fascinating series of moral dilemmas faced by those trying to bring about change and those trying to stop them, those who know how to play the game and those who are simply ambitious for their own advancement. This is a fictional version of the inside scoop based on interviews with Annabel Crabb, Laura Tingle, Virginia Haussegger and a whole gaggle of public servants (who declined to be named!) MP. goes where no current affairs show or panel discussion dares to tread - deep into the messy emotional life of an MP. working in the snake pit of uneasy coalitions, public betrayals and knife-edge decisions that is Australian politics.

    - 3 Female
    - 3 Male (3 with doubling)

    (MP. ran at the Street Theatre Canberra from October 1st to October 15th 2011)

    7.30 Report

    The Canberra Times Review  ·  Another review from The Canberra Times  ·   Stage Whispers Review   ·   Canberra Critics Circle

  • Head Full of Love

    QLD Literary Award Nomination 2011

    Commissioned and presented by Darwin Festival

    Head full of Love draws a portrait of the relationships that develop at the Alice Springs Beanie Festival. This renowned Central Australian event is an annual pilgrimage for women as diverse and distant at Anangu and Tjanpi weavers, and Western women from all over the world.

    As secrets are shared and struggles are faced, a tendril of trust begins to develop into an unlikely friendship and the distance between worlds diminishes.

    - 2 Females (with doubling, 1 indigenous)

  • Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah (Soft Revolution)

    Kit Denton Fellowship Nomination 2008

    Commissioned and Presented by the Alex Buzo Theatre Company. 

    Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah is a contemporary companion for Norm and Ahmed, and is partly a plea for understanding, partly a bellow of rage from Muslim Australian women about the ignorance and misunderstanding that surrounds the wearing of the traditional Muslim headscarf. Based thoroughly on personal interviews and produced with the sustained support of a large number of Muslim women from a diversity of Muslim cultures, the play addresses theatrical and social questions about representation, religious freedom and inter-generational conflict.

    - full length play
    - 2 Females

    Published by Currency Press

  • Lost Illusions

    Commissioned and Presented at NIDA

    Adapted from Balzac’s novel, Lost Illusions is a cautionary tale - a dark parable about the snakes and ladders of life, a set of choices which all of us, especially young artists, confront. Balzac writes against the fashionable romanticism of his age, insisting that a focus on individualism and sentimentality fails to present a meaningful perspective on society. This aptation retains all the savage brutality of the original to draw a portrait of a judgmental, brutal, ambitious and competitive community which can both cripple and elevate its members.

    - 6 Males
    - 4 Females

  • Parramatta Girls

    Helpmann Nomination Best New Australian Work 2008

    Nominated for a 2007 Helpmann Award

    Dramatised from the real life stories of ex-inmates of the Girls Training School (GTS), Parramatta, Alana Valentine's history-making play exposes in moving detail the experience of young Australian women at this notorious inner-west punitive institution. Operating since 1887 as a home for abandoned, at risk, and 'criminal' girls under the age of 18, it was renamed GTS in 1947 and did not close until 1974. During those years, interviewees have told stories of thousands of women being brutalised, drugged, and confined in solitary for more than a week at a time. It is a sobering, compelling and frequently harrowing tale. Yet the pain and grief that these women speak of is more than swamped by the intensity of the love and trust and support that they offer each other. Suffering is not dwelt on, rather humour and tenderness and astonishing courage radiates from the characters on stage. Most incredibly, this is a story of indigenous and non-indigenous women coming together in strength and pride to tell their common story, their common history of Australia's incarceration of 'uncontrollable' girls. Burning with the fury of those who have never been believed, aching with the comedy of those who have survived the worst that life can throw at them, this is a night of theatre that goes to the heart and soul of being alive.

    'Valentine uses her source material respectfully but freely, creating composite characters and fictional scenes.....this (is an) exceptional piece of healing - and unexpectedly humorous - theatre.' - Jason Blake, The Sun Herald

    - 2 act play
    - 8 Female actors; 3 Indigenous 5 non-Indigenous

  • Run Rabbit Run

    Winner QLD Literary Award Best Play 2005

    In October 1999, 40,000 people flooded downtown Sydney to protest against South Sydney Rabbitohs being thrown out of the premiere Rugby League Competition. Undeterred, Souths took to the courts, first losing an injunction and then their case, which lasted forty days and forty nights. In November 2000, 80,000 people took over central Sydney to vent their anger at the failure to reinstate Souths. It was the biggest sporting rally in Australia's history. Then in July 2001, the Federal Court voted two to one to support South's appeal and the NRL invited the Rabbitohs to rejoin the competition. An impoverished inner-Sydney working class football club had taken on the biggest corporation in the world and won.

    In the spirit of 'Aftershocks' and 'The Laramie Project', Alana Valentine has collected the furious, passionate and deeply moving stories of past players, supporters, club staff and lawyers, and woven them into a remarkable human drama of courage, honour, loyalty and friendship. Whether you are a rugby fan or not 'Run Rabbit Run' will make you laugh, and perhaps unexpectedly cry, as this group of quintessential Australians honour the great Aussie tradition of the underdog and express their passions in their own words.

    - Cast of Ten
    - 6 Men, 4 Women (with doubling)

  • Student Body

    Presented at the 2010 National Play Festival. 
    Produced by Boobook Theatre, Melbourne.

    Fon is a student who has come to Australia for a university education. So have Kai Chai and Aditya and Song Yi. All of them are seeking an encounter with the freedoms and opportunities provided by a Western democracy - sexual freedom, political freedom and personal self-determination. Student Body is an intriguing, surprising and rollicking insight into the experiences of four international students as they each encounter their own terrifying and seductive dragons - immigration officials, home-stay mothers, University counsellors and Australian lovers. Not only is Australia a very different place than they expected, the opposition from the freedoms they seek come as much from the cultural baggage they are all carrying as it does from their current residence. What will they sacrifice to secure a skilled migration visa? What, or who, among them can threaten that possibility? As they play a high-stakes game of chance with their futures, who will care if they stay or go?

    - 2 Males
    - 2 Females

  • The Modest Aussie Cozzie

    Commissioned and Presented at St Ignatius’, Riveview

    The Modest Aussie Cozzie is based loosely on a biography of Aheda Zanetti who invented the Muslim swimsuit the ‘burkini swimsuit’. The play travels with Aheda through inspiration to fledgling production and gives a poignant insight into this little understood garment. The play interrogates the way the burkini swimsuit has become a symbolic flashpoint for the clash of religious freedom and secular democracy. When the burkini swimsuit is banned in France and Italy the play charts the torment and personal cost of misunderstanding and prejudice. A deeply affecting work the play is essentially about the struggle for identity, and the genius of creative ingenuity.

    - 1 Male
    - 1 Female

  • Covenant

    Covenant is the story of three friends - Rebecca, Truc and Savas - who decide, as a kind of friendship pact, to steal icons or objects from each of their religious houses of worship. Rebecca is an Assyrian Christian, Truc is a Vietnamese Buddhist and Savas is a Turkish muslim and they are determined that their parents edict of 'stick to your own kind' will be neutralized by their common act of bonding. But the thefts produce conflict between the religious communities that they could not have predicted. Will all three retreat to a position which rejects interfaith friendship or is there something that the young adults can resolve to find their way forward? Performed by and written in collaboration with 19 young adult actors and residents of the Fairfield area, this is theatre which confronts and reveals the experiences of Australian multicultural young people. Covenant inspires hope for an Australian future informed by interfaith understanding and co-operation.

    - Cast of Eighteen
    - 9 Men, 9 Women (with doubling)

  • Butterfly Dandy

    Presented by the Street Theatre Canberra 

    It is 1905, and in Australia women have just achieved the right to vote. Mirabella Martin is a highly successful, but rapidly ageing, soubrette. She wants to catch the eye of Harry Rickards, boss of the Tivoli Circuit, but she thinks she needs to find a new act to secure her place on a bill dominated by American and British theatrical imports. Her pianist, Tommy, tells her about the rage in the home country for male impersonation and encourages Mirabella to discover the power of pants. Mirabella hates the idea, resists the idea, tries to burn the trousers that Tommy has loaned her and only very reluctantly, and without any other options, takes to the stage cross- dressed. The audience love her and gradually, very gradually, Mirabella begins to embrace the liberation and opportunities that her on-stage persona create for her. But when Harry Rickards finally turns up to see her, Mirabella is faced with a heart-wrenching decision between the he that she's learned to embrace and the she that might secure her future. A delightful and very funny cabaret style show, Butterfly Dandy is a story about the pleasures and challenges of finding 'the new you' in the most unlikely place and of realising that the 'ideal man' might be closer than you think.

    - Cast of Two
    - 1 Woman 1 Man (Piano Accompanist)

  • The Conjurers

    NSW Literary Award Nomination 1997

    Presented by La Boite Theatre Brisbane

    Nominated for a 1997 NSW State Literary Award as Best Play, and a 1997 Australian Writers' Guild Award.

    Two magicians are touring their show along the Great Ocean Road of south-western Victoria. The further down the coast they travel, the more they are drawn into a mystical world of self-realisation and discovery about one another and the country around them. When the magicians assistant, Gala, begins to conjure out of the sea the ghost of a Sea Captain, whose ship was wrecked on rocks in 1845, the drama becomes a life and death struggle between reality and illusion.

    - full length play
    - 1 Male
    - 2 Females

    Published by Currency Press

  • Ozone

    Presented by the Queensland Theatre Company 

    A contemporary drama of life, death, and world changing deals.

    For four Australians flying home, the presence of an American Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry on the flight inspires desperate action and compelling revelations. Can the human race be saved from the worst excesses of environmental pollution, or are we stripped more by the pain of love than anything the sun can do?

    Set against a surreal landscape, this play traces the lives of five characters through a maze of comedy and treachery. It reveals the need for 'personal ozone' in a world where lives spiral out of control and the heart is the most vulnerable organ of all.

    - Full length play
    - 2 Males
    - 3 Females

  • Watermark

    Watermark award

    Commissioned and Presented by Katherine Regional Arts.

    Watermark is a chronicle of both the physical, psychological and financial devastation of the flood in the northern territory town of Katherine, Australia on 26 January 1998.

    Based on written and oral testimony from flood survivors, the play evokes the power and torment of flood damage in a small town the tensions and grief, the friendships and kindnesses, the fears and losses. Uplifting, moving and funny, Watermark is a testament to both the fragility and the endurance of a community in times of hardship.

    - full length play
    - 4 female, 4 male - Large amount of characters, doubling envisioned but not necessary

  • Doing Dawn

    Griffin Award Nomination

    Supported by Playwrighting Australia’s Creative Development Studio

    Doing Dawn is the story of five young pilgrims who travel to the Gallipoli Peninsula for the ANZAC Day commemorations. Based on interviews with actual travellers and Turkish soldiers, Doing Dawn is a searing confrontation of the babyboomer, anti-war rhetoric that has dominated recent debates about attendance of increasing numbers of young people to the site. Instead, Doing Dawn gives angry, poignant, confused and hilarious voice to the reasons for the pilgrims journeys, finding that the reasons young people go are as various as their diverse identities and politics. For some the initial impulse is no more than ‘the Big Day Out goes Turkey’ or an overseas gathering of ex-pat Aussie travellers. But once at the commemorations, something happens, not always predictable and sometimes even surreal, and identities are challenged, changed, and shifted by a confrontation with the past.

    Using direct address, theatrical time and reality shifts, songs, drama and Turkish language, Doing Dawn is a cry to be heard from a generation who are more preached to than heard from. It is an often surprising, confronting and moving insight into the concerns of Australian young adults and, importantly, also gives voice to the Turks who host the event.

    - 2 Males
    - 2 Females

  • Ratticus and Reidar

    Commissioned and Presented at Hyde Park Barracks

    Meet the residents who lived alongside the soldiers and convicts in the Hyde Park Barracks - the rats! Ratticus is the most cunning rat in the pack and when Reidar, a Norweigian brown rat arrives fresh off the prison hulk, it’s Ratticus who shows him how to survive by nibbling at the convicts toes. An action packed, rat’s eye-view of the Barracks that’s packed full of songs, dance and laughs for all ages.You’ll be amazed by how much those wily rats can tell us about life in the early setttlement!

    - 2 actors, either gender

  • Elderflowers

    Commissioned by a South Sydney Community Centre

    Elderflowers is based on interviews and research undertaken in Redfern and Waterloo with older residents, celebrating the wisdom and quirkiness of age. It has much to offer both those who generously gave of themselves as research participants and the wider community. Warm, funny and poignant, Elderflowers is a sassy look at life through the lens of older eyes and it reveals much about their invisible lives. Bullying by greedy, impatient children, neighbourly disputes, the absurdity of "the system" that hinders more than it helps - the characters emerge as the script spirals its way through anecdotes building up a mosaic-style impression of the older community. Elderflowers is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit and adds to the connective tissue that binds the community together.

    - 2 Males
    - 3 Females

  • Savage Grace

    Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award 2002

    Winner of the Rodney Seaborne Playwrights Award.

    When an American HIV specialist doctor, Dr Tex Clark, visits an Australian hospital, part of his residency is spent with a bioethics Professor, Robert Bavaro. Although the two clash over ethical issues especially surrounding euthanasia, a passionate love affair based on humour and honesty develops between them. As Dr Clark moves increasingly toward the prospect of assisting the suicide of one of his terminally ill patients, the stakes escalate, threatening both their careers and shifting the moral ground under them.

    A play which asks the question,"Is it possible to love someone with whom you profoundly and completely disagree?"

    - full length play
    - 2 actors, non-gender specific (may be played by 2 men, 2 women, or 1 man and 1 woman)

  • Spool Time

    It is Federal Election time and like all of us, Riley Calasso has to vote. She is streetwise, maternal, conservative and reclusive. One woman, four personas caught in a treacherous web of fear and confusion, wrestling with the internal self.

    This funny, topical, sharp and sexy show has been written especially to show off the talents of a virtuoso female performer. Which Riley will get the vote? What scheming and fighting will there be before one of her selves wins the right to do so?

    A political thriller about personal choice.

    - 1 act play
    - 1 Female

  • Glassy Eyed

    Inspired by Wagga Wagga's astounding art glass collection, this is a series of monologues in which human nature is refracted through the many metaphorical aspects of glass.

    A man contemplates what he does not know of his mother as he holds one of her frosted glass vases. A teenage girl with spectacles describes how she torments and teases male commuters on her local railway station. A shop assistant who sells glass describes her life. A glass artist cuts it with an angle grinder. A woman visits the Glass museum in Murano.

    - 15 monologues
    - 3 performers or more

  • Love Potions

    Three stories of sexual seduction involving tea, wine and chocolate.

    A man and woman consummate a ten year old passion over a cup of tea. Two teenagers negotiate their first sexual experience over a glass of wine. A husband and wife understand their sexual stagnation because of a box of chocolates. But then there's the post-coital second act.

    - full length play
    - 3 Males
    - 3 Females

  • Singing the Lonely Heart

    Presented by the NEW Theatre Sydney 

    Winner of the ANPC/New Dramatists Award

    Loosely based on the life of Southern American writer Carson McCullers and her journey from small-town alienation to international literary celebrity. Growing up in 1930s provincial Georgia was always going to be difficult for a writer of McCullers' originality and innovation and her family made themselves unpopular with their unfashionable stand against racism in the Deep South. Moving to New York allows Carson to experience not just the liberalism of Northern American thinking but also to explore her own sexuality and literary aspirations. Her first novel 'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter' propels her to immediate prominence as a writer; by the 1950s she is friend of Tennessee Williams, dinner companion of Marilyn Monroe, darling of New York transvestites. Yet she continues to struggle: with perceived rejection and lack of recognition; with her bi-sexuality and that of her husband; with cultural conformity and ignorance; with constant ill-health and depression. 'Singing the Lonely Heart' does not, however, simply retell the biographical details. Against a theatrical kaleidoscopic background of Southern American freak shows, Northern American drag bars and Parisian cemeteries, the play presents a human drama about what must be sacrificed and what must be accepted in order to be faithful to one's true self. A sometimes hilarious and often moving portrait of an original and deeply creative spirit up against the odds yet resilient, defiant and brave.

    'Mc Cullers was a one-off and this play does her great justice, without infantilising her legend, lionising or knocking out a hollywooden heroine. Moving, compassionate, tough, taut and terrific!' - Brad Skye, Sydney Stage Online 

    - 2 act play
    - 2 Males
    - 4 Females

  • The Sex Act

    Commissioned by the STC Blueprints Programme

    Two university law students, Marlowe and Neil, decide to turn one of their degree assignments into a play about the passing of the 1984 Sex Discrimination Act. They recruit another student, Olga, who is intensely hostile towards feminists and sees the whole thing as a wonderful way to send up the generation she calls 'gender terrorists'. As the assignment progresses, their own personal flaws, feelings, contradictions and problems in regard to their personal relationships are revealed, and their understanding and estimation of the achievements of the legislation changes. But for Olga, who keeps being visited by a pesky Germaine Greer in her dreams, the process reveals unpleasant truths about herself and her lover and propels her toward a change that is both irrevocable and life-changing.

    Intercut with these scenes of the young adults in the present, are dramatised scenes of the passage of the legislation involving all the historical participants in the real-life drama - Senator Susan Ryan, representatives of the group Women Who Want to Be Women, Prime Minister Bob Hawke, Opposition Spokesman Ian McPhee, and others. A timely examination of the struggles of feminism in a 'turkey slapping' 21st Century and a confrontation of Australia as the only country in the Western world without a constitutionally guaranteed Bill of Rights.

    - 2 act play
    - 3 Males
    - 3 Females

  • Eyes to the Floor

    Commissioned by Outback Theatre for Young People

    When girls at the Parramatta Training School rioted in 1961, a special, more punitive institution was set up in a disused psychiatric hospital in Hay, in remote Western NSW. Redesigned to house the ten 'worst' girls in the State, the Hay Institution for Girls became both a threat to maintain order in Parramatta and a site of further degradation and psychological torment for the young women it housed. Forced to constantly keep their 'eyes to the floor', these girls were not allowed to speak to each other and were forced to lay and then break up concrete paths, scrub paint from walls and tend the institution's garden. Picking up the story where 'Parramatta Girls' leaves off, 'Eyes to the Floor' is a moving portrait of hope that survives even in the worst of conditions. Written especially for a young cast, whose ages are chillingly equivalent to the incarcerated girls they are portraying, this is young adult theatre about the triumph of the imagination.

    - 1 act play
    - 2 Males
    - 7 Females

  • Swimming the Globe

    Conda Nomination 1996

    Nominated for a 1996 City of Newcastle Drama Award, this play travelled to the 1988 Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival, in Kuala Lumpur.

    Two swimmers have their sights set on Olympic Gold: Stace and Igorina. Stace lives and trains in Australia and is starting to make her way up the competition ladder. Igorina lives in an unnamed war zone with little possibility of athletic glory. Their stories are linked by Mark Monroe, a sports journalist and war correspondent whose life is altered and affected by the changing fortunes of both girls. As the Olympics draws near, Igorina urges Stace to an action which could make her lose everything.

    A play about teenage ambition and the Olympic ideal.

    - 1 act
    - 1 Male
    - 2 Females

    Published by Currency Press

  • The Prospectors

    Nominated for an AWGIE Award 2001 in the Category Young People's Theatre.

    Commissioned by the Australian National Maritime Museum to accompany the exhibition 'Gold Rush: The Australian Experience'. Set in 1854, the play begins aboard the 'Julia Ann' as the ship heads from Sydney to the Victorian goldfields.

    The characters are two miners, one a seasoned prospector, Stan, has come from the Californian fields to seek his fortune in Australia, the other, Frank, is an Aussie 'new chum' fresh to the prospecting game.

    They forge a partnership to seek for gold but when they arrive on the goldfields, the Ballarat Reform League rebellion draws Frank into the Eureka Stockade and puts a strain on their relationship that won't be resolved till the violence is over.

    A highly entertaining play about mateship and the relationship between the American and Australian goldrushes, for eight to twelve year olds.

    - 30 Minutes duration
    - 2 Males

  • Redfern Heights

    Griffin Award Nomination

    A short play, in verse and prose, set in the inner-Sydney suburb of Redfern.

    A poetic impression of the suburb as it travels through one day, the narrative tells the tale of four residents, a non-indigenous woman whose bag is snatched, the drug-addled thief, an indigenous woman who is knocked over and injured on a pedestrian crossing as she returns home, and the policeman who deals with all of them.

    A play about interconnectedness and the possibility of community.

    - 40 Minutes duration
    - 2 Males
    - 2 Females

Plays for Young Audiences and Schools

  • Rot Guts

    When Jacqueline's brother Vince complains of a stomach ache, Jacq does what any good sister would - she magically sends herself inside his body to find out what the problem is! Will she escape the clutches of the patrolling white blood cells? Will she get any sense out of the singing DNA strands? Will his heart know what's wrong? And who is the black dagger who lives in his stomach? An hilarious and very moving adventure of epic imaginative proportions about what really makes children unhappy and how two siblings find a deep and lasting connection with each other.
    - 1 Male
    - 1 Female
    - 2 non-gender specific

  • Multiple Choice

    A play suitable for youth-theatre production.

    The narrative is of a 17-year-old girl called Gillian Todd. The play traces Gillian's growing awareness of a problem in her ability to control her alcohol consumption.

    Using music, mime, puppetry and mask work the play dramatises the experience of adolescence through a street-wise, witty, and sympathetic protagonist.

    - 1 act play
    - 5 Males
    - 6 Females

  • The Mapmaker's Brother

    Also commissioned by the ANMM, to accompany the exhibition "Oceans Apart: the story of Ann and Matthew Flinders."

    The play is about the relationship between the great Australian denominator and navigator Matthew Flinders and his less well known brother, Samuel who accompanied him on many of his voyages, including aboard 'The Investigator' as they charted and named the South Australian coastline.

    The play traces tensions in the brother's relationship and cleverly explains concepts of mapping and navigation essential to the Year 3 and 4 syllabus.

    - 30 Minutes duration
    - 2 Males

  • Bones of the Beast

    A play for children about a boy who finds the bones of an ichthyosaur, a marine dinosaur, in a farmer's paddock and then struggles to have his discovery acknowledged.

    A play with songs about how children's achievements can be usurped by adults, and a lonely child who learns how to transform his world.

    - 50 Minutes duration
    - 6 Actors (with doubling)

Short Plays

  • The Story of Anger Lee Bredenza

    Anger Lee is a brilliant young musician. Five years ago she left her baby daughter with her mother while she went to Vienna to further her studies. Now she's come back and she wants her baby, but the baby isn't so easy to find.

    A haunting play about the generative power of the Australian inland, this play was the recipient of the 1989 NSW State Literary Award for Radio in its original conception as a radio play.

    - 1 act, 40 minutes
    - 3 Females

  • Shudder

    A short play about the erotic possibilities of vomiting.

    - 8 Minute short play
    - 1 Male
    - 1 Female