2010 Australian Book Industry Award for Book of the Year

Hailed as an Australian To Kill a Mockingbird, Craig Silvey’s acclaimed, best-selling novel is lovingly adapted for the stage by Kate Mulvany, directed by Sam Strong (Private Lives, The Weir).

In this great Australian epic, young Charlie is startled by fierce rapping on the window of his sleep-out late one summer night in 1965. It’s Jasper Jones, the baddest kid in Corrigan and now he’s outside Charlie’s window, begging him to come see something, something that’ll change his life.

A heart-warming coming-of-age story wrapped in a mystery, Jasper Jones recalls a long, simmering summer in which friendships are tested and illusions are lost. Now, Sam Strong transforms this tender small-town morality tale into a rich and poignant new production.

Jasper Jones is on the 2016 VCE Theatre Studies playlist.

Cast & Crew

Ian Bliss.jpg

Ian Bliss

Mr Bucktin/Warwick


Nicholas Denton

Charlie Bucktin


Taylor Ferguson

Laura / Eliza Wishart

Rachel Gordon

Rachel Gordon

Mrs Bucktin


Guy Simon

Jasper Jones

Hayden Spencer.jpg

Hayden Spencer

Mad Jack


Harry Tseng

Jeffrey Lu

Sam Strong

Sam Strong



Anna Cordingley

Set & Costume Designer

Matt Scott

Matt Scott

Lighting Designer

Darrin Verhagen

Darrin Verhagen

Composer/Sound Designer

Leith McPherson

Leith McPherson

Voice & Dialect Coach

Justine Campbell

Justine Campbell

Assistant Director

News & Reviews



A corker of a show.

The Age

Get a seat, because it’s bound to be a hit.

Time Out Melbourne


Arts Hub

Funny and moving.

Australian Stage Online

Entertaining, moving and captivating.

Theatre People

A poignant, thought-provoking drama.

The Plus Ones
The Music


Inside Information

The playwright

Kate Mulvany is an award-winning writer and actor. She has starred in films such as The Great Gatsby (2013), Griff the Invisible (2010), and The Final Winter (2007), and has appeared in TV shows such as Secret City, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Winter. She has played lead roles with major Australian theatre companies, including in Rabbit (Sydney Theatre Company), The Beast (Melbourne Theatre Company), Mr Bailey’s Minder (Griffin Theatre Company) and most recently, The Literati (Griffin Theatre and Bell Shakespeare).

Her plays include the acclaimed adaptation of Masquerade, The Web, The Wreath, Blood and Bone (Winner of Naked Theatre Co’s “Write Now”! Award), Story Time, The Danger Age, Vaseline Lollies, and Naked Ambition. She also collaborated with Tim Minchin on the musical Somewhere at Q Theatre and with Pip Branson on Embalmer! – the Musical, produced by Tamarama Rock Surfers. For Bell Shakespeare, Kate adapted Julius Caesar and Macbeth, as well as an award-winning adaptation of Medea for Belvoir in 2012. In 2012, Kate played the role of Rose in MTC’s production of her play The Seed, which had previously won the 2004 Philip Parsons Young Playwright’s Award. A feature film adaptation of The Seed is currently in development.

Kate’s most recent play, Masquerade, a reimagining of the children’s book by Kit Williams, was performed at the 2015 Sydney Festival and the State Theatre Company of South Australia as well as Melbourne Festival.

Kate won the 2015 Patrick White Fellowship with the Sydney Theatre Company and is currently holding fellowships with Bell Shakespeare and Sydney Theatre Company.

The author

Craig Silvey is an award-winning author from Western Australia. Jasper Jones is his second novel; his first novel, Rhubarb, was published in 2004. He has also written a children’s book entitled The World According to Warren, which starred the guide dog character from Rhubarb. His most recent work, a novella called The Amber Amulet, was published in 2012. The year before, it had been turned into a play by Barking Gecko Theatre Company, which then toured regionally. The Amber Amulet is currently being developed into a short film by actor, writer and director Matthew Moore.

The director

Currently Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Company, Sam Strong was Associate Artistic Director of MTC (2013–15), directing for the Company, Double Indemnity, The Weir, Endgame, The Sublime, The Speechmaker, Private Lives, The Crucible, Other Desert Cities, and Madagascar. Sam was also Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Company, Literary Associate at Company B Belvoir, and co-founder of Red Stitch Writers. His other directing credits include Masquerade (Sydney Festival/Melbourne Festival/Griffin/STCSA), The Floating World (Griffin), Between Two Waves (Griffin), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Sydney Theatre Company), The Boys (Griffin/Sydney Festival), And No More Shall We Part (Griffin), Speaking in Tongues (Griffin), The Power of Yes (Belvoir), Faces in the Crowd (Red Stitch), Thom Pain (based on nothing) (B Sharp Belvoir), and Red Sky Morning (Red Stitch). Sam has been nominated for Best Director three times at the Sydney Theatre Awards, twice at the Green Room Awards and twice at the Helpmann Awards, and his shows have also been nominated for Best Production at the Sydney Theatre, Green Room, and Helpmann Awards. He won the 2013 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Director for The Floating World, Sam is a graduate of VCA’s directors course and the University of Melbourne.

The designers

Anna Cordingley, Set & Costume Designer
For MTC, Anna previously designed the costumes for Death and the Maiden. Her recent set and costume credits include, for Sydney Festival, Masquerade and Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid/Meow Meow’s Little Match Girl (with Malthouse); for Victorian Opera, Sunday in the Park with George; for Bell Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Tartuffe, Phedre, Macbeth, and Julius Caesar; for Chunky Move, An Act of Now and Connected; for Lucy Guerin Inc., Human Interest Story; for Melbourne Festival M+M (with Daniel Schlusser Ensemble), Richter/ Meinhof-Opera and The Black Arm Band’s Hidden Republic; for Malthouse Theatre, The Story of Mary Maclane by Herself, A Golem Story, ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Sappho in 9 Fragments, The Threepenny Opera (with STC), Elizabeth – Almost by Chance a Woman, One Night the Moon, Knives in Hens (with STCSA), Happy Days (with Belvoir), and A Commercial Farce & Autobiography of Red; and for White Night Melbourne, The Letter Project. Anna has designed for Simon Barley (Bambuco) with The Eighth Bridge over Tyne (UK) and Spine, Lille 2004 (France). Her exhibition designs include Les Miserables: Victor Hugo from Page to Stage at the State Library of Victoria; Stage Presence (currently showing), The Extraordinary Shapes of Geoffrey Rush, War Horse, and The Breath of Life at the Arts Centre Melbourne; An Account of Bridges at the Baltic Contemporary Art Centre/Sage Gateshead (UK); and facilitation for Brook Andrew in Colony in the 2007 Den Haag Sculpture Exhibition (The Netherlands). Anna won the 2012 and 2013 Green Room Awards for Design and the Kristian Fredrikson Scholarship. She is an alumna of the VCA (Design) and has a Masters from the University of Melbourne (Curatorship).

Matt Scott, Lighting Designer
Matt has lit more than fifty MTC productions, most recently Skylight, The Last Man Standing, The Weir, Jumpy, The Mountaintop, Elling, His Girl Friday, Red, The Seed, Tribes, The Importance of Being Earnest, Clybourne Park, The Joy of Text, Next to Normal, A Behanding in Spokane, Don Parties On, Life Without Me, All About My Mother, Boston Marriage, The Ugly One, The Grenade, The Swimming Club, The Drowsy Chaperone, Godzone, God of Carnage, The Birthday Party, August: Osage County, Realism, Grace, The Hypocrite, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Blackbird. His most recent other work includes The Pearlfishers, Rigoletto, and Don Pasquale for Opera Australia; Aida for Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour/Opera Australia; Anything Goes for Opera Australia/Gordon Frost Organisation; The Magic Flute for Oz Opera; Banquet of Secrets, Voyage to the Moon, and The Flying Dutchman for Victorian Opera; The Riders for West Australian Opera; Jasper Jones for Belvoir; La traviata for Opera Queensland, State Opera of South Australia, and New Zealand Opera; Jerry’s Girls for the Production Company; The Odd Couple for Queensland Theatre Company; and Angels in America for Black Swan State Theatre Company. He has also lit numerous productions for Bell Shakespeare, Sydney Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company, Opera Queensland, Queensland Ballet, Expressions Dance Company, Malthouse, and La Boîte Theatre. He has received and been nominated for numerous awards, including a 2005 Helpmann Award for his lighting on Urinetown, which followed his 2003 Helpmann Award for The Blue Room.

Darrin Verhagen, Composer & Sound Designer
A freelance sound designer and composer, Darrin Verhagen has scored the MTC productions of Madagascar, Godzone, The Birthday Party, Grace, The Ghost Writer, The Memory of Water, and Dumb Show. He also scored the Daniel Schlusser Ensemble’s Menagerie for the NEON Festival. In theatre, he has worked with Malthouse, Daniel Schlusser Ensemble, Chamber Made Opera, Bell Shakespeare, Sydney Theatre Company, and Griffin; in cabaret with Finucane & Smith; and in dance, with Chunky Move, Australian Dance Theatre, Expressions Dance Theatre, Lucy Guerin, Sue Healey and Antony Hamilton. As a founding member of the (((20hz))) collective, his recent installations have fused sound with light, felt vibration and motion simulators, and have been exhibited at White Night, the NGV, Experimenta, Globelight, and RMIT Gallery. His most recent book chapter ‘What’s wrong: the sound of danger versus hearing dangerously’ was recently released in Endangering Science Fiction. And his latest soundtrack will feature in the forthcoming feature film, Boys in the Trees (October 2016). Darrin is a senior Sound Design lecturer in the RMIT Digital Media program, and the director of the AkE (Audiokinetic Experiments) Lab where he researches the psychophysiology of multisensory experience.

The cast

Guy Simon plays Jasper Jones, who is considered by many of the townspeople as the ‘baddest kid in Corrigan’.

Nicholas Denton plays Charlie Bucktin, our narrator and the person Jasper enlists to help him solve a mystery.

Harry Tseng plays Jeffrey Lu, Charlie’s best friend.

Rachel Gordon plays Mrs Bucktin, Charlie’s mother.

Ian Bliss plays Mr Bucktin, Charlie’s father.

Taylor Ferguson plays Eliza Wishart, the object of Charlie’s affection and the sister of the girl everyone’s talking about, Laura Wishart.

Hayden Spencer plays Mad Jack, the town outcast, whom all the children fear.

The story

In this great Australian epic, young Charlie is startled by fierce rapping on the window of his sleep-out late one summer night in 1965. It’s Jasper Jones, the baddest kid in Corrigan, and now he’s outside Charlie’s window, begging him to come see something, something that’ll change his life. What he sees and the events that follow mean Charlie can never see things in the same way again. Can they find the answers they’re looking for?
A coming-of-age story wrapped in a mystery, Jasper Jones recalls a long, simmering summer in which friendships are tested and illusions are lost.
While it deals with serious themes (see warning below), Jasper Jones also shines with humour and heart-warming scenes.
For those who haven’t read the novel, it is important to note that the story, and consequently the production, deals with some challenging themes and contains confronting imagery depicting the dead body of a young person within the opening scenes.

If you are unfamiliar with the story and would like more information, or have concerns about your attendance, please contact the MTC Box office on 03 8688 0800. You can also learn more about this production via interview below.

Fun Fact

Jasper Jones won the 2010 Australian Book Industry Award for Book of the Year and is on the 2016 VCE Theatre Studies playlist.

MTC’s production of Jasper Jones will be the third separate production in as many years, following Barking Gecko Theatre Company’s production in 2014-2015 and Belvoir’s production earlier this year.

A film adaptation of the novel is also in development, for which Silvey also wrote the screenplay.


Adaptor of Jasper Jones, Kate Mulvany, looks forward to the plays third incarnation. Read an interview with Kate here.


Director Sam Strong and Kate Mulvany talk about Jasper Jones.


8 August: Donor event – Post-show cocktail party

There will be a post-show cocktail party for MTC Donors, following the 6.30pm performance. For more information about becoming an MTC Donor, email

Attendance Information

  • This production contains coarse language and references to violence, sexual abuse and suicide. Due to the mature themes, this production is recommended for ages 14 and up. For further information, please call our box office on (03) 8688 0800.

  • FM Hearing Systems are available for this production
  • This production will be audio described on 23 August (6.30pm) and 27 August (4pm, with a tactile tour at 3pm), and captioned on 3 September (4pm).

Goldman Sachs