Astroman

Parents Guide

Bringing young people to the theatre

MTC encourages parents to bring young people to see our mainstage shows but recognises that some plays may not be suitable for all ages or temperaments. Most MTC productions are likely to be unsuitable for young children. However, most are suitable for teenagers in the middle and upper years of high school and MTC publishes a free Education Pack for each show.

MTC believes that parents are the best judge of what is suitable for their children and provides the following guide and recommendations for each play in the season.

For detailed information about each production’s content (including spoilers), visit our Production Content Guide.

Note: all audience members will be required to hold a valid ticket, including babes-in-arms. At some shows, audience members who leave the theatre during the performance will not be able to re-enter the theatre. MTC updates the running time, interval and content advice on this website for each show closer to its season.

Season 2018

Recommended for ages 11+ (Year 6+)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Simon Stephens

Based on the best-selling book of the same name, this National Theatre production direct from the UK is about a teenage boy with an extraordinary brain – exception at maths, while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. Strong language and swearing is present throughout the play, with moments of shouting and physical violence, and occasional references to mature themes such as alcohol and mild sexual references.

Oscar Wilde’s
An Ideal Husband

Written and set in 1895, the play is a satirical comedy about politics by the author of The Importance of Being Earnest. The play is written in four acts, and is likely to have a running time of over two and a half hours, with one interval.

Twelfth Night
by William Shakespeare

One of Shakespeare’s most accessible plays and popular comedies, Twelfth Night is filled with action, disguise, mistaken identity, slapstick comedy and romance. Young audience members may find some of the language difficult to understand at first, but consider this production a wonderful introduction to Shakespeare.

Recommended for ages 14+ (Year 9+)

Astroman
by Albert Belz

A new play by a New Zealand playwright, set in 1980s Geelong. It is a feel-good story about two Indigenous teenage boys who befriend the Greek owner of the local video games arcade. The play includes swearing and racist abuse, and mild sexual references.

Recommended for ages 15+ (Year 10+)

The Children
by Lucy Kirkwood

A contemporary British play about three retired nuclear scientists facing the consequences of a Fukushima-like disaster at the nuclear power plant where they previously worked together. The play includes swearing, mature themes, and sexual references.

Abigail’s Party
by Mike Leigh

A 1977 British play about two couples and a single woman at a neighbourhood dinner party. The MTC production will be set in the year the play was written. The play includes swearing and smoking, mature themes, and sexual references.

Hungry Ghosts
by Jean Tong

A new play and MTC’s annual Education show, produced with senior secondary school audiences in mind. The play includes swearing, sexual references, and mature themes, including references to the disappearance of Malaysian Flight MH370, and political corruption in Malaysia.

Wild
by Mike Bartlett

A contemporary British play about an Edward Snowden-like political whistle-blower negotiating with two agents in a hotel room. The play includes swearing, mature themes, and sexual references.

The House of Bernarda Alba
adapted by Patricia Cornelius after Federico García Lorca

A new Australian adaptation of a 1936 Spanish play, set in current day Western Australia. A tough matriarch keeps her five young adult daughters virtual prisoners in an outback homestead. The play includes swearing, mature themes, and sexual references.

A Doll’s House, Part 2
by Lucas Hnath

A contemporary American play featuring the main characters from the 1879 play by Henrik Ibsen and set 15 years after the events in the first play. The play is a standalone work; audiences do not need to know or have seen Ibsen’s play. The play includes mature themes.

Recommended for ages 16+ (Years 11 & 12)

Gloria
by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

A contemporary American play depicting the circumstances and consequences of workplace bullying and violence at a New York publishing company. The play contains graphic and mature content, including swearing, blood and violence, and sexual references.

The Architect
by Aidan Fennessey

A new Australian play about the unlikely friendship between a young drifter and the older women he helps through her illness. The play contains mature content, including swearing and themes including assisted dying.

Working with Children
by Nicola Gunn

A new Australian work for adult audiences. Please check closer to the season for updated content advice and recommended audience age.

Season 2019

Recommended for ages 11+ (Year 6-12)

Storm Boy
by Colin Thiele, adapted by Tom Holloway

Tom Holloway adapted the script for this new production from the classic children’s novella by Colin Thiele, first published in 1963, and known to generations of Australians through the 1976 film. Young people will identify with the ten year-old ‘Storm Boy’ and grow to love the pelicans as the boy does. As a coming-of-age story, Storm Boy features highly emotional content: arguments between the boy and his father, the violence of hunters towards the birds, grief over the death of loved ones, and coping with loss and change. Produced in collaboration with the award-winning Dead Puppets Society, the production will be theatrically stunning, running appx. 70 minutes with no interval.

Recommended for ages 14+ (Year 9+)

The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You
by Finegan Kruckemeyer

Finegan Kruckemeyer has an extraordinary ability to write authentic teenage characters. In this play, they are angry young people who swear and act disrespectfully towards their peers, parents, teachers and other adults. The play, however, is both a comedy and a coming-of-age story that shows the importance of empathy and offers an affirming and optimistic resolution. The production will be one act, no interval, running approximately 70 minutes.

Contains coarse language

The Lady in the Van
by Alan Bennett

Originally a successful play, The Lady In The Van was made into a film starring Maggie Smith (Harry Potter’s Professor McGonagall). MTC’s production stars Miriam Margolyes (Professor Sprout) playing the complex title character who is simultaneously appealing, infuriating, warm and rude. All the characters are mature adults and it is a text-driven play, running approximately 2 hours with one interval.

Contains coarse language

Shakespeare in Love
by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman, adapted for the stage by Lee Hall, music by Paddy Cunneen

This is a romantic comedy set in Elizabethan England, using Shakespearean language, characters and references to William Shakespeare’s plays. It is a love story and there will be romance and intimacy between characters, and sexual innuendo in the dialogue. Detailed knowledge of Shakespeare’s life and work is not necessary but will add to the enjoyment of the play. The production will be highly theatrical and run approximately 2 hours with one interval.

Photograph 51
by Anna Ziegler

A play about the discovery of DNA set in 1952, this is an inspiring story that is educational about the challenges that women did and continue to face in the sciences. All the characters are mature adults and it is a text-driven play, running approximately 2 hours with one interval.

Recommended for ages 15+ (Year 10+)

A View from the Bridge
by Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller’s tragedy is a beautifully written examination of working class and migrant experiences in 1940s New York. Unlike The Crucible, it does not have teenage characters, nor is it an allegory of a more recent era. However, it does provide a platform for robust and emotionally-powered performances with some violent scenes. It is a text-driven play and will run approximately 2.5 hours with one interval.

Contains sexual references, violence and mature themes

Così
by Louis Nowra

An Australian classic set in 1971, Louis Nowra’s play is filled with comedy and the production will be rich in 70s design and nostalgia. Young people interested in acting will recognise Doug’s monologue that has become a standard text for auditions. As a depiction of a 1970s mental health institution, the play necessarily incorporates some dated notions and attitudes about mental health and its treatment. The play runs approximately 2 hours with one interval.

Contains coarse language, sexual references and references to suicide

Heisenberg
by Simon Stephens

This is a romance about older people by the playwright who adapted The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It is a text-driven play, running approximately 90 minutes with no interval.

Contains coarse language and sexual references

Black is the New White
by Nakkiah Lui

This is a riotous comedy about race, racism and Australian politics in the form of a theatrical farce. Set at a Christmas lunch at a family beach house, young people will recognise the world of the play, its characters, relationships and issues. The play will provoke both laughter and critical thinking about Australian society. Runs approximately 2 and a half hours with one interval.

Contains coarse language, nudity and drug use

Recommended for ages 16+ (Years 11 and 12)

Arbus & West
by Stephen Sewell

Photographer Diane Arbus (1923 – 1971) and actress Mae West (1893 – 1980) were real-life American women who met in 1964. The play is a fictional account of that meeting, imagining a feisty, combative, intellectual and emotionally-charged encounter. Stephen Sewell is noted for his political writing and young people will find the play rich with ideas and provocations about gender, sexuality, identity and media. The play is text-driven and runs approximately 2 hours minutes with one interval.

Contains coarse language, sexual references and references to suicide

Golden Shield
by Anchuli Felicia King

A political thriller that mixes English and Mandarin, Golden Shield explores the legality, ethics and morality of a US company doing work for a foreign government. The main characters include lawyers, corporate executives, government officials and translators. It is a text-driven play with a running time of approximately two and a half hours with one interval.

Contains coarse language, sexual references and mature themes

Kiss of the Spider Woman
Book by Terrence McNally, Music by John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Based on the novel by Manuel Puig

The musical follows the changing relationship between two polar-opposite inmates in a South American prison: a political revolutionary and a homosexual window-dresser. Although reminiscent of the composers’ previous hits (Cabaret, Chicago), this work is arguably darker, interrogating and enacting political, sexual, physical and emotional violence. Runs for approximately 2 hours with one interval.

Contains coarse language, sexual references, violence and mature themes

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