Bring your children
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. Unless a show is specifically a designated children’s performance, you may find most MTC productions are considered unsuitable for young children. Of course, parents are the best judge of what is suitable for their own children, and below you will find a rough guide and our recommendations for each play in the season.
All patrons attending the theatre will be required to hold a valid ticket, including babes in arms. Most MTC shows are suitable for young people in the upper years of high school. Many younger children are likely to find adult drama uninteresting.
A click on the play titles below will lead you to the play pages where there is more information.
Recommended for children nine years and older (and younger children with parental guidance)
The Book of Everything
This is our Christmas show, staged with family audiences in mind. That being said, The Book of Everything is a story about a young boy growing up in a religious family with a strict and violent father. The entertaining and stylised quality of the production and sympathetic young protagonist ameliorates the violence in the story. Jesus appears as the young man’s imaginary friend to help him through hardships. It is quality entertainment for mature children.
One Man, Two Guvnors
Very young viewers might not follow the machinations of the farce plot, but they will certainly enjoy the broad comic effects and the slapstick humour. The jokes get a little blue in a seaside postcard way, but many children will enjoy the transgression. However, with a pre-show skiffle band performance, it runs to three hours or more, so requires a good attention span. Otherwise great for the whole family.
Suitable for children 12 years and older
The classic American play about the Salem witch trials in seventeenth century Massachusetts is a harrowing story about one man standing by his principles. It is wordy and politically convoluted, yet its central conflict should be easy to follow by mature younger teens. We recommend a little parental priming of the young viewer before seeing the show. An excellent play for older teens.
Solomon and Marion
This is a contemporary play from South Africa about the legacy of apartheid on the lives of an older white woman and a young black man. Although the play itself is a study of social violence, there is no staged violence. Perfectly suitable for high school students, the older ones will draw more from it.
The Cherry Orchard
This adaptation of Chekhov’s play by Simon Stone has yet to be completed, though it is likely to be a contemporary reading in Australian vernacular. We shall post a more accurate recommendation closer to the production date, but judging from a similar adaptation of The Wild Duck by Stone last year, this version will be suitable for all teens, although appreciation will be greater among VCE students.
Recommended for 15 years and older
This is a contemporary play with an intriguing structure. It is about the high improbability of two people getting together and deals with adult relationships in a mature way. The language is strong at times. VCE drama students will get the most from it.
Other Desert Cities
A contemporary family drama-comedy from America, Other Desert Cities is sharp, mature think-piece in which national and family politics merge and domestic skeletons come out of the closet. There’s some strong language, but there are no distressing or violent scenes. The subject and treatment might best suit upper high school students.
A contemporary Australian comedy by Joanna Murray Smith, True Minds is a satire of contemporary mores and politics. The younger the viewer the less the sexual politics will hold interest. Older teens will get the most from it.
This political satire on Rupert Murdoch is not recommended for younger teens on the basis of interest value. It requires a knowledge of recent history and the media mogul himself. One for VCE students, the theatrestruck and current affairs aficionados.
About the last night on earth of Martin Luthur King, The Mountaintop is a fantasy on themes of race, struggle and destiny. Younger teens developing an interest in the American Civil Rights movement should have no difficulty with the subject matter nor its highly theatrical treatment. It contains some strong language, including some racially-charged epithets. Older students of drama and history will probably appreciate it the most.