Show artwork for Emerald City

Emerald City

Nadine Garner (Photograph 51), Marg Downey (Kath & Kim), Rhys Muldoon (House Husbands), Jason Klarwein (Devil’s Playground), Ray Chong Nee (Antony and Cleopatra) and Megan Hind (Secret Bridesmaid’s Business) star in a fresh new take on David Williamson’s finest comedy, Emerald City.

Marking 50 years of David Williamson’s plays on Australian stages, this Melbourne Theatre Company and Queensland Theatre co-production is a high-octane, wisecracking commentary on contemporary values, opening on Wednesday 11 March at Southbank Theatre and directed by Sam Strong (Jasper Jones).

Sam Strong said, ‘Emerald City is about so much more than the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne or the tension between art and commerce. This is a play that is rich in ideas, using the hedonism of the late 1980s as a canvas to explore more timeless themes of moral responsibility and the compromise of ideals. And beneath the glittering surface of the play’s comedy is the beating heart of a relationship drama. I'm thrilled to return to MTC for this sparkling revival.'

Welcome to the glittering jewel in Australia’s cultural crown – that sinkhole of ambition and superficiality we call Sydney. Colin is Australia’s most successful screenwriter, but since moving from Melbourne with his wife Kate, he’s been faced with a choice between art and commerce that will define his career forever. Meanwhile, Kate’s star is on the ascent and her latest publication has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Fame and fortune are there for the taking, but big surprises are in store for them both.

Sam Strong was the Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre from 2015 to 2019. Prior to that, he was Associate Artistic Director of MTC, Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Company, Literary Associate at Belvoir, and Dramaturg in Residence at Red Stitch Actors Theatre. Sam has directed productions for all Australian state theatre companies and the Sydney and Melbourne Festivals. For MTC, his productions include Storm Boy, Noises Off, Jasper Jones, Double Indemnity, The Weir, Endgame, The Sublime, The Speechmaker, Private Lives, The Crucible, Other Desert Cities and Madagascar. His Queensland Theatre credits include Hydra, Nearer the Gods, Twelfth Night, Noises Off! and Once in Royal David’s City. Sam has won the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Direction and received multiple nominations for Best Direction and Best Production at the Sydney Theatre Awards, Greenroom Awards, and Helpmann Awards.

David Williamson is Australia’s best-known and most widely performed playwright. His over fifty plays have been produced by all the major Australian companies since 1970, with many having been produced internationally. David’s extensive association with Melbourne Theatre Company began in 1972 with the premiere of Jugglers Three. His plays include The Coming Of Stork, The Removalist, Don’s Party, The Department, The Club,Travelling North, Emerald City, Money and Friends, Dead White Males, After The Ball, Face To Face, Up For Grabs, Influence, Scarlet O’Hara At The Crimson Parrot, Don Parties On, Cruise Control, Face To Face, Rupert, Nearer the Gods and The Big Time. As a screenwriter, David has brought nine of his own plays to the screen for feature films and wrote the screenplays for Gallipoli, Phar Lap, The Year of Living Dangerously and Balibo. His many awards include 12 Australian Writer’s Guild (AWGIE) Awards, five Australian Film Institute Awards for Best Screenplay, and in 1996 the United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Award.

 Cast Ray Chong Nee, Marg Downey, Nadine Garner, Megan Hind, Jason Klarwein, Rhys Muldoon

Sam Strong
Associate Director Travis Dowling
Set & Costume Designer Dale Ferguson
Lighting Designer David Walters
Composer & Sound Designer Russell Goldsmith

Season Dates
6 March – 18 April

Opening Night
Wednesday 11 March, 8pm

Southbank Theatre, The Sumner

03 8688 0800

Published on 6 February 2020