Show artwork for An historic night at the theatre

An historic night at the theatre

A note from our General Manager

Our 2012 Season officially began last night with the opening of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll at the Arts Centre Melbourne. It was an event of special significance for many reasons, as our General Manager Ann Tonks highlighted in an email to all MTC staff this morning.


Last night was an historic night.
In the audience for the opening of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, were three of the five people who have been MTC Artistic Directors:

John Sumner
Ray Lawler
Roger Hodgman

along with our new Artistic Director Brett Sheehy.

Three people who have given us great productions of the Doll were also there:

John Sumner
Robyn Nevin
Neil Armfield

Travis McMahon, who plays Barney, played the young Barney in Robyn’s production of Kid Stakes in 1996, 16 years ago – which means that he’s aged with his character.

Fred Whitlock, the husband of Alison Whyte who plays Olive, played Johnny Dowd in Robyn’s version of the Doll in 1995 and he was there last night to see the show too.

How many theatre companies could have a moment like last night, when the founder of the first professional theatre company in Australia and the writer of an iconic Australian work – which still resonates with bravura emotional truth after nearly 60 years – were in the house?


We are thrilled to be able to share this production with Melbourne audiences, following its sold-out season at Belvoir last year. The play that put Australian theatre on the world map has come home.

Summer of the Seventeenth Doll is now playing at Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse until 18 February.

Published on 17 January 2012