ABOUT THE PRODUCTION CONTENT GUIDE

These detailed content warnings relate to areas of a production that might negatively impact some audience members. You will find broad warnings in bold followed by detailed descriptions.

Many of these references will reveal key parts of the play or production, which may affect your experience of the show.

Melbourne Theatre Company is committed to the production of new Australian work. New work, especially in premiere productions, is ever evolving right up until opening night. As a result, some warnings may be adjusted as we approach the beginning of the season. Please refer back periodically or contact us via 03 8688 0800 for further information.

For schools, parents and guardians:

Our Education & Families team has recommended suitable ages and school years for each production. To learn more about a production’s suitability for young and school audiences, email education@mtc.com.au.

You know your students and young people best. It is your/your school's decision about which shows to bring students and young people to see.

SEVENTEEN

Seventeen
By Matthew Whittet
Directed by Matt Edgerton

Contains coarse language, sexual references, mature themes and haze effects.

Recommended for ages 15+ / Years 10-12

Coarse language

  • Frequent use of the word ‘fuck’, ‘fucking’, ‘shit’, ‘dick’/’dickhead’.
  • Infrequent use of the word ‘cunt’, ‘bitch’, ‘motherfucker’, ‘fuckwit’, ‘arsehole’, ‘prick’.

Sexual references

  • Characters refer to sex and having sex at several points in the play. No sex is depicted on or off stage.
  • Two of the teenage boy characters talk at separate points about the prospect of autofellatio and public masturbation.
  • Characters talk about kissing and Mike kisses Tom.

Mature themes

References to death and dying

  • Characters make casual, figurative references to death and suicide often as part of jokes including: ‘Fucking shoot me now’, mention of euthanasia and a joke about a former teacher who smelt like ‘an animal died … in her arse.’
  • Tom describes a dream in which he is old and he realises his parents would be dead.

References to or depictions of violence

  • At several points characters threaten to hit and/or hurt each other.
  • Mike grabs Tom by the collar and asks him to hit him.

References to substance abuse

  • Jess talks about their mother’s struggle with alcohol addiction including finding her passed out in vomit at home.

Depictions of or references to abuse

  • Several characters describe being in physically and/or emotionally abusive home situations with a parent. 

Depictions of alcohol use

  • The characters discuss getting drunk (‘shitfaced’) and are drinking throughout the play.
  • Emilia drinks so much that she becomes sick and needs to vomit.

Depictions of or references to blood or bodily fluids

  • Reference is made to blood noses, vomit, deviated septums and a head injury.
  • A character gets a bloody nose.
  • A character is hit in the head with a bottle accidentally. Blood is cleaned up. 

Depictions of homelessness

  • One of the characters is homeless and sleeping rough in the park. Their bags of possessions are moved in an effort to hide this from the other characters. The character later recounts the abusive home situation that has led to their sleeping rough.

Depictions of bullying

  • Characters frequently bully others throughout the course of the play, sometimes in jest, sometimes with more malice.

MEET ME AT DAWN

Meet Me at Dawn
By Zinnie Harris
Directed by Katy Maudlin

Contains coarse language and mature themes.

Recommended for ages 16+ / Years 11-12

There are no school prices for this production. Schools may book at the Youth price.

Coarse language

  • Frequent use of the words ‘fuck’, ‘fucking’, ‘shit’.

Mature themes

References to and depictions of vomiting

  • A character at the beginning of the play feels nauseous and repeatedly talks about needing to vomit before retching several times.

Depictions of or references to death and dying

  • There are several passing references to the death of animals namely a moth and a dog. A dead moth is tangled on the clothes of one of the characters at the beginning of the play. This is a fake moth. No animals are harmed during the making of the production.
  • Across the course of the play characters discuss different ways they might die, such as by hyperthermia, drowning at high tide, dying of thirst and dying of cancer.
  • There are several references to drowning and the feeling of drowning.
  • It transpires through the course of the play that one of the characters has died. There are several graphic descriptions of the way the death occurred. This is never enacted in the play, only described. The burial of the character is discussed, as is the prospect of ‘widowhood’.

References to medical conditions

  • Reference is made to concussion, dementia, bladder infections causing confusion, a description of skin picking and poor mental health requiring antidepressants.

References to suicide

  • A character describes the dire nature of her grief and alludes it has led to the contemplation of suicide.

 

37

37
By Nathan Maynard
Directed by Isaac Drandic

Contains coarse language, racially sensitive commentary, mature themes, loud noises and the use of smoke, haze and organic dust effects.

There is a brief depiction of marijuana use.

Recommended for ages 15+ / Years 10-12

Coarse language

  • Frequent use of the words  ‘cock’, ‘prick’, ‘arse’, ‘cunt’, ‘piss’, ‘shit’, ‘tit’, ‘dickhead’, ‘fuck’, ‘wanker’.

Racially sensitive commentary

  • The content of the play concerns itself with the relationship between Aboriginal people and white Australians. As a result, we see two Aboriginal men Jayma and Sonny grapple with their identities and place within ‘Australian’ society in comparison with their teammates who are largely of Anglo-Celtic backgrounds. Characters at times express views that range from ignorant to explicitly racist. None of these references are condoned in the overall context of the play and its exploration.
  • Throughout the play, non-Aboriginal characters make derogatory references to the skin tone of the Aboriginal characters, make offensive generalisations about Aboriginal people and alcohol abuse and reinforce dangerous stereotypes about the lives of contemporary Aboriginal people including about the totemic system, ability to track and relationship with ‘the bush’.
  • The character of Woodsy makes many explicitly racist statements during the play and there are references to previously said racist remarks and his use of blackface. During the play he uses the term ‘Abo’, accuses a First Nations character of not being Black because of his skin tone and makes hateful remarks related to the genocide, death and rape of Aboriginal people.
  • There is a discussion at several points in the play about the racism incident at the Sydney Swans’ game of 2013 and Adam Goodes’s response. During the discussion there are a variety of opinions expressed including some in defence of the racist taunt. Another part of the discussion references the genocide of Aboriginal people during the frontier wars.
  • A character refers to his desire for Black and/or brown women as liking his “meat a little seared first”
  • A white character suggests one of the Aboriginal characters ‘blames everything on (his) Aboriginal heritage.’
  • There are discussions of reverse racism where Woodsy is offended by his perception of a double standard towards racism about white people.
  • A white character refers to one of the Aboriginal characters as ‘a good one’ as he perceives him as not being as much ‘trouble’ as his cousin.
  • Jayma and Sonny refer to a time where they were racially profiled as having stolen something and were stripped to their underwear in the store.
  • A character calls a character of Italian ancestry a ‘wog’, ‘greasy wog’ and a ‘wog cunt’ in jest.
  • A player says that China ‘owns this country’ and that ‘they’ can’t drive.

Production elements

  • The production utilises atmospheric, theatrical smoke and haze effects throughout.
  • There is a brief depiction of marijuana use. This moment utilises a tobacco-free and nicotine-free herbal cigarette.
  • Several brief, loud football game sirens are heard throughout. At one moment, two compressed-air confetti cannons are fired, producing a sudden, brief loud noise.
  • Vermiculite and Fuller’s Earth are used throughout the performance to generate onstage dust effects. Both products are organic. More information on these products is available on request.

Mature themes

Vulgar and crass language

  • The banter between the teammates often involves crass dialogue that includes reference to ‘vomiting’, ‘shitting’, ‘heads up arses’, ‘mother’s arse hairs’, ‘toss pot’, ‘piss’ etc.

References to animal cruelty

  • In one scene two of the new players in the team undergo an initiation ritual whereby they need to stick a finger up the rectum of a bull. This happens offstage and it is presented as a comical moment.

References to suicide

  • Jayma mentions the suicide of his father when he was 15 and the manner of suicide.

Depictions of violence

  • Woodsy and Jayma have the beginnings of an altercation with verbal threats that escalates until the men are physically held back from one another and escorted away.
  • When Woodsy says a particularly heinous and racist statement, Sonny initiates a fight which leaves Woodsy bloodied and bruised. The players have to pull them apart and it is later remarked that he could have been killed. This is a moment choreographed with actors with the assistance of a fight/movement coordinator.
  • References are made to injuries sustained on the football field including broken bones.

Sexual references

  • There are several moments of mimed sexual activity on stage for comic effect. They contain the portrayal of graphic acts upon one another or, at one point, about The General’s wife. All of these moments are choreographed with the assistance of an intimacy/movement coordinator. There is no naturalistic representation of sexual activity on stage.
  • Dazza simulates placing a lottery ticket in his rectum for comic effect.

Depictions of sexual violence

  • In the stylised scene in which the team are drunk and pretending to commit lude sex acts on one another, one of these involves a player pretending to violate another player. This is not depicted in a naturalistic manner and is highly stylised and choreographed.

Depictions of drug and alcohol use

  • There are several moments in which alcohol is consumed including to the point of becoming drunk.
  • In a scene, several characters are depicted smoking and being affected by marijuana.

THE ALMIGHTY SOMETIMES

The Almighty Sometimes
By Kendall Feaver
Directed by Hannah Goodwin

Contains coarse language, flashing light effects, depictions of and references to suicide, mental illness and prescription drug use.

Recommended for ages 15+ / Years 10-12

Coarse language 

  • Frequent use of the words ‘fuck’, ‘fucking’, ‘bullshit’, ‘shit’.
  • Infrequent use of the words ‘arse’, ‘dick’, ‘bitch’, ‘bastard’, ‘dickhead’, ‘shithead’, ‘wankstain’.

Drug use and references to and depictions of mental illness and suicide

  • The subject matter of this play concerns itself with a young person with a diagnosis of a serious mental illness that she has been medicated and treated for since childhood. There are ongoing references to mental illness, suicide and self harm in the play including the enactment of a suicide attempt.
  • The characters frequently discuss Anna’s medication. One of the questions Anna asks herself throughout the play is whether she is still unwell as an adult despite being unwell as a child and whether medication inhibits her creativity. Anna goes off her medication at several points in the play.
  • Anna discusses how many different medications she has been on and side effects such as weight gain, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, rapid cycling, crawling skin, sensitivity to light.
  • It is alluded to the possibility that Anna consumed medication as a child that was hidden in her food by her mother.
  • Depression and experiences of depression are often recounted in the play from the perspective of many of the characters.
  • There are several references to suicide in the play including a character describing the feeling of wanting to suicide and an incident in which as a child a character attempted suicide.
  • There is a specific reference to the mechanics of suicide via prescription medication between Anna and her psychiatrist.
  • During the play Anna appears to attempt suicide by swallowing a number of pills. In the scene where this occurs, her mother puts her fingers down her throat and Anna is physically violent towards her mother and they wrestle with one another while Oliver calls an ambulance. Later, it is inferred that Anna knew that she couldn't overdose on those specific pills.

References to or depictions of self-harm

  • A story written by Anna as a child details a fantastical world in which a young girl cuts herself open with a large knife, slips out of her skin and flies away. This is not enacted in any way.
  • There are several references to self-harm during the play including in the form of skin scratching and a character hitting their own head. These are choreographed moments in which the actor is not harmed. 

References to death and dying

  • There are many references to death and dying throughout the play both functionally, euphemistically, and as part of Anna’s curiosity with death. Specifically Anna's preoccupation with death is discussed in the stories she has written as a young girl and in conversation with Oliver when she muses on falling from a height. There are no depictions of death in the play on or offstage. 

Mature themes

References to and depictions of violence

  • Several episodes of a mental health crisis are described in the play in which a person has become violent and aggressive towards others.
  • Shortly after Anna swallows multiple pills, she is physically violent towards her mother. Renee wrestles her and holds her down in an attempt to stop her from escaping. This is a highly choreographed moment in collaboration with a fight/movement/intimacy coordinator.
  • There is a brief depiction of partner violence in which Anna roughly grips Oliver’s face and refuses to let him go, hurting him until he pushes her off. This is a highly choreographed moment in collaboration with a fight/movement/intimacy Coordinator.

Ableist language

  • Anna uses ableist language to describe Oliver’s father’s disability and the circumstances of the acquisition of the disability.

Sexual references

  • There are several brief moments in which characters discuss sex and/or STIs. There is no sex depicted on or off stage.
  • Oliver and Anna kiss before being interrupted by Anna’s mother. This is a choreographed moment and one with parameters established with the support of an intimacy coordinator.

WORLD PROBLEMS

World Problems
By Emma Mary Hall
Directed by Cassandra Fumi

Contains coarse language, sexual references and mature themes.

This play is a one person monologue that often takes the form of lists. As such, the content warnings below relate to passing references that are contained often in a single line of dialogue.

Recommended for ages 14+ / Years 9-12

Coarse language

  • Infrequent use of the words: ‘fuck’, ‘shit’

Sexual references

  • There are several brief references to sex in the play.
  • There is a brief reference to the penis of a former housemate.

Mature themes

References to death and dying

  • A brief reference is made of several events involving murder, genocide or terrorism including: the Snowtown killings, Chernobyl, 9/11, the Holocaust and concentration camps, Tiannamen Square and the bombing of Taipei.
  • A reference is made to a cat that was hit by a car and description of what the cat’s body looked like.
  • A brief reference is made to the death of Princess Diana.
  • There is a brief reference to the funeral of a friend. It is implied that the friend died from suicide.
  • There is a graphic reference to watching a video of a young boy being set on fire.
  • There is a brief reference to the death of an acquaintance from a genetic illness and the death of a grandparent.
  • In a more speculative section of the play, there is a brief reference to the shooting of a fictional world leader,  writing a will,  drownings, murders, cancer, shootings, funerals and the bodies of infants.

References to blood and bodily fluids

  • Several passing references are made to urine, menstrual periods, snot, cysts, ulcers and blood/bleeding.
  • There is a brief sentence discussing the cutting off of appendages.

References to racism

  • A reference is made to a comment spoken by a child about a person with dark skin being ‘covered in poo’.

References to drug or alcohol use

  • There are several brief references to being drunk or drinking.
  • There is a brief reference to taking ‘magic mushrooms’.

 

JULIA

Julia
By Joanna Murray-Smith
Directed by Sarah Goodes

Contains coarse language, sexual references, mature themes and strobe lighting.

Recommended for ages 14+ / Years 9-12

There is a schools-only performance Thu 6 June 1pm.

Coarse language

  • Frequent use of the word ‘fuck’, ‘fucking’.
  • Infrequent use of the word ‘arsehole’, ‘bitch’, ‘shit’, ‘cunts’, ‘whores’.

Sexual references

  • Julia references sex or sexual activity in passing on several occasions. No sex is depicted on or off stage.
  • Julia imagines John Howard’s answer to a question about his and Janette’s sex life.
  • A sexualised description of Julia Gillard comparing her to KFC is repeated at two points in passing. This is a verbatim reference to real comments made about Julia Gillard.

Mature themes

References to abuse

  • At times in the play, Julia refers to the way she has been treated using the language of abuse/sexual violence e.g. ‘violated over and over’.
  • There is a passing reference to women being sexually assaulted in the workplace.
  • References to death and dying
  • At several points in the play, reference and description is made of both the Six Bells and Aberfan mining disasters in Wales in the 1960s that led to the deaths of many workers and children.
  • References to death and dying are made throughout as a way of figuratively discussing the ruthlessness of politics this includes references to killing, blood and suicide.
  • There is a graphic description imagining choking someone to death. There is no depiction of this on or off stage.
  • Reference to the death of Julia Gillard’s father is made, including the commentary afterwards by Alan Jones. Julia reflects on his death and death itself.

References to misogyny

  • Verbatim text is included of the Peter Slipper text messages in which he compared a woman’s vagina to a ‘bottle of mussel meat’.
  • Verbatim text of Julia Gillard’s ‘misogyny speech’ is included which reference incidents of misogyny.
  • References are made to incidents of discrimination against women and misogyny, including domestic violence, misogynistic rap, sexist slurs and mistreatment of women in the workplace.

Sensitive political commentary

  • The play includes a repetition of several anti-abortion comments made by Tony Abbott. These are largely verbatim.
  • The play briefly refers to the Gillard government’s policies on asylum seekers including the re-introduction of offshore processing. Within the discussion, several terms are used that reflect anti-refugee rhetoric such as ‘queue jumpers’, ‘potential terrorists’ and a reference to the ‘drowning of children’. The play itself is not imparting a position on this matter.

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

A Streetcar Named Desire
by Tennessee Williams
Directed by Anne-Louise Sarks

Contains coarse language, mature themes and depictions of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Recommended for ages 15+ / Years 10-12

Contains coarse and/or derogatory language

  • There are numerous references to Stanley, who is of Polish heritage, as a ‘Polack’.
  • Blanche sings an old song referring to a ‘captive maid’.
  • Blanche has a memory in which she refers to a ‘coloured girl’ who it is intimated was a former servant/slave at the family plantation.
  • Stanley refers to a character of Spanish heritage as a ‘greaseball’.

Depictions of violence and domestic abuse

  • Stanley is frequently violent and abusive to Blanche and Stella. He breaks several items in the house including a radio and several plates. He is physically and verbally abusive to Stella at several points, grabbing her roughly and yelling at her. At one point in the play the sound of him hitting her can be heard. This happens offstage and is conveyed by a sound effect. After Stanley hits Stella and she runs away, he yells for her and she returns to him whereupon they make up.
  • A moment of domestic violence occurs between Eunice and Steve. This is a moment of verbal abuse and physical abuse. The physical abuse occurs offstage and is conveyed by sound effect but there are references to past instances of physical violence.
  • There are several moments in which Stanley, Mitch or one of the other poker players come to blows or need to be physically restrained. This occurs both on stage in tightly choreographed fight sequences and at times occurs offstage as conveyed by a sound effect.
  • Blanche physically struggled with the matron of a mental health facility who arrives at the house to remove her.

Depictions of rape and attempted rape

  • Mitch is rough with Blanche and it is indicated that he is thinking of raping her but he leaves.
  • Stanley is aggressive with Blanche and pursues her despite her threatening him with a broken bottle. When she submits he carries her to the bedroom. We do not see or hear anything further. This moment is choreographed with the support of an intimacy coordinator.

Mature themes

Depictions of drug and alcohol use

  • Blanche drinks whiskey and other liquor frequently.
  • Stanley is often drunk during the play as are his friends, especially when playing poker. This contributes to a violent escalation of events at several points.

Sexual references

  • At several points in the play characters make references to sex or sexual activity. This often occurs euphemistically.
  • Blanche flirts with and kisses a young man who comes to her door.

References to child abuse

  • Blanche tells a story in which she, a teacher, has had a relationship with a seventeen year old student and lost her job. She says she has to ‘be good and keep (her) hands off children’.

References to death and dying

  • There are consistent references to death and dying. Characters refer to family members and former partners who have died or are in the process of dying. There is one instance of more detailed description of the last moments and burials of Blanche’s family members.
  • Blanche fantasises about dying from eating an unwashed grape while at sea and what will happen to her body. 

References to suicide

  • Blanche describes her relationship with her former husband who took his own life. The implication is that he did this because he was discovered in bed with a man. The manner of suicide is described.
  • Blanche hears the music that was playing when her former husband suicided and so does the audience. A gunshot sound effect is used to convey the moment of his death.

Homophobic references

  • Blanche blames herself for her late husband’s suicide as after finding him in bed with a man she told him that he ‘disgusted her’.
  • Stanley refers to Blanche’s former husband as a ‘degenerate’.

Depictions of mental illness

  • Blanche is removed in the final moments of the play by a doctor and a matron and taken to a facility. Initially they use force but in the end she leaves compliantly with the doctor.

ENGLISH

English
By Sanaz Toossi
Directed by Tasnim Hossain

Contains coarse language, culturally sensitive commentary and mature themes.

Recommended for ages 13+ / Years 8-12

Coarse language

  • Infrequent use of the word ‘fuck’.

Culturally sensitive commentary

  • The core action of the play contends with ideas of discrimination against non-English speakers and the notion of the supremacy of the English language as imposed either externally by the world onto people or within oneself.
  • The characters discuss the difficulties of obtaining green cards (the play occurs in a US context) especially for men; accents and people assuming stupidity, especially with the Farsi accent; the anglicisation of names; and the complex issues of migration, involuntary migration and of being ‘from nowhere’ and between worlds.
  • Elham describes her own accent when speaking English as a ‘war crime’.
  • Omir calls Elham ‘Borat’ and she becomes upset and angry. 

Mature themes

References to death and dying

  • There are several passing references to death, literally and figuratively.

Sexual references

  • The teacher, Marjam, is described as having a ‘boner’ for Omir, her student.

SLAP. BANG. KISS. NATIONAL TOUR

SLAP. BANG. KISS.
By Dan Giovannoni
Directed by Katy Maudlin

This production contains coarse language, and references to gun violence and homophobia.

Recommended for ages 14+ / Year 9+

Scripted dialogue contains description and physical enactment of the following:

Violence incl. war/combat

  • 16-year-old Immi is on her way home when a security officer stops her to check her bags and ID, a familiar routine that irritates Immi.
  • Later, she sees her flag jammed behind bins, and her anger toward her oppressors grows.
  • Confronted by a security officer on the street, Immi slaps him.

Depicting fear/humiliation

  • Immi’s family are concerned about the repercussions of her actions, and soon she is arrested and imprisoned. Immi’s slap was captured on camera and goes viral.

Direct discrimination towards a character/person

  • Leon and Beau, empowered by Immi as a symbol of resistance, plan a protest. Morrie stands up for a stranger being intimated on a train, and Vida comes face to face with a law enforcement officer at a protest.

Distressing/graphic descriptions or references

  • 16-year-old Sofia is at school, bored and waiting for the final bell. An alarm sounds, and suddenly an active shooter enters the classroom. Sofia is wounded and some of her peers are killed, including her friend Rebecca.
  • At Sofia’s school, she hides in a cupboard and reflects on safety drills, until police escort her out of the school. Overhearing a journalist offering “thoughts and prayers”, Sofia speaks her mind to the camera. Her speech is broadcast widely, prompting Sofia to plan a march for gun control.

Kissing

  • In the carpark of a small-town Woolworths, 16-year-old Darby is preparing to break the world record for the longest kiss with another boy from his school, Daniel. Darby’s friend Jasmine livestreams the kiss on her phone.

Struggles with gender identity/sexuality incl. vilification of homosexuals, androgyny etc.

  • In the Woolworths carpark, a Slurpee is thrown at the boys from a passing car, along with homophobic slurs, but onlookers gather around Darby and Daniel to protect them. The boys’ kiss attracts a growing crowd of supporters in the carpark.

TOPDOG/UNDERDOG

Topdog/Underdog
By Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by Bert LaBonté

Contains coarse language, depictions of violence, sexual references and mature themes.

Recommended for ages 16+ / Years 11-12

There are no school prices for this production. Schools may book at the Youth price.

Coarse language

  • Frequent use of the words ‘fuck’, ‘fucking’, ‘motherfucker’, ‘shit’, ‘dick’, ‘bitch’.
  • Infrequent use of the words ‘bastard’, ‘asshole’, ‘daddydicksticking’, ‘limpdick’, ‘cocksucker’, ‘pussy’, ‘dickbreath’.

Depictions of and references to gun violence

  • Booth pulls a gun on Lincoln when he thinks he is a stranger and threatens to shoot him.
  • The characters both talk about shooting in relation to Lincoln’s job which is to be shot at by cap guns in an arcade pretending to be Abraham Lincoln.
  • Lincoln and Booth talk several times about their friend Lonny who was shot and killed.
  • Lincoln and Booth discuss guns many times throughout the course of the play. They discuss carrying them, using them, killing others and being killed by them.
  • Booth describes killing his girlfriend who failed to show up for a date with him and insulted him. This happens offstage.
  • Booth shoots Lincoln in a choreographed moment on stage. 

Sexual references

  • Booth and Lincoln often talk about wanting to have sex with women, at times in graphic detail. This is sometimes specifically about either Grace or Cookie, their respective former/current partners or at times more generally. Sex is not depicted on stage at any point.
  • Booth talks frequently about his lover, Grace, and her wanting him to use a condom but him resisting. Their sexual relationship is discussed frequently throughout the play including detailed description of sexual acts.
  • Lincoln describes his sexual exploits at a club the previous night in graphic detail. Lincoln also describes his father letting him watch him with women as a child and how he would sometimes have sex with the woman afterwards.
  • Booth and Lincoln discuss Booth’s pornography magazine collection. Parts of the collection are shown at times when he tries to hide it under the bed or takes the magazine out. They have a graphic discussion of his use of this pornography and his sex drive in general.

Mature themes

Graphic imagery

  • Booth refers to their mother leaving Lincoln so quickly that her afterbirth was still hanging out between her legs.
  • Lincoln urinates in a plastic cup on stage. This is simulated and choreographed with the actor.

Alcohol use

  • The characters are often drinking, sometimes drunk and discuss their father who was an alcoholic. Alcohol bottles are shown on  stage multiple times.

References to death and dying

  • There are multiple references to death, figuratively and in casual conversation.
  • Lincoln describes the intricacies of his job which is to fake his own death dressed as Abraham Lincoln as shot by customers pretending to be John Wilkes Booth.

Sensitive racial commentary

  • The thematic undercurrent of the play centres on issues of race and class in America through the story of two brothers who are of African-American ethnicity. The brothers use terms such as ‘Uncle Tom’ and ‘cracker’, reference slavery and Lincoln wears whiteface as part of his work uniform.

COST OF LIVING

Cost of Living
By Martyna Majok
Directed by Anthea Williams

Contains coarse and derogatory language, sexual references, nudity and mature themes.

Recommended for ages 15+ / Years 10-12

Coarse language and derogatory language

  • Frequent use of the words ‘fuck’, ‘fucking’, ‘prick’ and ‘bitch’.
  • John uses the word ‘retarded’ with pointed irony in the context of being a person with a disability.
  • John uses the word ‘hooker/s’ to talk about his consideration of seeing a sex worker.

Sexual references

  • Eddie gives Annie a sponge bath as part of his caring role. He washes between her legs. She discusses her relationship to her sexuality now. This is a moment that has been choreographed with an intimacy coordinator.

Mature themes

References to alcoholism

  • A character talks about his past struggles with alcohol addiction including waking up in ‘vomit, say, or piss’ and obtaining a DUI charge.

References to death and dying

  • Eddie talks about his wife’s accident and death at points throughout the play. These are brief references.
  • There are several references to death in the play both figuratively and literally, including a mention of drowning, carbon monoxide poisoning and poisoning through food.

Sensitive commentary around disability

  • The subject matter of the play is concerned with conversations about disability. This includes how disability is perceived by people who do not live with a disability, the complex needs of people living with disability and the relationship between a person with a disability and their carer/s. This occurs throughout the play. This argument is put forward by characters who have a disability and is performed by actors with a disability. The intention of the play is to be empowering for people with a disability and allow the presentation of complex characters.
  • John, a character with cerebral palsy, has a conversation about his care needs with a woman he seeks to employ to help him with showering and grooming.
  • Eddie, a character who does not have a disability, manipulates the hand of a character who has quadriplegia to punch him. It is presented as a moment of awkwardness and a faux pas on the part of Eddie.
  • There is a mention of alternative therapies found on the internet to ‘cure’ quadriplegia. This is presented as something that is in no way real.
  • Annie describes her accident, her injury and following medical treatment including sepsis and surgery in some detail.
  • John, who has cerebral palsy, describes what his body feels on a daily basis.
  • Characters at several points discuss the specific care needs of themselves or other characters with a disability.
  • A character showers and dresses a character with a disability. We see the process in its entirety and therefore some nudity as part of this process. We see the character who is being showered wash his genitals. This task is presented as a practical task rather than sexual in any way.
  • Annie has a moment where she slips into the tub, becomes submerged and is unable to get out. Eddie discovers this and lifts her from the tub. This is a choreographed moment in which no actors are in danger at any point.

References to violence

  • There are several references to wanting to inflict violence on others. There is no depiction of violence on stage in the play.

References to sexual violence

  •  Jess refers to not serving certain patrons during her bar job to protect women from rape.
  • Jess, a young woman, is nervous entering the house of John, an older man and informs him she has mace.

Depiction of smoking

  • Annie and Eddie smoke. Real cigarettes are not used in the production.

GOLDEN BLOOD

Golden Blood
by Merlynn Tong
Directed by Tessa Leong

Contains coarse language, mature themes, drug use and references to suicide.

Recommended for ages 16+ / Years 11-12

Coarse language

  • Frequent use of the words: ‘fuck’, ‘fucking’, ‘shit’, ‘asshole’, ‘cock’, ‘motherfucker’.
  • Some coarse advulgar language in Hokkien, Singlish, Cantonese and Mandarin.

References to suicide

  • Boy and Girl discuss how their mother died by suicide. They discuss the Town of Suicide, one of the 18 levels of Hell in Chinese mythology where people who suicide reside.
  • Boy and Girl reference discovering their mother after her frequent suicide attempts when they were younger.

Mature themes

References to death and dying

  • Boy and Girl discuss the recent death of their mother whose funeral period has just ended. They discuss the funeral rites which include cremation, the possibility of her being a ghost and the afterlife process according to Chinese mythology, in particular the 18 levels of hell.
  • Boy and Girl discuss the colour of the bones of their father and mother as they were being cremated.
  • Boy references that there are many ill wishes that translate to ‘your father die, your mother die’. They refer to themselves as orphans and discuss this at several points throughout the play.
  • There are several references to cancer. Boy describes his father’s appearance as he died from cancer and they reference another young boy who has cancer.
  • Girl tells Boy that she thinks they are going to die when the gang is coming to their door.
  • Girl and Boy reference the penalty for drug possession in Singapore which is death by hanging.

References to and depictions of drug and alcohol use

  • References are made throughout to Boy and Girl drinking and smoking. Boy and Girl are both seen drinking alcohol, at times to excess. Boy alludes to the fact he thinks Girl has a drinking problem. They also discuss their mother’s alcoholism at points during the play.
  • References are made to recreational drug use, including ketamine and heroin. A small bag of ketamine that has arrived for Boy is shown on stage. He has been dealing this as part of his role in a gang and his desire to be ‘King of K’. No ingestion of either drug is depicted.
  • There is a heightened scene where Boy puts many cigarettes into Girl’s mouth. This is a highly stylised moment.
  • There is a heightened scene in which Girl and Boy snort and ingest a long line of cocaine. This is a highly stylised moment.

References to and depictions of violence

  • Boy has a parang (a large knife used throughout Malaysia) that he pulls out at several points as part of his role in a gang. Girl threatens Boy with the parang at one point in the play. This is a weapon that has been altered for safe use in a theatrical context.
  • Boy and Girl discuss the time Boy threw a chair at their principal and it hit her in the head.
  • Boy threatens to kill people, including Girl and Girl’s boyfriend, at several points in the play.
  • Boy threatens to keep Girl’s boyfriend’s ear as a souvenir if he catches them together again.
  • We see Girl and Boy after a fight has taken place at two points in the play. Boy is depicted with a blood nose after one of these and the fight is described. In another scene, Boy is unconscious and Girl tends to his bloody wounds.

Sexual references

  • Boy walks in on Girl and her boyfriend having sex. The scene begins after Boy has chased the boyfriend away. No sex is depicted occurring on or off stage. They discuss the incident including a reference to using condoms.
  • Boy and Girl make a brief reference to sex or having sex several times in the play.

Depictions of or reference to blood or bodily fluids

  • Girl threatens to urinate on the faces of the gang.
  • A blood nose and vomiting are depicted on stage. Both are simulated with no use of any bodily fluids at any point.

References to and depictions of abuse

  • Many of the ways in which Boy treats Girl in the early parts of the play are reminiscent of coercive control and abuse, although they are never directly labelled as such.
  • Reference is made at several points in the play to the abuse that Girl and Boy suffered at the hands of their mother including beatings, being forced to drink alcohol with her until they were sick and emotional abuse.

MY BRILLIANT CAREER

My Brilliant Career
Book by Dean Bryant, Mathew Frank & Sheridan Harbridge. Based on the novel by Miles Franklin.
Directed by Anne-Louise Sarks

Contains mature themes

Recommended for ages 11+ / Years 6-12

Mature themes

Sexual references

  • There is a brief description of a bull and a cow mating.
  • Hal tells Sybylla that she is ‘well shaped’, grabs her by the waist and asks for a kiss.

References to death and dying

  • There is a brief reference to the death of sick cows.
  • Sybylla and other characters refer to death several times throughout the play as a figure of speech or flippant remark. There is no depiction of death on stage.

References to enslavement

  • Sybylla describes being stuck on the farm as enslavement. 

Depictions of animal cruelty

  • The father character kicks a cow that has collapsed numerous times. No animals are harmed during the making of the production.
  • Sybylla references an incident where a goanna has been tied to her bedpost as a joke.

References to alcoholism

  • There are references throughout to Sybylla’s father who struggles with alcohol addiction. 

References to suicide

  • Sybylla suggests there is no point being in the world. This comment is made without intention and does not reoccur.

Depictions of violence

  • Sybylla hits and/or threatens to hit several characters in the play with her fists and a riding crop.
  • Sybylla uses corporal punishment when tutoring young people from the neighbouring family by striking one boy repeatedly with a rod. She also threatens this to the mother.