The Heartbreak Choir

25 Apr — 3 June 2022

Southbank Theatre, The Sumner

From the revered playwright behind one of MTC’s most beloved recent hits, The Architect, comes this funny and uplifting celebration of music, friendship and community.

Approx. 2 hours and 10 minutes, including a 20 minute interval

Book Now
This is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars

‘An absolute must-see.’

The Age
This is rated 4 out of 5 stars

‘A love song to the power of community by the late Aidan Fennessy.’

This is rated 4 out of 5 stars

‘A heartwarming night at the theatre.’

This is rated 4 out of 5 stars

‘Fennessy has rendered a regional Victorian community with humour and an attention to detail that few could replicate.’

Time Out


From the revered playwright behind one of MTC’s most beloved recent hits, The Architect, comes this funny and uplifting celebration of music, friendship and community. A world premiere production, The Heartbreak Choir is a warm-hearted hug of a play that will make you want to sing out loud.

In the old CFA hall on the outskirts of town, a small group of locals come together to sing, and to connect. Aseni, Barbara, Mack, Savannah and Totty have splintered from their original choir on a matter of principle and are intent on forging their own path. With their latest recruit Peter along for the ride, they have a new name, a space to rehearse in and a public debut booked. All they need now is to right the wrongs of the past … and to find a song that pairs perfectly with the local winery’s Sangiovese.

Brought to the stage by The Architect director Peter Houghton, The Heartbreak Choir is a joyful, song-filled snapshot of a devastated community learning how to heal. Featuring Maude Davey (The Newsreader), Carita Farrer Spencer (Ladies in Black), Ratidzo Mambo (Escape from Pretoria), William McInnes (An Ideal Husband), Emily Milledge (The House of Bernarda Alba), Louise Siversen (Noises Off) and Julian Weeks (Savage River), this emotionally resonant MTC NEXT STAGE commission is the last work from playwright Aidan Fennessy – a fitting final act of togetherness.


Next Stage logo MONO

The Heartbreak Choir was commissioned through MTC’s NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program with the support of our Playwrights Giving Circle Donors, The Ian Potter Foundation, Naomi Milgrom Foundation, The Myer Foundation, Malcolm Robertson Foundation and The University of Melbourne.


  • Wheelchair Accessible

  • Hearing Assistance

  • Audio Described

  • Tactile Tour

  • Open Captioning

Performance Type Performance Date(s)
Audio Described
by Vision Australia
Saturday 14 May at 2pm
Tuesday 17 May at 6.30pm
Tactile Tour
by Vision Australia
Saturday 14 May, before the 2pm performance
Open Captioning
via screen
Saturday 21 May at 2pm
Artwork for Maude Davey

Maude Davey


Artwork for Carita Farrer Spencer

Carita Farrer Spencer


Artwork for Ratidzo Mambo

Ratidzo Mambo



William McInnes


Emily Milledge

Emily Milledge


Louise Siversen

Louise Siversen


Artwork for Julian Weeks

Julian Weeks


Aidan Fennessy

Aidan Fennessy


Aidan Fennessy is a writer and director. His work has been produced extensively both here and overseas. His writing credits include What Rhymes With Cars
and Girls (Melbourne Theatre Company), National Interest (MTC and Black Swan State Theatre Company), The Way Things Work (Red Stitch Actor’s Theatre and Tamarama Rock Surfers), The House on The Lake (Black Swan State Theatre Company, Griffin Theatre Company, and productions in Rome, Athens and Madrid), The Trade (Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Tasmanian Theatre Company), Chilling and Killing My Annabel Lee (Playbox/Chameleon, Queensland Theatre Company). He was nominated at the 2016 Helpmann Awards for Best New Work. He won the 2012 Victorian Premier People’s Choice Award and the 2010 Griffin Award. Aidan was co-founder of Chameleon Theatre, a member of the HotHouse Theatre Directorite, Artistic Director of The Storeroom Theatre Workshop and Associate Director of Melbourne Theatre Company.

Peter Houghton

Peter Houghton


Artwork for Vicky Jacobs

Vicky Jacobs

Musical Director

Christina Smith

Christina Smith

Set & Costume Designer

Matt Scott

Matt Scott

Lighting Designer

J David Franzke

J. David Franzke

Composer & Sound Designer

Artwork for Lyall Brooks

Lyall Brooks

Assistant Director

Rachel Lee

Rachel Lee

Assistant Lighting Designer

Artwork for Alexandra Aldrich

Alexandra Aldrich

Standby Cover (Barbara / Totty / Mack)

Artwork for Lachlan Beck

Lachlan Beck

Standby Cover (Beau)

Artwork for Andrew Blackman

Andrew Blackman

Standby Cover (Peter)

Artwork for Clare Chihambakwe

Clare Chihambakwe

Standby Cover (Aseni)

Artwork for Margot Fenley

Margot Fenley

Standby Cover (Totty / Mack)

Artwork for Mia Tuco

Mia Tuco

Standby Cover (Savannah)

The Sumner

140 Southbank Boulevard

Southbank, Victoria 3006