My Sister Jill

23 Sep — 28 Oct 2023

Southbank Theatre, The Sumner

A universal tale of the Australian spirit set against the backdrop of 1950s to 70s suburban Melbourne, from Australia’s most indestructible artistic partnership.

Approx. 1 hour 40 minutes with no interval

Book Now
This is rated 4 out of 5 stars

‘Another poignant and powerful collaboration by the winning team of Cornelius and Dee and should not be missed.’

This is rated 4 out of 5 stars

‘A new classic.’

Theatre Matters
This is rated 0 out of 5 stars

‘You couldn't ask for a better performance from [Maude] Davey.’

The Age
This is rated 0 out of 5 stars

‘Superbly written, directed and performed.’

The Blurb


A universal tale of the Australian spirit set against the backdrop of 1950s to 70s suburban Melbourne, My Sister Jill is a powerful coming-of-age story from one of the country’s most dynamic theatre collaborations, Patricia Cornelius and Susie Dee.

The youngest in the family, Christine idolises her father, especially his stories of wartime heroics. Her sister Jill, meanwhile, doesn’t quite share the same sentiments. As the intensity of the Vietnam War looms, the stories slowly start to lose their shine and war threatens to break a new generation apart.

A moving family drama adapted from her own novel for the stage, My Sister Jill sees one of Australia’s most revered writers Patricia Cornelius working with her long-time collaborator Susie Dee. Forged over nearly 40 years, their fearless artistic partnership has redefined Australian theatre and been celebrated worldwide – in 2019 they became the first Australians to be programmed in the Venice Biennale’s theatre program.

At once compelling, captivating and ultimately hopeful, My Sister Jill has all the makings of an Australian classic. Bringing this new story to the stage is Ian Bliss (Jasper Jones), Maude Davey (The Heartbreak Choir), Lucy Goleby (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Benjamin Nichol (Sirens), James O'Connell (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Zachary Pidd (School Of Rock The Musical) and Angourie Rice (Mare of Easttown).

Telling Our Stories: Free In-Conversation Event 
Join us for a conversation with Patricia Cornelius and Declan Furber Gillick about Australian playwriting today. 

Learn more

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Commissioned and developed through Melbourne Theatre Company’s NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program with the support of our Current and Inaugural Playwrights Giving Circles.

Current Playwrights Giving Circle
Paul and Wendy Bonnici & Family, Tony and Janine Burgess, Kathleen Canfell, Fitzpatrick Sykes Family Foundation, Jane Hansen AO and Paul Little AO, Larry Kamener and Petra Kamener, The Margaret Lawrence Bequest, Helen Nicolay, Tania Seary and Chris Lynch, Craig Semple, Dr Richard Simmie
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Inaugural Playwrights Giving Circle
Louise Myer and Martyn Myer AO, Maureen Wheeler AO and Tony Wheeler AO, Christine Brown Bequest, Allan Myers AC KC and Maria Myers AC, Tony Burgess and Janine Burgess, Dr Andrew McAliece and Dr Richard Simmie, Larry Kamener and Petra Kamener

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  • Wheelchair Accessible

  • Hearing Assistance

  • Audio Described

  • Tactile Tour

  • Open Captioning

  • Auslan Interpreted

Performance Type Performance Date(s)
Audio Described
by Vision Australia
Saturday 14 October at 2pm
Tuesday 17 October at 6.30pm
Tactile Tour
by Vision Australia
Saturday 14 October, 2pm (Tactile tour commences at 1pm)
Open Captioning
via screen
Saturday 21 October at 2pm
Auslan Interpreted
by Auslan Stage Left
Tuesday 24 October at 6.30pm
Ian Bliss

Ian Bliss


Ian Bliss’s theatre credits include Jasper Jones, North by Northwest, Hamlet, Apologia and Richard III (Melbourne Theatre Company); War Horse (National Theatre of Great Britain); Savage River (Griffin Theatre Company); Silhouette (Marian Street); Lone Star (Belvoir) and Journey’s End (Athenaeum Theatre). TV credits include Utopia, Safe Home, Fires, Harrow, Informer 3838, Wentworth, Reef Break, The Wrong Girl, Hunters, Wanted, Olivia: Hopelessly Devoted to You, Winners and Losers, Gallipoli, Anzac Girls, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, City Homicide, Very Small Business, All Saints, Stingers, Blue Heelers, McLeod’s Daughters, Home and Away, Heartbreak High, Blue Murder, The Postcard Bandit, the original Underbelly series, Tripping Over, Bootleg and the US mini-series The Pacific. Film credits include Late Night with the Devil, Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, The Bank, Siam Sunset, Powder Burn, The Long Lunch, Country Life, Underground, Playing for Charlie and international blockbusters The Matrix: Revolutions, The Matrix: Reloaded, Superman Returns and Stealth. Awards and nominations include Helpmann Award Nomination for Best Musical (Dream Lover), Logie Award for Most Popular Dra­­ma Program (Wentworth), Helpmann Award Nomination for Best Play (Jasper Jones), Green Room Award Nomination for Best Ensemble (Jasper Jones) and a Green Room Award for Best Ensemble (North by Northwest).

Current as of September 2023

Artwork for Maude Davey

Maude Davey


Maude Davey trained as an actor at the Victorian College of the Arts and has worked as an actor, director and writer for more than 35 years, with her primary focus being the creation of new work. Early in 2023 she was seen as Judith in Belvoir Theatre’s Blessed Union. In 2022 she appeared in Melbourne Theatre Company’s The Heartbreak Choir and in KBOX for Malthouse Theatre. She has worked extensively in variety, as a member of Finucane & Smith’s Glory Box/Burlesque Hour ensemble and she directed the acclaimed Gender Euphoria, presented by Melbourne Festival 2019. At that festival she also appeared in Anthem for Arts Centre Melbourne and at the Sydney and Perth Festivals 2020. She has been the Artistic Director of Vitalstatistix Theatre Company in Adelaide and Melbourne Workers Theatre. TV appearances include Sisters, Offspring, Tangle, Summer Heights High, Five Bedrooms, The Newsreader and films include My Year Without Sex, Noise and Ride Like A Girl. She won a Green Room Award for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role and was nominated for a Helpmann Award for her work in Melancholia (Malthouse Theatre) by Declan Greene in 2018. Maude has been a proud member of MEAA for more than 35 years.

Current as of September 2023.

Artwork for Lucy Goleby

Lucy Goleby


Lucy Goleby trained at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (Acting). Most recently she originated the role of Ginny Potter in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Sonia Friedman Productions/Michael Cassel Group) and assisted the creative team as Voice Captain. Her theatre credits include Antony and Cleopatra (Bell Shakespeare); Brisbane (Queensland Theatre); Gasp! (Queensland Theatre/Black Swan State Theatre Company); Pale Blue Dot (La Boite Theatre); Good Works (Darlinghurst Theatre); Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (CDP Theatre); Hidden Sydney: The Glittering Mile (Working Management/Live Ideas); Unfinished Works (Bontom); Fallen (She Said Theatre); Little Borders (Old 505 Theatre); Paper Doll (Redline Productions). Lucy’s television credits include Home and Away (Seven Network) and Oh, Yuck! (Flying Bark Productions). Her film credits include Experiment 20 (Kathryn Millard) and Stop the Horror (Andrew Denton). Lucy received a Sydney Theatre Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Good Works).

Current as of September 2023.

Artwork for Benjamin Nichol

Benjamin Nichol


Benjamin Nichol is a theatre maker and graduate of the VCA acting and writing programs. This is his Melbourne Theatre Company debut. Acting credits include SIRENS (Melbourne Fringe 2022, fortyfivedownstairs 2023), which he also wrote; Hells Canyon (Regional Arts Victoria); Patricia Cornelius’s Love (fortyfivedownstairs, La Biennale de Venezia); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Essential Theatre); Three Blind Mice (FRISK Festival, Adelaide Fringe) and Breadcrumbs (Poppyseed Festival), which he also wrote and directed. Benjamin wrote and directed kerosene (Theatreworks 2022, fortyfivedownstairs 2023), which won Green Room Awards for Best Direction and Best Production. His script Croydon was programmed in Melbourne Theatre Company’s 2021 Cybec Electric play readings and was subsequently shortlisted for both the Rodney Seaborn and Max Afford Playwriting Awards. He has received additional nominations at the Green Room Awards for Best Performer and Best New Writing. His plays kerosene and Long May They Reign have been published by Currency Press. Benjamin is a proud member of MEAA.

Current as of September 2023.

Artwork for James O’Connell

James O’Connell


James is delighted to be making his Melbourne Theatre Company debut working with Susie Dee and Patricia Cornelius in My Sister Jill. James previously worked with the team as an original cast member of Savages (fortyfivedownstairs). Most recently James was an original cast member of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Other theatre credits include Anatomy of a Suicide (Seymour Centre); Therese Raquin (Critical Stages); Detroit (Darlinghurst Theatre Company); Resplendence (Old Fitz Theatre) and The Lonesome West (fortyfivedownstairs). On screen, his credits include Last King of the Cross on Paramount+, Lambs of God for Foxtel, Mel Gibson’s Oscar-nominated Hacksaw Ridge, Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake: China Girl, David Michod’s War Machine and Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale. James has been nominated for several Green Room Awards for his work on the Melbourne stage. He is a graduate of the VCA School of Drama and is a proud MEAA Equity member since 2009.

Current as of September 2023.

Artwork for Zachary Pidd

Zachary Pidd


Zachary Giles Pidd (Zak) is a non-binary performer and sound designer based in Narrm (Melbourne). My Sister Jill is Zak’s debut at Melbourne Theatre Company. Previous theatre credits include Vanishing Act (The Butterfly Club, Melbourne Fringe 2016); KillJoy (Melbourne Fringe 2017), Credentials (La Mama 2017); Prehistoric (Elbow Room); School Of Rock (GWB Entertainment). Film credits include Prasizzler Queen of the Dessert and Tasty (prod. David Morris). Creative credits include Apokalypsis (Next Wave 2018, Co-director and Sound Designer); House Of Muchness (Associate Artist/Facilitator); Loom Arts and Management (Associate Artist/Facilitator); Dogchild (Performer); Polyglot Theatre (Associate Artist/Facilitator). Awards and nominations include 2019 Sydney Theatre Award Nomination for Best Production of a Mainstream Musical and 2019 Green Room Award Nomination for Musical Theatre Production (School of Rock), 2019 Green Room Award for Independent Theatre Design (Directing and Production Apokalypsis) and 2016 Green Room Award Nomination for Cabaret Best Musical Director, Best Ensemble and Innovative Use of Form.

Current as of September 2023

Artwork for Angourie Rice

Angourie Rice


Having performed on a number of indie stages, My Sister Jill is Angourie Rice’s professional mainstage debut. Best known for her screen work, Angourie’s breakout role came opposite Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in The Nice Guys. She can currently be seen alongside Jennifer Garner in The Last Thing He Told Me for Apple, and in the lead in feature film Honor Society on Paramount+. Angourie appeared in HBO series Mare of Easttown opposite Kate Winslet; and as Betty Brant in Marvel's Spider-Man franchiseOther credits include Black Mirror for Netflix, and Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled. Angourie was named as one of only 10 Actors in Variety magazine’s ‘Actors to Watch’ and ‘Power of Young Hollywood’ lists. Awards include a Best Lead Actress AACTA for her role in Bruce Beresford's Ladies in Black. She first came to industry attention at 11 years old with her lead role in Zak Hilditch’s short Transmission, for which she won a Best Actress Award at the St. Kilda Film Festival.

Current as of September 2023.


Patricia Cornelius


Patricia Cornelius is a founding member of Melbourne Workers Theatre. She’s a playwright, novelist and film writer. Patricia is excited this play My Sister Jill (adapted from her own novel) is receiving its premiere production at Melbourne Theatre Company. She’s written over 35 plays including the adaptation of The House of Bernarda Alba and SHIT (Melbourne Theatre Company); Do Not Go Gentle (Sydney Theatre Company, first produced by fortyfivedownstairs); RUNT, SLUT (fortyfivedownstairs); In the Club (State Theatre Company South Australia) and LOVE (HotHouse/Malthouse Theatre). Her film credits include SHIT (adapted from the stage play) and BLESSED (co-writer). She’s currently developing a feature film, with director and co-writer Catriona McKenzie. Patricia is the recipient of the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize and the 2019 Green Room Award for Life Achievement. She’s been awarded the Vic, NSW, Qld Premier Prizes, the Patrick White Fellowship and Mona Brand Award for playwriting as well as numerous AWGIE Awards.

Current as of September 2023.

Artwork for Susie Dee

Susie Dee


Susie Dee has worked extensively in theatre as a performer, deviser and director both in Australia and overseas for the past forty years. She has worked for numerous companies, including directing Happy Ending and Peddling for Melbourne Theatre Company. She has a long history of directing plays by Patricia Cornelius including Savages, Big Heart and most recently SHIT (NEON Festival Melbourne Theatre Company) and Love, both of which toured to the 2019 Venice Biennale Theatre Festival. Other directing highlights include Animal (Theatreworks & Dark Mofo); Anthem (Performing Lines/Melbourne, Sydney & Perth Festivals); RUNT (fortyfivedownstairs, La Boite Theatre and Sydney Opera House); Archimedes War (Darebin Speak Easy); and, most recently, The Amateurs and Witttenoom (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre). Susie has won numerous Green Room Awards for directing, was a recipient of the Ewa Czajor Memorial Award for female directors and in 2022 she received the prestigious Australia Council Award for Theatre.

Current as of September 2023


Marg Horwell

Set & Costume Designer

Marg Horwell is a multi-award-winning set and costume designer. Marg’s previous credits with Melbourne Theatre Company include Escaped Alone and What If If Only, Bernhardt/Hamlet, Girls & Boys, The Truth, The House of Bernarda Alba, Lilith: The Jungle Girl, Birdland, I Call My Brothers, Peddling, Cock, Constellations, Music and Marlin. Other credits include The Picture of Dorian Gray, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, How to Rule the World, Lord of the Flies, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Sydney Theatre Company); Because The Night, Blasted, Melancholia, Caravan, The Testament of Mary, The Real and Imagined History of The Elephant Man, Edward II, I Am a Miracle and The Good Person of Szechuan (Malthouse Theatre); The Confessions (Alexander Zeldin Company, touring internationally 2023–24); The Marriage of Figaro, The Sopranos, The Human Voice & The Call (Opera Queensland); Lorelei (Opera Queensland/Victorian Opera); Die Tote Stadt (Oper Am Rhein, Dusseldorf); Salome (English National Opera); Avalanche (The Barbican); Unsere Kleine Stadt (Theater Basel); Common Ground (Chunky Move) and Leviathan (Circa). Marg has won eleven Green Room Awards and three Sydney Theatre Awards.

Current as of September 2023


Rachel Burke

Lighting Designer

Rachel Burke has an acclaimed and extensive body of work over three decades for mainstage companies, independent theatre and architectural lighting design both nationally and internationally. Previous work with Susie Dee and Patricia Cornelius includes SHIT and Big Heart. Selected lighting design credits include Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes, The House of Bernada Alba, Buyer and Cellar, Cock, Constellations, Solomon and Marion, True Minds, True West (Melbourne Theatre Company); The Father, Nightfall, Black Medea Blueprints (Sydney Theatre Company); Cinderella, Swan Lake-Stephen Baynes, Dark Lullaby, Ballet Imperial, Unspoken Dialogues, Molto Vivace (The Australian Ballet); Random, Parramatta Girls, Black Medea, The Man from Mukinupin (Belvoir); Walking into the Bigness, Woman Bomb (Malthouse Theatre); Moth, Marlin (Arena Theatre Company). Recent designs include Far Away (Patalog Theatre Company); End Of (Griffin Theatre Company); Yentl (Kadimah Yiddish Theatre); Wittenoom (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre). Rachel’s awards include ten Green Room Awards for Excellence in Theatre Lighting Design, IES Victorian and National Awards of Lighting Excellence 2005, 2010 and 2019 and two Helpmann Award nominations.

Current as of September 2023.

Kelly Ryall

Kelly Ryall

Composer & Sound Designer

Kelly Ryall is an award-winning composer, musician and sound designer for stage and screen. Stage highlights include Cyrano, Berlin, A View from the Bridge, Working with Children, Di and Viv and Rose, Hay Fever, Three Little Words, Double Indemnity, Rupert, The Crucible (Melbourne Theatre Company); Triple X (with Queensland Theatre), The Trial (with Malthouse Theatre), Boys Will Be Boys (Sydney Theatre Company); Nosferatu, Edward II, The Shadow King (Malthouse); Hedda, Scenes from a Marriage (Queensland Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, Tartuffe, Macbeth, Julius Caesar (Bell Shakespeare); The House on the Lake, Emerald City, The Boys, The Floating World, Dreams in White (Griffin Theatre Company); Opening Night, Title and Deed, Nora, Hedda Gabler (Belvoir); Suddenly Last Summer (Ensemble). For dance, Kelly has composed music for renowned choreographers such as Kyle Page, Danielle Micich, Daniel Riley, Lucy Guerin, Nicola Gunn, Sandra Parker, Paula Ley and KAGE. Kelly is winner of four Green Room Awards and a Melbourne International Arts Festival Award.

Current as of September 2023

Artwork for Kitan Petkovski

Kitan Petkovski

Assistant Director

Kitan Petkovski is a theatre director of Macedonian descent based in Naarm. His practice focuses on developing and directing work that experiments with cross-form and queer dramaturgies. Kitan holds an MFA in directing from the VCA. He is the directing recipient of the 2023 Besen Family Artist award at Malthouse Theatre and a panel member of the Theatre Companies Green Room Association Awards. Recent directing credits include Burgerz (Theatre Works); The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven (fortyfivedownstairs); Nora: A Doll's House (Herald Theatre); No Ball Games AllowedAlternative Futures (Theatre Works); and The Hall (Festival of Colour, Wanaka). Kitan’s production of The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven won two Green Room Awards for Best Independent Production and Best Composition, and Kitan was nominated for Best Direction. Kitan is the co-founder and creative director of Bullet Heart Club and the Creative Associate at Theatre Works.

Current as of September 2023.

Artwork for Amy Cater

Amy Cater

Intimacy Coordinator

Matt Furlani

Matt Furlani

Voice & Text Coach

Artwork for Lyndall Grant

Lyndall Grant

Fight Choreographer

Learn more about My Sister Jill

The Sumner

140 Southbank Boulevard

Southbank, Victoria 3006