World Problems

3 May — 22 May 2024

Southbank Theatre, The Lawler

World Problems is both comical and terrifying, gripping and cathartic. A solo time capsule catapulting across the ages, it seamlessly merges the most private and intimate reflections with a world-spanning perspective.

Approx. 1 hour with no interval

Education & Families 

World Problems is part of our acclaimed Education & Families Program. 

This is rated 0 out of 5 stars

Winner of the Green Room Award for Best New Writing

This is rated 0 out of 5 stars

‘At once reflective and genuine.’

Daily Review


A woman summons up her childhood with an intensity so visceral it seems to be playing out in front of us. But as her memories draw closer to the present, the space between the personal and the speculative grows ever more blurry. Where do you end, and everything else begins?

An elegy for the future we’re yet to inherit, World Problems is both comical and terrifying, gripping and cathartic. A solo time capsule catapulting across the ages, it seamlessly merges the most private and intimate reflections with a world-spanning perspective.

Theatre maker Emma Mary Hall has cemented a reputation for herself as one of the most astute and insightful observers of the shape of things to come, blending a poetic sensibility with rigorous attention to global and historical matters.

Performed with vivid physicality by Carly Sheppard, directed by Cassandra Fumi (Associate Director, A Very Jewish Christmas Carol) and designed by Dann Barber (Bloom), World Problems trains a microscope on one soul to chart the future of all humanity.

World Problems embarks on a regional tour 24 May–7 June. Learn more.

First Nations community are invited to purchase $5 tickets to Community Night on Monday 20 May at 7pm. Simply select our Community ticket option when booking. 


  • Wheelchair Accessible

  • Hearing Assistance

  • Audio Described

  • Tactile Tour

  • Open Captioning

  • Auslan Interpreted

Performance Type Performance Date(s)
Audio Described
by Vision Australia
Thursday 9 May at 1pm
Tactile Tour
at venue
Thursday 9 May at 1pm (Tactile tour commences at 12pm)
Open Captioning
via screen
Date to be announced
Auslan Interpreted
by Auslan Stage Left
Date to be announced
Artwork for Carly Sheppard

Carly Sheppard


Carly Sheppard is a cross-disciplinary performance artist based in Naarm/Melbourne, working across dance, theatre making, performance, sculpture, drawing, writing, voice and installation. Her practice navigates complex narratives of intersecting race, class, mythologies, identities we inherit and how meaning is created and processed through prisms of colonial interruption. Carly’s work reflects her fascination with the chaos of conflicting cultural paradigms. Her recent performance credits include Chase, A Nighttime Travesty (A Daylight Connection); Set Piece (Anna Breckon and Nat Randall); Considerable Sexual License (Joel Bray Dance), Anthem (Performing Lines/Arts Centre Melbourne) and Love (fortyfivedownstairs/Venice Biennale Theatre Festival). Carly has received Green Room Awards for her performancs in Love and Crackers n Dip With Chase n Toey (Arts House). She was nominated for her performance in A Nighttime Travesty and Chase.

Current as of April 2024

Artwork for Emma Mary Hall

Emma Mary Hall


Emma Mary Hall is an award-winning writer, performer and theatre maker based in Victoria. World Problems is her debut with Melbourne Theatre Company. She has written three solo works (We May Have to Choose, Ode to Man and World Problems), all of which have earned multiple awards, nominations and/or presentation tours nationally and internationally. Ode to Man is published by Playlab. Emma has also directed Breeders (La Mama Theatre, 2021) and co-devised productions with the Victorian College of the Arts (Show Cat! Sleep Faster!, 2020) and Federation University (After Joan, 2024). As a writer, Emma is interested in the ways in which the individual imagination is governed or shaped by broader social norms, and in the essential role theatre plays in helping us to experience and negotiate a shared truth.

Current as of April 2024

Artwork for Cassandra Fumi

Cassandra Fumi


Cassandra Fumi is a theatre director and maker based in Naarm/Melbourne. Her work is socially informed and community centred. She is pleased to be returning to Melbourne Theatre Company having previously been associate director on A Very Jewish Christmas Carol and assistant director on The House of Bernarda Alba. Other directorial credits include The Crocodile (fortyfivedownstairs, Spinning Plates); Far Away (fortyfivedownstairs, Patalog Theatre); The Mermaid (La Mama Theatre); Dog Show (Melbourne Fringe Festival) and Nadja after Andre Breton (Cockpit Theatre, London). She has worked as assistant director on OH DEER! (Rising, APHIDS); and Wittenoom (Red Stich Actors’ Theatre). She has worked as associate artist with Samara Hearsh on Body of Knowledge and It’s Going to Get Dark, and as a touring director on We All Know What’s Happening (Vitalstatistix). Cassandra has longstanding relationships with companies such as THE RABBLE, Performing Lines and APHIDS.

Current as of April 2024

Artwork for Dann Barber

Dann Barber

Set & Costume Designer

Dann Barber is an award-winning set and costume designer whose work is influenced by his study of drawing and fine art at RMIT. He is also a graduate of theatre design from NIDA. Recent work includes A Very Jewish Christmas Carol (Melbourne Theatre Company); Melbourne, Cheryomushki (Victorian Opera); The Crocodile (Spinning Plates); Wittenoom, The Amateurs (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre); Rent (LPD Productions); Barnum the Musical and Chess (Storeyboard Entertainment). He has been the associate costume designer for Gabriela Tylesova for the Australian Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty and again for Melbourne Theatre Company’s Shakespeare in Love. Dann has received and been nominated for numerous awards including Green Room Awards for Best Design in Cabaret for The Ghetto Cabaret (Kadimah Yiddish Theatre), Best Independent Set and Costume Design for The Mermaid (La Mama Theatre) and Best Set Design for Yentl (Kadimah Yiddish Theatre). Dann is a guest lecturer and tutor at VCA and Melbourne University.

Current as of April 2024

Artwork for Harrie Hogan

Harrie Hogan

Lighting Designer

Harrie Hogan is a lighting designer working across theatre, circus, musical theatre and experimental performance. She grew up in Sydney before completing a Bachelor's Degree at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2019. Her recent design credits include Wolf Play (Red Stitch Actors' Theatre, 2023); Of The Land on Which We Meet (Na Djinang Circus, 2023); Someday We’ll Find It (Karla and Zachary, 2024) as well as being an ongoing design collaborator with Pony Cam. Harrie was the 2022 Malthouse Besen Placement in lighting and has been nominated for three Green Room Awards for her work on Kerosene, Sirens and Grace. Harrie is a keen collaborator and proud to be counted amongst the growing number of women in her field. 

Current as of April 2024

Artwork for Rachel Lewindon

Rachel Lewindon

Composer & Sound Designer

Rachel Lewindon is a composer, sound designer and pianist based in Naarm/Melbourne. She has been privileged to lend her creative voice to the bold projects and artistic visions of many Australian and International artists. Critically acclaimed work includes The Gospel According to Jesus Queen of Heaven (fortyfivedownstairs and Ben Anderson); Far Away (Patalog Theatre); The Inheritance (Cameron Lukey and fortyfivedownstairs); Orlando (Antipodes Theatre Company) amongst others. More information can be found on her website or alternatively by catching her on one of her daily walks to Balfe Park with her dog Henry.

Current as of April 2024

Artwork for Amelia Jean O’Leary

Amelia Jean O’Leary

Movement Consultant

Amelia Jean O’Leary (she/they/yinarr) is a proud First Nations Gamilaroi Yinarr from Northen New South Wales currently living in Naarm/Melbourne. Her dance practice is about human and spiritual experiencing. Through complexity and adversity, she finds ways to tell coded and poetically rich stories. Her dances are personal and personified from her multidisciplinary skills in theatre, film and sound design. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2021, O’Leary performed and created multiple works including Yinarr (Adelaide Fringe and Dancehouse); A Certain Mumble (Darebin Arts Speakeasy) and STAUNCH ASF (Melbourne Fringe), for which she was awarded Best Emerging Indigenous Artist at Melbourne Fringe 2023, and nominated for a Green Room Award for Pioneering Artistry: Breaking Ground. Amelia also choreographed One Day as part of Melbourne Theatre Company’s First Peoples Young Artists Program (now Deadly Creatives) at Yirramboi Festival. She is currently developing multiple new works.

Current as of April 2024

Artwork for Kamarra Bell-Wykes

Kamarra Bell-Wykes

Additional Dramaturgy

Kamarra Bell-Wykes (Yagera/Butchulla) is a playwright, director, dramaturg, devisor, facilitator, performer, creative curator, community developer and education consultant. Kamarra was Assistant Director on 37 (Melbourne Theatre Company/Queensland Theatre). Kamarra served as ILBIJERRI Theatre’s education manager and creative director from 2014-2019 and Malthouse Resident Artist 2020-2022. Writing and directing credits include Because the Night (Malthouse Theatre), The Score, Scar Trees, Viral, North West of Nowhere, Body Armour, Chopped Liver, Shrunken Iris (ILBIJERRI), Crying Shame (Next Wave) and Mother’s Tongue (Yirra Yaakin). In 2020 Kamarra and Carly Sheppard became co-artistic directors of A Daylight Connection, a motley crew of independent theatre-makers dedicated to smashing performance binaries. Their credits include Chase (Malthouse Theatre/Hot House) and A Nightime Travesty (Yirramboi). In 2023 Kamarra directed A Daylight Connection double-bill featuring Whose Gonna Love Em? I am that I AM and Chase at Malthouse Theatre. She was awarded the Patrick White Award for Whose Gonna Love ‘Em? I am that I AM (Footscray Community Arts Centre/ILBIJERRI) in 2021.

Current as of April 2024

Learn more about World Problems

The Lawler

140 Southbank Boulevard

Southbank, Victoria 3006