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Magpie by Elise Greig


LANGUAGE: English and Romani
Cultural heritage, Intergenerational trauma, Immigration
LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
Senior Years & Adults

Spanning from young love to aging cynicism, Magpie is a coming-of-age story that will thrill and delight like lemonade ice-blocks and a swim on a hot day.

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Elise Greig’s Magpie is a coming-of-age story that charts its way through generations of sorrow and blame, to ultimately reconnect with the past and embrace cultural upbringing and identity.


Mordecai, a novelist dealing with a bad review, returns to her family’s Brisbane home for the first time in decades following the death of her father. The home conjures echoes from her distant past: the muggy summers, the smell of rotting mangoes, and the perpetual arguments between her Romani mother and father.

When she discovers her old journal – an innocent tapestry of ideas, drawings, and imaginings – Mordecai is drawn back to 1961 and a long-abandoned investigation into her parents’ unhappiness.

Pushed along by her childhood friend Splinter, Mordecai sets out to uncover the long dormant secrets that cursed her family and led to her leaving home at fifteen.

Spanning from young love to aging cynicism, Magpie is a coming-of-age story that will thrill and delight like lemonade ice-blocks and a swim on a hot day.


Magpie was first produced by Playlab Theatre, Metro Arts and E.G Production presented in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse, premiering at the Visy Theatre on May 29, 2019.

ISBN: 978 1 925338 99 7

Additional information

Weight 0.250 kg
Dimensions 21 × 15 × 0.5 cm

Education Notes

The downloadable comprehensive education notes for Magpie are designed to support educators in their design and delivery of learning experiences using the playtext. The education notes provides context and insight into the creative process, and features activities, resources, classroom links and assessment ideas.

Download Education Notes


"More than just a belated coming of age story, it is a moving experience with a poignancy that sneaks up on you"

Meredith Walker, Blue Curtains Brisbane, 2019

"The productions’ complimentary design and cast performances pair with Greig’s writing perfectly to highlight the complex and unique mind of a fascinating writer"

Rhumer Diball, Downstage Discernments, 2019

"The depth of talent drawn to this production reflects the calibre of new work entering the Australian theatrical canon."

Debra Bela, Stage Whispers, 2019

Performance Rights

Let Playlab help you obtain the performance rights for your production. Simply click on ‘Performance Rights Enquiry Form’ below and we will get you on track to having your production off the page and onto stage.

Performance Rights Enquiry Form

Any performance or public reading of any text published by Playlab is forbidden unless a licence has been received from the author or the author’s agent. The purchase of a Playlab publication in no way gives the purchaser the right to perform the play in public, whether by means of a staged production or as a reading. Please direct all inquiries concerning performance rights, publication, translation or recording rights to info@playlabtheatre.com.au or call us on (07) 3220 2763.

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