Winner of the 2020-21 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, Steve Pirie‘s autobiographical Return to the Dirt is a refreshing, honest and surprisingly uplifting invitation to start the conversations we all try to avoid.
Steve never imagined he’d end up working in the funeral industry. But when he finds himself living back home in Toowoomba to save up for his wedding, it’s the only job he can get.
The year he spends working among the dead opens his eyes to what awaits us at the end and what it means to live.
With respect, wit and a nod to pop culture, Steve takes us on a journey that celebrates finding your place in the world, the power of personal redemption and humility in the face of the big questions.
Winner of the 2018-19 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, David Megarrity’s The Holidays is a touching portrait of memory and connection.
The Holidays are on holiday: 12-year-old Oliver has been pulled out of school for an unexpected road trip with his mum and dad, en route to grandad’s seaside shack. But grandad, an eccentric artist, is not there. In this unkempt place stuffed with memories, it seems that the Holidays – instead of getting away from it all – have taken a lot with them.
This Queensland Premier’s Drama Award-winning play is a feast for the senses, a wistful and funny journey combining live performance, music and cutting-edge projection. A disarming and lyrical chronicle about family, for families, The Holidays is a show for sons, fathers, grandfathers, and anyone who loves one.
Winner of the 2016-17 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, Rice by Michele Lee is brimming with sharp observations on globalisation, power, politics, and migration as well as plenty of wicked humour.
Everyone has problems to deal with – in the boardroom or the basement, global or local, business or personal. Two multicultural women making their way in modern Australia forge a powerful, if unlikely, friendship that gets results.
Working late, high up in a skyscraper, Nisha – at 28, a business prodigy and second-in-command of an Australian rice company – is closing a massive deal with the Indian government. Working later still is Yvette, who clears up her takeaway. “Indian princess” and “Chinese cleaner” is all they see when they face each other across the desk. They’re from different cultures, different generations – but as the nights wear on, they discover the many ties that bind them, and help each other navigate their complex lives.
Winner of the 2014-15 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore by Daniel Evans is the story of a tragedy no one saw coming, but everyone wants to talk about.
What if Oedipus lived next door? What if the whole street knew what he’d been up to with his own mother, because of the word daubed in fluorescent letters on his garage door?
Daniel Evans brings the drama and horror of an Ancient Greek myth to the sleepy cul-de-sacs of modern Australian disturbia in this wild, wonderful ride spinning off from Sophocles’ 2500-year-old Theban plays. Evans shines a blacklight into the bedrooms and basements of the most infamous family in mythology by reimagining them as the unseen but most gossiped-about family on the block.
Winner of the 2012-13 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, Maxine Mellor‘s Trollop is a complex, uneasy and challenging work that both explores and exploits contemporary communication modes.
Clara is uncomfortably numb. Cocooned in her spartan home, she wallows in tracky-dacks and the misery of the recently jobless, feeding on apathy and the images of natural disaster piped into her living room by the pitiless glare of the TV. Clara is haunted by what she could aspire to if she could break from her funk. Her relentlessly upbeat partner Erik has devised a plan for her to get back on her feet. Instead, she devises a series of increasingly gruesome ‘quests’ for him.
Then, one stormy night, a stranger calls – and the chinks in the pair’s relationship begin to widen. Uncomfortable truths are revealed and there are hints of horrors to come, as ancient myths are dragged, growling, into the modern day.
Winner of the 2012-13 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, Fractions by Marcel Dorney is based on the real-life events of one of history’s most remarkable unsung heroines.
In Fifth Century Egypt, Alexandria – Alexander the Great’s namesake city – has ambitions to be the most powerful city in the world. And knowledge is power. The great Library of Alexandria houses the collected wisdom of the world – science, mathematics, astronomy and literature. One of its greatest scholars and inventors is Hypatia – a woman ahead of her time in a man’s world. She’s revered for her devotion to the search for knowledge. But the power politicking of one man, Kyril, starts a holy war in the city, which threatens to destroy the great library. Hypatia must find a way to protect it – and prevent civilization from sliding into the Dark Ages.
Winner of the 2008-09 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, 25 Down by Richard Jordan is a fast-paced, funny and insightful play about the ‘children of ’ the children of the revolution, and the morally ambiguous world in which we all now live.
In a world where nothing means anything, 25-year-old art school dropout James is searching for answers. But when all-nighters, gay bars, drugs and sex fail to provide what is missing, James begins to question if life is really all downhill after 25.
Winner of the 2006-07 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award was The Estimator by David Brown.
Martin is an estimator for a removal company, trained to help people with the nightmare that is moving house. But no amount of preparation could have prepared him for his latest job …
Yonni and her granddaughter Sharday share a junk-filled home in the suburban outskirts. Their lives revolve around poetry, acting, singing and rhetorical questions. Knowing the life they live is far from healthy, Yonni’s daughter Karen calls in the help of an Estimator. But once they meet, their lives will be changed forever.
Winner of the 2004-05 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, Mano Nera by Adam Grossetti richly evokes the tense stand-off between the British authorities and a divided Italian community desperately trying to make the most of its hard-won freedom.
In the 1930s, letters of extortion were written to the migrant Italian community in North Queensland’s cane growing districts. Mano Nera – the ‘black hand’ – was the name of the group claiming responsibility for the letters. But was Mano Nera a slick criminal organisation, or simple-minded thugs?
Either way, Mano Nera instilled fear that divided the community. Australians argued for the deportation of the Italian migrants. While the Italian community, who had bravely fled political oppression and a fast deteriorating society to make North Queensland their home, faced a choice. Would they put up with their reputation being sullied by the actions of Mano Nera’s desperate men? Or would they flight for the privileges their adopted country could offer?