On the Beach

Date(s) - 8 Aug 2023
6:30 PM - 9:10 PM

Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay, Sydney

Two of Australia’s great theatre-makers, Artistic Director Kip Williams and playwright Tommy Murphy (Foxtel’s The TwelveHolding the Man) join forces for this world premiere STC commission: a vast, poetic and haunting story of community, dignity and love in dark times.

In 1957, Nevil Shute’s classic novel On the Beach introduced the world to an uncanny post-apocalyptic vision that sees Australia as one of the last surviving outposts of civilisation on a planet destroyed by nuclear fallout. Two years later it was transformed into a classic film starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Fred Astaire.

A small group of friends in Melbourne – some local, some survivors from the US Navy – are living out their eerily prosaic lives and loves in the wake of World War III. But when a mysterious distress call rings out across the Pacific Ocean, the characters are called to choose between duty to the ones they love and duty to the human race.

In the spirit of past productions like Chimerica and The Harp in the South: Part One and Part Two, Williams brings his sumptuous, innovative style to match Murphy’s beautiful, soulful writing. On the Beach is a new and gripping portrait of Australian society, a prescient insight into the times we are living through and a deeply poignant reverie on the indestructible power of human connection.

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