STCSA-Cathedral-Nathan-O'Keefe-photo-by-Matt-ByrneAward-winning South Australian born playwright Caleb Lewis will debut his ode to the underwater world with Cathedral at the Space Theatre this May.

Presented by State Theatre Company South Australia and Country Arts SA and starring beloved SA actor Nathan O’Keefe (Gaslight, Hydra), Cathedral will take audiences on an immersive deep sea dive using soundscape and multimedia under the direction of rising star Shannon Rush (Limit).

From Mount Gambier to Thailand to the North Sea, from soaring first love to shattering loss to ultimate hope, this powerful story ponders a diver’s life shaped by the ocean, and its power to both upend and heal.

A thriller, family drama and epic journey of self-discovery, Cathedral is a life-affirming piece of storytelling that asks the question: do we turn away from our pain, or dive right in?

Lewis says the play is inspired by South Australia’s limestone coast – particularly the Piccaninnie Ponds – as well as a personal story from his childhood.

“We were driving from Melbourne to Adelaide years ago and my dad (a diving instructor) wanted to dive in one of the sinkholes there and myself and my eight-year-old sister waited for him at the jetty and wondered what might happen if he never resurfaced,” he says.

Cathedral follows a diver still haunted by the loss of his mother and still lost in the deep and the dark. The play asks how do you grieve without a body, why do some of us sink when others swim, what draws us down there and what calls us back into the light?” said Lewis.

Director Shannon Rush says the creative team – which includes set and costume designer Kathryn Sproul, lighting/video designer Mark Oakley and sound designer/composer Andrew Howard – is building an “immersive sensorial experience” for the audience.

“It’s going to be a really immersive sensorial experience which hopefully will transport the audience to a place they have never been before, which is the underwater world,” she says.

Cathedral utilises an evocative aural form that calls on its audience to really lean in and listen. I feel privileged to be bringing Caleb’s powerful story to life with an extraordinary storyteller, Nathan O’Keefe, and an outstanding cast of voice actors,” said Rush.

Artistic Director Mitchell Butel says the Company is thrilled to partner again with Country Arts SA, which will present the show regionally following the Adelaide season.

“Nathan is that rare beast who can transform in front of your eyes into shapes and people you’ve never seen before and I know Caleb’s tender and heartfelt play will provide another platform for Nathan’s genius,” he says.

“We’re so thrilled to be partnering once more with Country Arts SA on this production after our combined success on Euphoria. Audiences are in for a similar treat,” said Butel.

Cathedral is State Theatre Company’s 2022 Education show and is presented in association with its long time Education Partner, Flinders University.

Director: Shannon Rush | Featuring: Nathan O’Keefe | Set & Costume Designer: Kathryn Sproul | Lighting & Video Designer: Mark Oakley | Composer & Sound Designer: Andrew Howard

Space Theatre – Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Road, Adelaide
Season: 10 – 21 May 2022 (preview: 6 – 9 May)

Following its Adelaide season, Cathedral will tour to Mount Gambier, Renmark, Port Lincoln, Port Augusta and Port Pirie. For more information, visit: for details. Checkout the trailer here!

Image: Nathan O’Keefe – photo by Matt Byrne