Family Values

QT-Family-Values-Peter-KowitzQueensland Theatre heads into 2023 with a bang as Artistic Director Lee Lewis and acclaimed playwright David Williamson (Don’s Party, Emerald City, Rupert) reunite to deliver a laugh-out-loud train-smash drama in Family Values at the Bille Brown Theatre from 28 January.

Following successful runs in Sydney and Canberra, Lewis and Williamson’s latest rendition of this critically acclaimed play will run until Saturday 18 February 2023.

As Roger, a retired judge, played by Peter Kowitz (The Floating World, Death of a Salesman) and his wife Sue, played by Andrea Moor (Let The Sunshine, Switzerland) gather their family for his birthday celebration, they want nothing more than a pleasant evening with loved ones.

But when their three grown children show up with unexpected guests and emotional baggage in tow, the night becomes anything but peaceful.

“This is a play that brings people who would otherwise avoid each other together, purely because they’re related. What ensues is dramatic, but also funny – without that the situation would be unbearable,” said Williamson.

Set over the course of an evening, Family Values shows the hilarious – but very real – conflict that arises from differing beliefs and opinions coming together under one roof.

In doing so, Williamson drives the audience to question their own opinions and beliefs and calls the nation to task, deftly confronting uncomfortable, politically charged subjects with humour and grace.

Family Values is a clear vision of Williamson’s radical hope for a better and more inclusive future, but heavy subjects are handled in good humour to ensure we achieve what we always set out to do – leave huge smiles on our audience’s faces,” said Lee Lewis.

Having collaborated professionally many times over the past decade – their last joint project being Family Values’ run at Canberra’s Playhouse in March 2020, days before the unfolding pandemic heralded nationwide restrictions – Williamson and Lewis come together once more to bring the play to life in Brisbane.

“What I love about David’s writing is how he finds the humanity that sits inside the politics. There are politics in every family and every family has a choice to hold themselves together or fall apart,” said Lewis.

“It asks, can we actually forgive? And this play believes in forgiveness. It’s a very real guidebook for surviving Christmas with our families!”

The views presented by Williamson in Family Values are pertinent, urging the audience to choose social compassion over flawed systems inflicting unnecessary trauma and dividing the country.

Family Values sits on the fault lines of where Australia is today, based on real events which I’ve attempted to depict truthfully,” said Williamson.

“But alongside this it simply depicts a family falling apart at the seams and coming together when it matters.”

Director: Lee Lewis | Featuring: Peter Kowitz, Andrea Moor, Amy Ingram, Helen Cassidy, Sepi Burgiani, Leon Cain, Jodie Le Vesconte | Set & Costume Designer: Renee Mulder | Lighting Designer: Ben Brockman | Composer / Sound Designer: Tony Brumpton | Stage Manager: Grant Gravener | Assistant Stage Manager: Bridget O’Brien

Family Values
Bille Brown Theatre – Queensland Theatre, 78 Montague Road, South Brisbane
Season: 2 – 18 February 2023 (previews: 28 January – 1 February)
Information and Bookings:

Image: Peter Kowitz stars in Family Values – courtesy of Queensland Theatre