Philip Quast AM to take final bow in Queensland Theatre’s Australian Premiere of Cost of Living at Bille Brown Theatre

QT Philip Quast AM in Cost of Living photo by Morgan RobertsIn a heartfelt announcement, beloved actor and three-time Laurence Olivier Award-winner Philip Quast AM revealed his upcoming retirement from acting – with his performance in Cost of Living – the swansong of a distinguished career spanning decades.

A 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner and four-time Tony Award-nominated production, Cost of Living made its Australian premiere at the Bille Brown Theatre this month and runs until 13 July 2024 before making its way to Sydney.

Written by former caregiver turned playwright Martyna Majok, the play tells a beautifully rendered story about care, connection and the real cost of living for those living with disabilities.

The Queensland Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company co-production features a notably diverse cast and is the first mainstage production in Australia to have a 50/50 ratio of cast and crew who are able-bodied and living with disability.

Cost of Living includes principal cast members Kate Hood, Zoe de Plevitz, Dan Daw – who also co-directs – and Quast in the role of Eddie an unemployed truck driver, desperately trying to reconcile with his ex-wife Ani (Hood), who has become a wheelchair user after an accident.

Quast is an esteemed Australian actor who has captivated stage and screen audiences for decades and is incredibly, the first actor to have three wins in the category of Best Actor in a Musical at the Laurence Olivier Awards.

Quast is best known for his iconic role as Inspector Javert in the stage production of Les Misérables, alongside two seasons with Royal Shakespeare Company (Sunday in the Park with George and Mary Poppins) and appearances in numerous Australian soap operas including Sons and Daughters, The Young Doctors and Police Rescue.

He has also made recent appearances in the Australian thriller Dark Noise and TV productions Between Two Worlds and Operation Buffalo.

Australian children in the 80s and 90s will remember Quast for his significant role in children’s television as a 92-time presenter on Play School from 1980 to 1996, while his voice was also the soundtrack to a generation as the performer of Play School’s iconic theme song, There’s a Bear in There – which his performance is credited in more than 2,000 episodes until 2022.

Quast will retire from his lengthy career across renowned plays and musicals on stage and Australian shows on screen, reserving time for a few performances a year and continue to teach at Australia’s leading performing arts school, the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

“My career has been an incredible journey. One that’s seen me step into the shoes of diverse, funny, loved and powerful characters,” said Quast. “Both on stage and screen, it’s been the diversity of stories I’ve been able to tell and voices I have unearthed that has kept me going.”

“The years have allowed me to work alongside some of the greatest creatives both here in Australia and across the globe, and I couldn’t think of a more impactful piece of work or talented cast to take my final bow with. It’s a bow I’ll take with such pride.”

Brisbane audiences are encouraged to see Philip Quast in one of his final performances of mainstage plays and musicals as he takes the stage for Cost of Living until 13 July 2024. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Philip Quast AM in Cost of Living – photo by Morgan Roberts