The Big Dry

ATYP Ensemble The Big DryImagine a world of dust. A future where water drips brown from the taps. Where dust storms reduce houses to rubble. Imagine the future. Imagine The Big Dry. A first time co-production between Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) and Ensemble Theatre, and based on the best-selling Australian novel by Tony Davis, The Big Dry promises to be an event not to be missed, for young or old.

On his inspiration for writing the novel, author Tony Davis says “A few years ago I went through a stage of reading everything I could find on the American Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. It was an era of extraordinary drought, dust storms and hardship which caused hundreds of thousands to leave their homes. A simple question stuck with me for a long time: what would happen if the same conditions returned to a modern Western city? ”

Heat. Drought. Dust. Storms. More people missing every day. The city turning into a ghost town. A world where parents have become a thing of the past, like rain. Food and water have become scarce. Two young boys, George and his younger brother Beeper huddle together in a ragged house waiting for their dad to come home while dust blasters rage outside.

Any adults they meet are powerless, struggling or brutal and harsh. They meet a young girl Emily, who becomes their protector and provider. Set in a post-apocalyptic world in a landscape that is barren, vast and scary.

“I read Tony Davis’s exciting book, The Big Dry in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down,” says Mark Kilmurry, Artistic Director Ensemble Theatre. “The idea of our children surviving the future in a crumbling world was at once shocking and compelling.”

“ATYP’s Fraser Corfield and I had talked about doing a stage project together for a few years and when I pitched the idea of adapting Tony’s book for the stage he said, ‘That’s it!’ We are very pleased to be  bringing this funny, moving and exciting vision to the stage.”

Director: Fraser Corfield Featuring: Jack Andrew, Sofia Nolan, Rory Potter, Noah Sturzaker, Richard Sydenham Assistant Director: Justin Stambouliah Designer: Rita Carmody Lighting Designer: Benjamin Brockman Sound Designer: Daryl Wallis Stage Manager: Ruth Horsfall Wardrobe: Alana Canceria Adaption: Mark Kilmurry Dramaturg: Jane Fitzgerald

The Big Dry
Ensemble Theatre, 78 Mcdougall Street, Kirribilli (North Sydney)
Season: 9 June – 2 July 2016 (previews: 4 – 8 June)
Bookings: (02) 9929 0644 or online at:

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Image: The Big Dry – photo by Amelia J Dowd / Designer – Justin Stambouliah