The Golden Age

STC The Golden AgeIn 1939, a lost tribe of Europeans was discovered in the Tasmanian wilderness. They were a band of outcasts who had escaped the torture of convict life, scratching out an existence at the forgotten edge of the island, alone for almost a century.

Inspired by this true story, writer Louis Nowra (Cosi, Radiance) penned The Golden Age – an extraordinary play that blends historical fact, Australian folklore and poetic language to create a post-colonial myth for our times.

Nowra’s outcasts have developed a culture and dialect all of their own, but their bodies are failing them and their very existence is in danger. Brought back into the fold of Australian society, what fate awaits this band of exiles?

The Golden Age is a remarkably rich and complex play, and there are many aspects that draw me to staging it for an audience today,” says Director, Kip Williams. “The work examines the way in which one culture imposes itself upon another, and the ultimate crumbling of civilisation that occurs at the hands of this brutal process.”

“It’s a story that grapples with our colonial history, as well as with the trauma of the first half of the 20th century. In this sense it is a deeply important narrative within Australian culture.”

The Golden Age premiered in Melbourne in 1985, with a Sydney production the following year directed by Neil Armfield. Three decades later, Resident Director Kip Williams (Suddenly Last Summer) brings it to the Wharf 1 Theatre with a brilliant ensemble cast. In their hands, this profound and emotionally-charged Australian epic makes its way out of the wilderness and back into the spotlight, marking the return of Nowra’s writing to the STC stage for the first time in 20 years.

Louis Nowra is one of Australia’s best-loved playwrights. He is the author of such plays as Inner Voices, Visions, Inside The Island, Sunrise, Cosi, The Golden Age, Capricornia, Byzantine Flowers, Summer of the Aliens, Radiance, The Temple, Crow, The Incorruptible, The Jungle, The Language of the Gods and The Boyce Trilogy.

Some of his radio plays include Albert Names Edward, The Song Room, Sydney, The Divine Hammer, Far North, Jez and The Light Of Darkness. He wrote the telemovies Displaced Persons, Hunger and The Lizard King plus created the TV series The Last Resort and The Straits. His screen credits include Map Of The Human Heart, Heaven’s Burning, The Matchmaker, Radiance, K-19: The Widowmaker and Black and White.

Director: Kip Williams  Featuring: Rarriwuy Hick, Remy Hii, Brandon McClelland, Robert Menzies, Liam Nunan, Zindzi Okenyo, Sarah Peirse, Anthony Taufa, Ursula Yovich  Designer: David Fleischer  Composer & Sound Designer: Max Lyandvert  Lighting Designer: Damien Cooper  Dramaturg: Paige Rattray

The Golden Age
Wharf 1 Theatre – Pier 4, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay (Sydney)
Season: 19 January – 20 February 2016 (previews: 14 – 18 January)
Bookings: (02) 9250 1777 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: The Golden Age – photo by James Green