I love riding on trains. Always have. That feeling of motion – moving forward always – the rush and squeal of metal on metal. Hundreds of strangers pushed together, sometimes in silence, sometimes asleep, sometimes overhearing the conversations for other lives, the sound tracks of other people’s minds. For me it was the primary means of transport around Sydney and in my first year of living in Sydney I would remark to myself how often it would be that I would find on one train more commuters than the total population of my home town.

I felt small when I’d think that thought.

And I felt freed by that thought.

Trains are such a huge part Sydney’s culture. They are frequently the source of excuses, plans being made, real estate pricing, the canvas for graffiti, the trigger of conversations, the holding place of thousands of moments of anticipation. A place of reflection.

It’s also a place where some of our worst behaviour is put on display – conversations seem louder, spontaneous interactions are sometimes ugly or violent, sometimes public displays of affection, sometimes trivial, sometimes the completely unremarkable moments on a train allow time for epic rumination and realisation.

When the Riverside Theatre put out a call for proposals earlier this year, I pitched a huge and impossible HOT project – one with the focus on new Australian playwriting, a commitment to diverse voices, one which celebrates the local. I wanted to provide an evening of new writing which was to celebrate and trigger discussion about Sydney’s commuter culture. I wanted to provide an opportunity for writers to have their work staged in a non-competitive format, the opportunity to write to spec, and for the show to include playwrights from a range of backgrounds and interests and ask them to experiment and play with form and subject. I wanted to break the short play genre idea. I wanted to provide more than just a string of 10 minute plays – where the result is more than the sum of it’s parts. I wanted to have an opportunity to work with artists who are driven to invest in domestic detail and grand philosophical notions.

In August I took nine playwrights on the train between Central Station and Parramatta and asked them to be open to the experience of traveling on the train – just to use the experience of traveling together as a stimulus. From those trips came a series of vignettes and moments.


For the past 3 weeks, a cast of 14 actors, 3 composers, 2 designers and 4 interns have been making and shaping this show… for me it’s been more than 12 hours a day romping about in rehearsal rooms, talking about trains, people, love, human behaviour, hip hop, hygiene on public transport, prejudice, Bollywood movies, imagination, Godzilla, the legend of the minotaur, Mx Newspapers, rain, umbrellas.

I’m writing this from the couch in the foyer of the Riverside Theatre as the creative team bumps in the set… and I am absolutely in awe of the team, the actors and writers who have come together to create this show – I’m I’m sitting right in the middle of it… inspired, exhausted, delighted, invigorated and in the need of a sandwich.

I hope you can make it along and check out what has been keeping me away from my blog and bbqs with my loved ones.

The Team:
Director/Producer: Augusta Supple
Composer: Jeremy Silver
Additional Music by: Jessica Chapnik Kahn & Nadav Kahn
Set Design: Marissa Dale Johnson
Lighting Design: Sian James Holland

Written by: Donna Abela, Vanessa Bates, Jessica Bellamy, John AD Fraser, Noelle Janaczewska, Nicholas Parsons, Teik-Kim Pok, Emrys Quin, Alison Rooke

Cast: Valentino Del Toro, Helen O’Leary, Catherine Glavicic, Craig Meneaud, Corinne Marie, Bridgette Sneddon, Ildiko Susany, Shauntelle Benjamin, Peter Maple, Barton Williams, Alex Bryant Smith, Natalia Ladyko, Melinda Dransfield, Damian Sommerlad

Dates & Times:
7:30pm, Thursday 18 October 2012
7:30pm, Friday 19 October 2012
7:30pm, Saturday 20 October 2012
7:30pm, Wednesday 24 October 2012
7:30pm, Thursday 25 October 2012
7:30pm, Friday 26 October 2012
2:15pm, Saturday 27 October 2012
7:30pm, Saturday 27 October 2012


Adult $27, Senior $23, Pensioner $23, F/T Student & Child16&U $23*
* Transaction fees apply

More about the show: