The Torrents

7 Aug 2019

Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House$27/student, $13.50/PSFP

Sydney Theatre Company presents
A Sydney Theatre Company and Black Swan State Theatre Company production
By Oriel Gray

A woman's place is in the newsroom

It’s the 1890s in the gold fields of Australia. J.G. Milford has hopped off the train in Koolgalla to take on a job at the local paper. She’s smart, she’s savvy, she’s incredibly qualified, but nobody knew the J stood for Jenny!

Inspired by the ideas-driven comedies of George Bernard Shaw, Oriel Gray’s The Torrents is a newsroom drama married to a screwball comedy. On the one hand, debate is raging about whether the town should give up mining for a more sustainable economic future. On the other, newspaper editor Rufus Torrent and his son Ben are vying for Jenny’s favour, even as she pulls apart their chauvinistic assumptions.

The Torrents was written in 1955. That year, it was joint winner of the prestigious Playwrights’ Advisory Board Competition with Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. In the role of Jenny, award-winning comedian and actor Celia Pacquola (ABC’s Rosehaven) will put the spotlight back on this rarely seen Aussie classic.

Approx. duration 2hrs (including interval). Subject to change. 
Content warning None at this time. Subject to change. 


  • Drama Stage 5 Dramatic Traditions and Performance Styles: Realism/Scripted Drama
  • Drama Stage 6 Links to Topic 1: Dramatic Traditions in Australia
  • Drama Stage 6 Links to Topic 3: The Voice of Women in Theatre


  • Australian history
  • Women in the workforce
  • Environment and primary industry/sustainability
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