Playing Beatie Bow

An unmissable Sydney story for the whole family, overflowing with adventure, humour and a little magic.

Wharf 1 Theatre

The Play


By Ruth Park
An adaptation for the stage by Kate Mulvany
Directed by Kip Williams

World premiere

This classic Sydney story is coming home

Sydney Theatre Company’s long-awaited return home to The Wharf will be marked by this historic event in Australian theatre.

From playwright Kate Mulvany and Artistic Director Kip Williams, the team that created the epic, multi-award-winning world of The Harp in the South: Part One and Part Two, comes a new adaptation of one of Ruth Park’s most beloved Australian stories which is sure to delight audiences of all generations.

Abigail (Catherine Văn-Davies), a teenager dealing with her parents’ messy separation, follows the mysterious young girl Beatie Bow (Sofia Nolan) back through time – from the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s The Rocks in the present day to the year 1873, when the suburb was full of struggling immigrant families, gangsters and a whole host of larger-than-life characters. With the help of Beatie, her wise grandmother, and the whole Bow family, Abigail goes on a wild adventure through twisting alleyways of history in a race to find her way home.

This moving human story is set in and around the real-life suburb that STC calls home and will overflow with history, song and sparkling humour. Grandparents, parents and teenagers will all find something to love in this family story – a combination of Mulvany’s characteristic warmth and vivacity and Williams’ monumental vision.

Celebrate the reopening of The Wharf with a tale full of adventure, surprises and a little magic.

Playing Beatie Bow was developed and produced with the assistance of the Australian Writers’ Guild David Williamson Prize.

Approx. duration 2hrs 50mins (including interval). Subject to change. More info.
Content Suitable for Years 6-12. Subject to change. More info.
COVID-Safe We have implemented a number of health and safety measures which are updated and changed based on the latest government advice. Please check this page for the latest safety requirements before your visit. More info.


  • Dramatic Forms and Performance Styles: Realism/Scripted Drama


  • Improvisation, Playbuilding and Acting
  • Elements of Production in Performance
  • Theatrical Traditions and Performance Styles: Realism


  • Appropriation of an Australian novella
  • Textual Concepts: Genre, Imagery, Character, Narrative, Point of View, Context, Representation


  • Australian history and Colonial Sydney
  • Making a nation


  • Colonial Sydney History
  • Coming of Age
  • Family and Identity

Wed 17 Mar, 11.30am
Wed 24 Mar, 11.30am
Wed 31 Mar, 11.30am
Wed 21 Apr, 11.30am
Wed 28 Apr, 11.30am

Term 1 & 2
22 Feb - 1 May

1 teacher attends free with up to 20 students and 1 teacher free per 20 students after that
$35/additional teacher
$15/PSFP student

Director Kip Williams
Set Designer David Fleischer
Costume Designer Renée Mulder
Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper
Composer & Sound Designer Clemence Williams
Choral Director Natalie Gooneratne 
Additional Composition Matthew Doyle
Dramaturg Courtney Stewart
Assistant Director Kenneth Moraleda

Tony Cogin, Heather Mitchell, Sofia Nolan, Guy Simon, Catherine Văn-Davies

Marketing image Rene Vaile

This listing is updated as cast and creatives are confirmed in the lead-up to the production, and if there are any changes to the team. Ensure you have the most up-to-date information about each play by opting in to our enewsletter.

Education resources for Playing Beatie Bow are available here

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