Andrew Upton’s new adaptation takes a fresh, colloquial look at a family born to privilege but bound for dysfunction


The Play

"It is great to see this neglected classic, scintillating with ideas, brought to such vivid life."
The Australian

Sydney Theatre Company and
Colonial First State Global Asset Management present


By Maxim Gorky
In a new version by Andrew Upton

Born to privilege, bound for revolution.

Children of the Sun, Sydney Theatre Company’s big, lively period drama about the loveable Protasov family, has opened to glowing accolades from critics and audiences.

The man of the house is Protasov (Toby Truslove), an amateur scientist. Single-mindedly dedicated to his belief that science will one day solve the problems of human-kind, Protasov is blind to the personal struggles of his loved ones and unaware of the revolution brewing outside the country estate.

The privileged, intellectual Protasov family are eccentric - if a little dysfunctional - but completely charming. Theirs is a seductive world of avant-garde ideas and scintillating conversation about art, science, love and politics. The members of the household increasingly find themselves surrounded by amorous advances and preoccupied with delicious flirtations, adulterous temptations and bold declarations of love.

Only Liza (Jacqueline McKenzie) senses the impending doom; with rising despair she tries to warn the household. There are rumours Protasov’s chemistry experiments are poisoning the water supply. The growing hostility in the local town will soon bubble over into violence…

Andrew Upton's new adaptation is a fast, poetic and modern version of this rarely produced classic, and director Kip Williams’ production is sophisticated and playful.

The Sydney Morning Herald praised the performances of the stellar ensemble cast: “Justine Clarke smoulders ... Jacqueline McKenzie excels… Helen Thomson demonstrates a brilliant comic touch... Toby Truslove is an energetically eccentric Protasov… Chris Ryan is dashing yet fragile… Valerie Bader is in excellent form…”

Addressing timeless matters of the heart and mind, Children of the Sun could be set in any time, but we are transported to a beautifully realised rambling mansion in early 20th century Russia, complete with stunning costumes and fine period nuance.

"Filled with ideas about life, art, science, society and love, the play feels as relevant as ever in this engrossing and very moving production."
Daily Telegraph

Duration: 2 hours 30 mins (including interval)

Warning: Contains theatrical haze, strobe lighting and limited organic herbal cigarette smoking.

Booking for our final performances?

Limited tickets for Friday 24 and Saturday 25 September are available through the Opera House Box Office  02 9250 7777.

Production Patrons: Stephen and Julie Fitzgerald


Previews 8-11 Sep 2014
Season 13 Sep - 25 Oct 2014

Season Ticket prices
Saturday evening $85
Adult $83
Seniors cardholder $73
Concession $63
Preview $69
Under 30 $50

Casual ticket prices
Saturday evening $99
Adult $94
Senior $85
Concession $75
Under 30 $58
Preview $78

Transaction fees may apply

Pre-season Briefing
Mon 25 Aug 6.15pm
Wharf 2 Theatre

Pier Group Lunch
Mon 4 Aug 12pm

Audi Night with the Actors
Mon 29 Sep 6.30pm

Captioned Performances
Wed 8 Oct 1pm
Fri 17 Oct 8pm

Audio Described Performances
Fri 10 Oct 8pm
Sat 11 Oct 2pm

Auslan Interpreted Performance
Thur 23 Oct 8pm

Director Kip Williams
Set Designer David Fleischer
Costume Designer RenĂ©e Mulder
Lighting Designer Damien Cooper
Composer & Sound Designer Max Lyandvert
Valerie Bader, James Bell, Justine Clarke, Yure Covich, Jay Laga'aia, Jacqueline McKenzie, Hamish Michael, Julia Ohannessian, Chris Ryan, Helen Thomson, Contessa Treffone, Toby Truslove
Photo Michele Aboud

"It is great to see this neglected classic, scintillating with ideas, brought to such vivid life." The Australian

"Vivid, funny and veined with sadness... it resonates strongly with our times." 4 star review, Sydney Morning Herald

"Filled with ideas about life, art, science, society and love, the play feels as relevant as ever in this engrossing and very moving production." Daily Telegraph

"Williams has brought the text to life in a stylish and completely unobtrusive way."  4 star review, Daily Review

"A masterfully directed production, true to 1905 Russia and yet heartfelt and bursting with political life." Stage Whispers

503 Service Unavailable

No server is available to handle this request.

Buy tickets for {% week.daySelectedInfo.formattedDate %}

{% formatPerformanceDateTime(performance.dateTime) %}
{% 'Add to my cart' %}
  • Tickets available
  • Multiple performance times
  • Limited availability
  • Allocation exhausted