A Cheery Soul

5 Nov — 15 Dec 2018

Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

Sydney Theatre Company presents
By Patrick White

When do-gooders go bad

Patrick White, the only Australian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, is a towering figure in our culture. Of his plays, A Cheery Soul was White’s own favourite. It’s a fascinating work, mixing a satirical view of Australian society with an expressionistic form, poetic language and characters that are as hilarious and grotesque as they are uncannily familiar.

Returning to his imagined every-suburb of Sarsaparilla, White introduces us to one of his most memorable characters, Miss Docker, who embodies what the writer termed “the destructive power of good.” The prototypical Aussie busy-body, Miss Docker’s story leads her in a series of increasingly surreal acts from the home of the Custances to the local nursing home, the church, and finally to the isolated grounds of the crematorium. White’s acidic insights into the nation’s soul are as funny and telling now as they were upon the play’s debut in 1963.

A Cheery Soul has a storied past at STC, with acclaimed productions in 1979 (directed by Jim Sharman) and 2001 (directed by Neil Armfield), both starring Robyn Nevin in a role she made famous. In 2018, our Artistic Director Kip Williams takes the helm, placing the magnificent Sarah Peirse (Switzerland) into Miss Docker’s fiercely sensible shoes in a bold new production for the 21st century.

“[A Cheery Soul] changed what was imaginatively possible in our theatre, and provided playwrights with a new axis of creative exploration.”
The Conversation

Duration 3hrs (including interval)

Ticket information

Single ticket prices
Saturday evening $108
Adult $103
Concession $82
Seniors cardholder $93
Preview $81
Under 30 $81

Prices correct at the time of publication and subject to change without notice. Exact prices will be displayed with seat selection.

Transaction fees may apply
​$7.50 online; $8 telephone; $0 Box Office counter