The Torrents

In this delightful newsroom comedy set in the 1890s, award-winning comedian and actor Celia Pacquola will put the spotlight back on a rarely seen Aussie classic.

Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

The Play

★★★★ "Hugely enjoyable" The Guardian
★★★★ "Hysterically funny... a fun night out" Limelight Magazine



By Oriel Gray
Directed by Clare Watson


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 1hr 40mins (no interval). Subject to change. More info
Content warning None at this time. Subject to change. More info




Mon – Thu performances
Adult $99
Seniors cardholder $91
Concession $80
Under 30 $73


Fri & Sat performances $104


Preview performances $73


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





Previews 18 - 19 Jul 2019
Season 22 Jul - 24 Aug 2019


Performance start times
Preview performances 8pm
In-season evening performances Mon & Tue 6.30pm; Wed – Sat 8pm
Matinee performances Wed 1pm; Sat 2pm
Schools Days performances 11.30am


Approx. duration 1hr 40mins (no interval). Subject to change. More info




Mon – Thu performances
Adult $99
Seniors cardholder $91
Concession $80
Under 30 $73


Fri & Sat performances $104


Preview performances $73


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


Authorised ticket sellers
The only authorised ticket sellers for this event are Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney Opera House. Only tickets purchased by authorised agencies should be considered valid and reliable. More info


General terms and conditions for tickets and attendance at Sydney Opera House events
For further information on general terms and detail on resale restrictions please visit the Sydney Opera House website.


Concession, seniors and under 30 tickets
Suitable and valid identification must be provided for collection of tickets and at the venue, such as your concession or proof of age card. Alternatively, you may email a copy of your identification to [email protected]. Please quote your booking reference number.


Access requirements
For specific access requirements, please call Box Office on (02) 9250 1777 to book your seats.




Wed 31 Jul 11.30am


Our Education program




Clare Watson



Renee MULDER_105x115

Renée Mulder




Lucy Birkinshaw

Lighting Designer


Joe-Lui-2017 - 105x115

Joe Paradise Lui

Composer and Sound Designer



Virginia Gay




Emily McLean

Assistant Director





Emily Rose Brennan




Luke Carroll

Kingsley Myers



Tony Cogin

Rufus Torrent



Gareth Davies

Ben Torrent



Rob Johnson




Geoff Kelso




Sam Longley

Jock McDonald


Celia Pacquola 105x115

Celia Pacquola

J.G Milford (Jenny)



Steve Rodgers

John Manson



Production photos Philip Gostelow
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.



We offer a range of free and ticketed events designed to give you further insight into our plays. Find out more about our Insight Events.  


Pre-season Briefing
Mon 15 Jul 6.45pm
Richard Wherrett Studio
FREE, but bookings are essential as capacity is limited.
Book tickets


Night with the Actors
Mon 29 Jul post-show
Mon 12 Aug post-show

★★★★ “This production of The Torrents gives us back a play we should never have lost in the first place, nudging it to its rightful place alongside Summer of the Seventeenth Doll as a triumph of Australian theatre from our formative years.” The Guardian ★★★★ "Hysterically funny... a fun night out" Limelight Magazine "Thoroughly entertaining... sharp, witty dialogue" The Australian “A solid, immaculately performed and very funny presentation of a forgotten classic by an important female Australian playwright” The Conversation “Celia Pacquola is a firecracker of Australian entertainment… packed with laughs and heart” Theatre Travels PRAISE FOR ORIEL GRAY'S THE TORRENTS “Witty, makes its points with a light touch, and is a vehicle for progressive political views. It carries messages about women, the environment, the media” The Conversation “Gray was a ‘playwright of ideas’, her work tapping into social and political issues such as the environment, assimilation and bush life.” The Age "The Torrents has a place in a certain genus of Australian comedy. It harks back to Louis Esson’s The Time is Not Yet Ripe and forward to Joanna Murray-Smith’s Female of the Species. Its stylistic approach can be seen in TV comedies like Utopia and Upper Middle Bogan.” The Conversation  

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