The Dismissal

29 Oct — 18 Dec 2021

Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House


Book by Blake Erickson & Jay James-Moody
Music & Lyrics by Laura Murphy
Conceived and Directed by Jay James-Moody

World Premiere

It’s time!

Canberra, 11 November 1975. As Gough Whitlam delivers his iconic speech decrying his dismissal as Prime Minister, a mighty crowd of reporters throngs the steps of Parliament House. Chief amongst them, one of the 1970’s most iconic larrikins: Norman Gunston.

Fast forward to Sydney, 2021. The Gold Logie winner and Wollongong’s favourite son returns, played by the hilarious Matthew Whittet, to narrate a rollicking, razor-sharp musical account of Australia’s great constitutional crisis. Fans of political satire will revel in this all singing, all dancing, all mud-slinging retelling of Canberra’s most controversial moment.

A co-production with independent music theatre powerhouse Squabbalogic, The Dismissal revives the full rogues gallery of 70s Australian politics: ambitious Whitlam, seductive Malcolm Fraser, duplicitous silver-fox Sir John Kerr, and even Her Majesty QEII as you’ve never seen her.

The Dismissal is equal parts toe-tapping time travel and a nuanced commentary on Australia’s place in the world today. With unimpeachable wit and a cracking original score, this world-premiere reckoning for the nation’s soul is set to be a sensational night out.

Approx. duration 2hrs 30mins (including interval). Subject to change. More info.
Content Adult themes, coarse language, theatrical haze and strobe lighting. Subject to change. More info.

The Dismissal was commissioned and developed by Squabbalogic with the support of the Russell Mills Foundation, Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation and Create NSW.


100% audience capacity: NSW Health has granted Sydney Opera House an exemption to the current Public Health Order, allowing us to increase audience capacity to 100%. We encourage you to consider your comfort levels in a busy theatre setting before attending.

Face masks are strongly recommended: NSW Health strongly recommends that all audience members over 12 wear a mask in our foyers and theatres, including during the performance. Please bring a face mask with you

The situation is constantly evolving and safety measures may change before your performance. Please check the most up-to-date Visitor Safety Measures prior to your visit.


Act 2 Season Tickets
This play is currently only available as part of an Act 2 Season Ticket (a pack of 4 or more plays). Save on tickets, get first access to best available seats, pay no transaction fees, and enjoy exclusive benefits all year round.

Season Ticket prices
Saturday evening A Reserve $89
Adult A Reserve $86
Seniors cardholder $81
Pensioner/Student $67
Under 30 $44
Preview $44

Single tickets
Single tickets for this show go on sale on 28 May. Sign up to our enews for early access to tickets. 

Transaction fees may apply
Act 2 Season Ticket bookings: no fees
Single ticket bookings: $8 online; $8 telephone; $0 Box Office counter