Skip to content


9 March - 30 September 2020
Download iCal

A season of stories from home, in 2020 QUT Gardens Theatre proudly presents the best professional touring productions from around Australia, including the 65th anniversary production of a much-loved Aussie classic, a tv comedy brought to life on stage, an historical docu-drama, a music theatre work, a play with ballroom dancing, bookended by two contemporary dramas: all this from outstanding Australian writers.

The 2020 season opens with the latest play from acclaimed Australian playwright Joanna Murray Smith. American Song (20 & 21 March) tackles the confronting issues of gun violence in a moving one-man play, reaching beyond national or cultural borders in an intimate exploration of love, forgiveness and parental responsibility, and asks, “If only you could find the moment that started everything.”

On the 65th anniversary of this steadfast Australian classic, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (9 & 10 June) sees larrikin cane cutters Barney and Roo letting off steam on the off-season with their part-time girls, barmaids Nancy and Olive. From the canfields to the city, Ray Lawler’s iconic story of passion, bittersweet romance and the yearning for lost youth spawned a new era in Australian writing, one which endures today.

A harrowing tale of hardship and heroism, survival and love, Hell Ship (15 & 16 June) is an historical maritime drama written by and starring Australia’s comedy king, Michael Veitch. In 1852 the emigrant clipper Ticonderoga limped into Port Melbourne after a nightmare 3-month voyage from England. By the time she reached Australian shores, she was a floating catastrophe with nearly 200 of her passengers dead after a typhus outbreak. This is a story very personal to Veitch, whose great-great grandfather was the ship’s young surgeon who found himself in the heart of hell.

Vague but vicious and more arsenic than old lace, Maggie would have her middle-aged son Arthur tied to her apron strings for life – if she could only remember where she put that apron! From the creator of the original hit TV series comes Mother and Son (7 & 9 July), a delightful stage comedy revisiting the characters made famous by Ruth Cracknell and Gary McDonald almost 35 years ago. Mother and Son stars Julie McGregor and Christopher Truswell, who spent many years working alongside each other on the other hit sitcom, Hey Dad as Betty and Nudge.

As Australia’s first culinary queen, Margaret Fulton long reigned supreme in the country’s kitchens as she taught our growing nation how to cook. From quiches and scones to nasi goreng and crème brulee, her recipes revolutionised Australia’s palate from plain old ‘meat and three veg’ to the flavours of the world. Margaret Fulton – The Musical (8 & 9 September) from Doug Macleod charts Fulton’s rise from home cook to household name in the swinging 60s in a playful musical celebrating Australia’s coming-of-age through the lens of this trailblazing woman.

Once prize-winning ballroom dancers, it’s been a lifetime since Peg and Cliff Small tripped the light fantastic. Now, Cliff is quietly content and dreams of becoming a writer, while Peg is anxious to take the lead and guide them towards their next great adventure. Once perfectly in sync, their marriage begins to falter as they fall out of step with each other. Peta Murray’s Wallflowering (15 & 16 September) features world-class ballroom dancers on stage alongside actors in a play about the nature of marriage, the pursuit of happiness, and the perfect foxtrot.

A play about family, the land, and being the one who stays, Jane Bodie’s Lamb (29 & 30 September) rounds out the 2020 season. Told with subtlety, humour and an original soundtrack of Mark Seymour’s exquisite songs, Lamb follows two generations of an Australian farming family, spanning 40 years of lies and secrets kept, loves lost, and opportunities missed.

Tickets & Booking
Choose from four or more shows in QUT Gardens Theatre’s 2020 season to become a Premium subscriber. In addition to the best touring productions from around Australia, you'll get exclusive extras available only to Premium subscribers, like:

  • Save up to 25% on single ticket prices
  • Bonus tickets to QUT showcase acting & dance shows
  • Cheap inner-city parking right next door
  • Avoid transaction or booking fees
  • Choose the best seats in the house
  • Flexibility to swap session dates if something comes up
  • Mates rates for your family and friends
  • Enjoy 2 – 4 – 1 drinks at our Foyer bar

If you don’t want to commit to a whole season, take advantage of the new 3-Play Essentials ticket package, which features three themed options allowing you to lock-in your 2020 theatre dates with three quality shows you're sure to love while saving you 10% on single ticket prices:

  • Drama-rama (American Song, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Hell Ship)
  • Aussie Icons (Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Mother and Son, Margaret Fulton – The Musical)
  • Music Lovers (Margaret Fulton – The Musical, Wallflowering, Lamb)

Buy securely online via or phone Box Office (07) 3138 4455.

About QUT Gardens Theatre
Located on George Street at the university’s city campus, QUT Gardens Theatre was named for its proximity to and views of the City Botanic Gardens, and forms part of the university’s unique cultural precinct, which also includes Old Government House, the William Robinson Gallery, QUT Art Museum, and The Cube.

QUT Gardens Theatre
QUT Gardens Theatre
(07) 3138 4455

More @ QUT

Anne Wallace: Strange Ways

9 November 2019 - 23 February 2020

Strange ways is the first major survey exhibition of Anne Wallace, and includes works from the early 1990s through to the current day. Born and raised in Brisbane in the 1970s, her highly accomplished figurative paintings are as much about the textual as the pictorial.