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Savages: A play reading


The winner of the drama category in this year’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards was Savages, a searing examination of masculinity under duress by Patricia Cornelius. In their review of last year’s theatre run, the Australian said, ‘Savages isn’t just a remarkable piece of writing, it’s a powerful piece of theatre at every level.’

The story explores the fates of four Australian men on board a cruise ship in 2002, and how one drunken night ended in the death of a woman who ran afoul of their descent into savagery. Those who missed this electric, award-winning play now have a second chance to experience its brilliance. The four original cast members – Mark Tregonning, James O’Connell, Lyall Brooks and Luke Elliot – reunite with writer Patricia Cornelius and director Susie Dee in this unique performance read-through.

In a further coup, audience members will have the opportunity to discuss the play with Patricia, in a Q&A session moderated by the Wheeler Centre’s head of programming and chair of Theatre Network Victoria, Simon Abrahams.

Men Overboard

What does it mean to be a man – or a boy – in the 21st century? How far have we come in shedding the macho expectations of the past … and to what extent do we still perform our gender roles on a daily basis? Do we still believe that boys are made of slugs and snails and puppy dogs’ tails, or that real men don’t eat quiche? This insightful series explores masculinity through talk, performance and across the generations.


Simon Abrahams

Simon Abrahams is a strategic arts and cultural leader, dynamic programmer and experienced producer whose work has been recognised nationally and internationally. He is Chair of Theatre Network Victoria, and a freelance arts consultant and performer. Previously, Simon served as the Wheeler Centre’... Read more

Patricia Cornelius

‘You pay a price to be able to talk about your own country in the works in a really truthful and brutal way. A lot of people don’t want to hear that.’ Patricia Cornelius is a playwright of rare courage and power. As a founding member of Melbourne Workers Theatre, Patricia Cornelius has spent ... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.