New Theatre: 542 King St. Newtown, NSW


-three plays running two weeks each-

Following the success of 6x6 (2000) and 3x2 (2001) New Theatre is proud to once again present this annual showcase season featuring new works and emerging directors.


The multi-award winning Gabriel is a dark, gripping yet ultimately hopeful play set around a largely forgotten moment in British history the German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II.poster for gabriel

With German officers seizing her ancestral home, Jeanne Becquet has spent the last week relegated to a Guernsey farmhouse with what little remains of her family: Estelle, her precocious and imaginative fourteen year old daughter; Lily, her unloved Jewish daughter-in-law who has secretly avoided deportation to the mainland; and Mrs Lake, their long-suffering housekeeper. Jeanne maintains a delicate relationship with the Germans, running a contraband business from her kitchen and "entertaining" German officers in exchange for a measure of security.

This collaborative balance is threatened when a handsome young man is found naked and unconscious on the beach. At great risk, Lily and Estelle insist on bringing him home. Estelle names him "Gabriel", believing he is an avenging angel conjured at her command. When Gabriel wakes after three days with no recollection of his identity or his past except "falling through darkness" the women fill this vacuum with their imaginings. Lily sees him as a lost British airman, and potential friend. Mrs Lake maintains he is a seriously ill local man who attempted suicide. But Jeanne’s nightmares suggest Gabriel is something darker: a suspicion apparently confirmed when they discover he speaks German just as fluently as English, and when the grotesque and manipulative local Nazi commander, Major Von Pfunz, reports that "one of Hitler’s brightest angels" is missing a promising young SS Officer who was lost off the Guernsey coast three nights earlier. Withholding information about him would be a Very Serious Crime, punishable by death. But the stakes are raised when Gabriel secretly translates a book of Von Pfunz’s poetry. In it, the Major seems to be celebrating some unknown and unspeakable evil occurring in the labour camps of Europe, and on the nearby island of Alderney...

Gabriel is interesting not only because it deals with a rarely explored moment in British history, but because it shows characters confronting the first horrific glimpses of what only later became known as the Holocaust. It is difficult for us to imagine a time when reports of Nazi genocide would be met with incredulity. Gabriel takes us into that moment of annunciation when the history of the world and our understanding of the depravity into which civilised humans could sink were changed forever. It is also a play which takes us into the heart of memory, identity and imagination. Who is Gabriel, really? A local or a foreigner? Patriot or Nazi? Angel or demon? Or does it depend entirely on your point of view? As William Blake reminds us: "Everything possible to be believed is an image of the truth." The varying beliefs of the characters show us the transformative power of the imagination, and how we use it to cope with the insufferable. Gabriel is about the lies we tell ourselves and each other to make the darkness light.

Moira Buffini’s play was commissioned by the Soho Theatre in 1995 and won the LWT Plays on Stage and Meyer-Whitworth Awards.

4-14 September 2002.
8pm Wed-Sat, 5.30pm Sun.
All Tixs $15.00 (no credit card payment)
Bookings: Telephone: 9519-3403, Email: or at the door.

World Premiere of


Written by Margaret Davis
"Never marry a Mowbray. They're all mad. Mad before midday." This is the story of three sisters growing up on their own in a world without men. Set in Sydney and Hobart between 1914 and 1933, the fantasies of their childhoods are shattered by the realities of their adult relationships.

Directed by Sharna Galvin and featureing Eileen Camilleri, Elizabeth McDonald and Joanne Trentini. This play received assistance from Playworks, the Women Performance Writers' Network.

18-28 September 2002.
8pm Wed-Sat, 5.30pm Sun.
All Tixs $15.00 (no credit card payment)
Bookings : Telephone: 9519-3403, Email: or at the door.

The Castle

Playwright Howard Barker's story is set against a backdrop of medieval Britain at the time of the Crusades, but the isseus are vigorously modern: scientific mayhem, the redemptive power of sexual love, the alienation of the spirit of enquiry from the needs of the community, and the exploration of the point at which protection and oppression pass into one another

Directed by Rochelle Whyte, associate director: Jill Brown.
2-12 October 2002.
8pm Wed-Sat, 5.30pm Sun.
All Tixs $15.00 (no credit card payment)
Bookings: Telephone: 9519-3403, Email: or at the door.

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Last updated 13 May 2005