The Chapel



25 APRIL – 27 MAY 2017

“We can go wrong in our minds, but what our blood feels and believes and says is always true.”

This iconic masterpiece of Australian theatre charts the painful, crazy, hilarious life of defiant young poet and sexual rebel Sally Banner, as she searches for artistic and personal freedom.

Set against a background of Australia’s changing social landscape, we follow Sally’s coming-of-age as a communist, feminist, bohemian, lover, wife, mother, and writer.

At the heart of the play is the conflict between Sally’s journey through adolescence to womanhood and self-discovery, and the constricting attitudes of a conservative society.

Hewett’s semi-autobiographical play is a heady cocktail of drama, comedy, vaudeville, musical theatre and panoramic social realism: ground-breaking, daring, confronting and hugely entertaining.

A great play of life, love and longing” Australian Stage Online

Creative team

Director Carissa Licciardello
Production Designer Kyle Jonsson
Lighting Designer Martin Kinnane
Costume Designer Mathilda Robba
Sound Designer Clemence Williams
Musical Director Alexander Lee-Rekers
Stage Manager Shushannah Anderson


Courtney Bell,Alison Chambers

Julia Christensen,Meg Clarke

Jasper Garner-Gore,Brett Heath

Madeleine Osborne,Tom Matthews

James Wright

dates & times

Previews Tue 25 & Wed 26 Apr, 7:30pm
Thu – Sat 7:30pm, Sun 5pm
Final performance: Sat 27 May 2pm

TICKET prices

Full $35 * Concessions, Groups (6+) $30 * Members $22 *Previews, Student Rush, Thrifty Thursdays $20

School groups: $22 per student, accompanying teachers free. Call Alice Livingstone 02 9519 3403


“This is a must-see for women of all ages – and real men too. A huge treat. Recommended”  Diana Simmonds, Stage Noise

“I just loved everything about The Chapel Perilous. One of my favourite productions this year. Not to be missed”  Sydney Arts Guide

“This ambitious production of a notoriously difficult to stage play, which combines drama, comedy, vaudeville, musical performance and social critique, is as daring, confronting and entertaining now as when it was first written”  ciao magazine

“This revival of Hewett’s key work, lovingly directed by Carissa Licciardello and played on a solid chapel setting designed by Kyle Jonsson, is in the right theatre. New Theatre in Newtown’s main, grubby, narrow street is a home of the Left and, from the early 30’s, a communist one at that. Hewett’s 1971 masterwork does not seem out of place”  Stage Whispers

“Presented with raw heart and honesty … An intriguing and entertaining work … Well worth seeing”  Broadway World

“In its 85th anniversary year, New Theatre’s production of Dorothy Hewett’s semi-autobiographical early seventies play about an upstart wild child must surely be one of its best-ever, even given its veteran status in Sydney theatre … Full marks to all involved in bringing the whole to truly, deeply memorable fruition. This is one for the history books. it strikes a blow for freedom, feminism and absolute fabulousness” Syke On Stage

“It is a real testament to Dorothy Hewett’s 1972 play – with its sexually-liberal female protagonist – that it does not feel aged at all, remaining heartedly relevant in New Theatre’s polished production”

★★★★ The Buzz From Sydney

“A terrific moving revival. I knew Dorothy Hewett, she would have loved it and Julia Christensen’s great Sally Banner” John McCallum, The Australian (via Twitter)

“A dynamic production … adventurous and vivid” Suzy Goes See

“Director Carissa Licciardello’s imagining of the work really does breathe brilliant life into the play. The themes and constricting forces underlined by Hewett remain hugely pertinent today” Upstaged Reviews

“A riveting, volatile production of a modern Australian classic … strong, vibrant performances from a magnificent cast … glorious, inspiring” Arts Hub

“Fast-paced production brings this anarchic piece to vivid life” Jason Blake, SMH


Photos © Bob Seary

Main image © Photographerlondon/Dreamstime