“Of course you don’t want to be a communist. No-one in their right mind wants to be a communist.”

It’s 1965, and things are a bit slow in the South Bendigo branch of the Communist Party of Australia.

Sales of The Tribune have slumped, no one’s very interested in the resident Maoist’s slide nights about life in China, and lighting a revolutionary fire in the belly of rural Victoria isn’t progressing too well.

Enter Martin, a young and eager recruit, whose zeal is welcomed by the group, including Greek couple George and Eli Tassakis, even as his mum despairs of his long hair and his rejection of church and army reserve.

But Martin has a secret: he’s been recruited by ASIO to spy on the comrades, and he’s about to get his new friends into serious trouble.

Inspired by a true story, Melissa Reeves creates a whimsical study of small-town Australia, Cold War fear-mongering, friendship and betrayal, laced with dry humour and keenly observed relationships.

Reeves is an unashamedly left-wing writer, with a bent for political theatre which includes a stint at the Melbourne Workers Theatre where she co-authored Who’s Afraid of the Working Class, produced at New Theatre in 2001. Her idols include Bertolt Brecht, Franca Rame and Dario Fo, and she believes left-wing theatre makes the best theatre!

In light of New Theatre’s own fraught history with ASIO’s ‘spooks’, it’s rather fitting that this marvellous contemporary Australian political satire is being given its Sydney revival on our stage.

Winner: 2005 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award – the Louis Esson Prize for Drama
Winner: 2005 AWGIE Award for Best New Play 

“Reveals as much about modern politics as it does about our past” The Age

Creative team

Director Rosane McNamara
Set Designer Tom Bannerman
Lighting Designer Michael Schell
Costume Designer Aibhlinn Stokes
Sound Designer/Assistant Director Glenn Braithwaite
Production Manager Louise Fischer
Stage Manager Harriet Cadell
ASM Yanna Kokinakos
Lighting & Sound Operator Ricci Costa



Tristan Black, Lib Campbell
Zoe Crawford, Jack Elliot Mitchell
Henry Gair, Laura Munro
Jodine Muir, Emmanuel Nicolaou
Mark Norton, Nicole Michel Toum



dates & times

Preview: Tue 12 October 7:30pm
Press Night/Opening Night: Wed 13 October 7:30pm
Thursday – Saturday 7:30pm

Sunday 5pm
Final performance: Saturday 6 November 2pm

Running time: to be advised


Full $35
Concessions, Groups (6+) $30
New Theatre Members $22
Thrifty Thursdays $22
Preview $20

Please note: New Theatre is a general admission theatre and seat selection is done on a first-come-first-serve basis. Venue opens 30 minutes before the advertised starting time of a performance. 

Main image: © rangizzz/Shutterstock/Christina Hatzis