Tough, funny theatre with an urgency to its purpose and no comfortable answers
The Guardian

The long-awaited follow-up to one of Australian theatre’s most acclaimed collaborations asks a bold question: does Australia share a dream and do we really sing with one voice? 

Twenty-one years ago four playwrights and a composer came together to create Who’s Afraid of the Working Class?, a series of powerful interwoven vignettes that captured the zeitgeist of Melbourne and Australia in the 1990s. Now the same team reunite to take the pulse of our nation today, with director Susie Dee and an extraordinary ensemble of performers. 

What emerges is a funny and ferocious portrait of a country unable to reconcile its past, uncertain of its future and political vision. The colliding voices that make up this anthem might not always be in harmony, but they cannot be silenced. 

Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? was an ode to tiny struggles writ large; Anthem turns up the volume on the everyday injustices we choose not to hear.

a dynamic, beautifully orchestrated and powerfully moving ensemble piece that makes you wonder what on earth we are and what we’ve come to as a nation.

The Saturday Paper


Andrew Bovell
Patricia Cornelius
Melissa Reeves
Christos Tsiolkas

Composer, Music Director and Sound Designer
Irine Vela

Susie Dee

Aboriginal Cultural Dramaturg
Bryan Andy

Assistant Director
Sapidah Kian

Marg Horwell

Lighting Designer
Paul Jackson

Movement Consultant
Natalie Cursio

Production Manager
Tony Harding

Stage Manager
Meg Deyell

Assistant Stage Manager
Cassandra Fumi

Sound Engineer
Jim Atkins

Maude Davey
Reef Ireland
Ruci Kaisila
Thuso Lekwape
Amanda Ma
Maria Mercedes
Tony Nikolakopoulos
Eryn Jean Norvill
Sahil Saluja
Osamah Sami
Eva Seymour
Carly Sheppard
Jenny M. Thomas
Dan Witton 

Produced by Performing Lines in association with Arts Centre Melbourne.

Producer, Performing Lines
Annette Vieusseux

Presented by Sydney Festival & Perth Festival. Initiated by Arts Centre Melbourne.

Information for Presenters

This production is available for presentation from 2020 and beyond.

Samantha Butterworth Senior Producer
Marion Potts Executive Producer

Presentation History

Melbourne International Arts Festival, Arts Centre Melbourne
Melbourne, VIC
View full Presentation History

Full Presentation History for Anthem

Melbourne International Arts Festival, Arts Centre Melbourne
Melbourne, VIC
Sydney Festival, Roslyn Packer Theatre
Sydney, NSW
Perth Festival, State Theare Centre of WA
Perth, WA

Project Partners & Acknowledgements

Anthem was initiated by Arts Centre Melbourne and has been produced by Performing Lines in association with Arts Centre Melbourne. Script commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne. Anthem is presented by Melbourne International Arts Festival and Arts Centre Melbourne.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., commissioned by Melbourne International Arts Festival, Arts Centre Melbourne, Sydney Festival and Perth Festival. 

In everything we do, we acknowledge that we live on Aboriginal land and constantly learn from the wisdom of First Peoples.

Where we are and the history that precedes us informs how we work and how we move forward.