“What other city in the world could offer a view like this?"



Welcome to the glittering jewel of that other Oz. Fading screenwriter Colin is not long in Sydney before he’s seduced by its obsession with success. Teaming up with well-connected hack writer Mike, Colin finds himself in a tug of war between artistic ambition and big bucks. Fame and fortune – not to mention Mike’s criminally hot girlfriend – are up for grabs.

Part love letter, part hate mail to the harbour city, Emerald City is one of the best works by Australian theatre’s most beloved craftsman and commentator, David Williamson. Three decades after it was written, it still captures the ballsy spirit of the ’80s and retains its skewering sharpness – a panoramic view of the city that’s always prized beauty over brains.

In 2014, Griffin gives Emerald City the shameless revival it’s been crying out for. Lee Lewis dusts off her shoulder pads to direct.

Cast & Crew

Director Lee Lewis
Designer Ken Done
Costume Designer and Associate Set Designer Sophie Fletcher
Lighting Designer Luiz Pampolha
Composer: Kelly Ryall

With Lucy Bell, Mitchell Butel, Jennifer Hagan, Kelly Paterniti, Ben Winspear and Gareth Yuen

Times & Tickets


 Single Ticket Prices
  Adult   $49
  Concession, Senior, Preview, Groups 8+   $38
  Under 30   $32

Transaction fees of $2.50 for online bookings and $4 for phone bookings apply

Phone bookings 02 9361 3817
Online bookings 

Previews  18, 20, 21 October
Season 24 October – 6 December

Subscriber Q&A after the performance on 4 November

Monday – Friday 7pm
Saturday 2pm and 7pm

Approx 2hrs 20mins including interval

SBW Stables Theatre
10 Nimrod Street
Kings Cross NSW 2011

Press & Reviews

Emerald City sparkles like Sydney Harbour on a sunny day.” ★★★★ TimeOut Sydney

“Mitchell Butel is a gift to the role of Colin..” ★★★★ TimeOut Sydney

“In the hands of Lewis and this fine cast it is all still…. very funny.” The Australian

“This play was first produced in 1987, with John Bell, Ruth Cracknell, Robyn Nevin and Max Cullen in the principal roles — a glittering cast doing a play about glittering but comically flawed people. Lewis’s cast is just as good, a quarter of a century later.” The Australian

“Lewis’s direction is clear and fast-paced …In commissioning as set designer that other quintessential recorder of Sydney, artist Ken Done, Lee Lewis had a moment of inspiration that translates into a striking and workable design.” Stagenoise

“It’s Williamson at his sharpest and it’s often deftly funny….his observations on Australia’s cultural cringe and the tensions our artists face ring true.” Daily Review, Crikey

“Mitchell Butel brings a fine comedic sensibility to Colin, bringing out frustration after frustration and driving the entire production’s energy and pace.” Daily Review, Crikey

“Lee Lewis has directed an excellent, perfectly-cast production” Daily Review, Crikey

“Lucy Bell is quite wonderful as Kate — angry, tortured, treacherous, loving.” Stage Whispers

“…..Mike McCord, a sleazy stubbly shyster, played to obnoxious perfection by Ben Winspear..” Sydney Arts Guide 

“Kelly Paterniti is a delight….Gareth Yuen is impeccable as sleek merchant banker Malcolm. ” Sydney Arts Guide 

“Jennifer Hagan is deliciously dry as Elaine” Sydney Morning Herald  

“[Ben] Winspear does a sterling job as the gruff, fast-talking Mike” Sunday Telegraph

“Despite the new millennium, Williamson’s skewering of Sydneysiders continues to ring true.” Concrete Playground

“All four principal actors deliver outstanding performances, especially Winspear, who is just so, so sleazy and exploitive, yet disarmingly naive, as Mike McCord.”  Ozbabyboomers.com.au

Internationally renowned artistKen Done talks about his brilliant career and designing for David Williamson’s Emerald City in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Here’s how some critics have summarised Williamson’s contribution to Australian playwriting:

“Australia’s most enduringly popular social comedy writer…keenly observant and satirical.” Sydney Morning Herald

“Williamson always keeps us engaged…his words weave a spellbinding course…testament to the power of Williamson’s language.” Daily Telegraph

“Our greatest dramatic entertainer.” Chris Boyd, Financial Review

“His genius has been to define for us, in advance of our own recognition, the qualities which make up the Australian character.” Katharine Brisbane, The Australian

“Audiences love him, partly because he comes at elitist worlds with a sharp eye and a bias toward the everyman.” Fiona McFarlane