“ It happens all the time. It’s people. It’s what we’re like.”


Alex Holmes is ready for adulthood, ready to lose his virginity and ready to leave his home town. But history isn’t on his side. Alex’s parents Peter and Alice are careening towards infidelity after the impact of a recent tragedy, and his grandparents’ relationship continues to splinter. The sting of regret is turning out to be a Holmes family keepsake.

On the Shore of the Wide World is that rare beast in the theatre: an elegant, sprawling family saga that feels utterly contemporary. A parable about what we inherit and what we leave behind, it spans nine months, three generations and a life’s worth of missed opportunities.

Playwright Simon Stephens won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play with On the Shore of the Wide World in 2006. The play couldn’t have found a mightier match than director Anthony Skuse and the dynamic actors’ collective pantsguys, creators of the award-winning production Punk Rock (Sydney Theatre Awards Best Independent Production, 2012).

Warning: this production contains frequent smoking on stage.

pantsguys and Griffin Independent present this Australian premiere.

Cast & Creatives

Director Anthony Skuse
Designer Gez Xavier Mansfield
Lighting Designer Sara Swersky
Composer / Sound Designer Marty Jamieson
Assistant Director Suzanne Pereira
Assistant Designer Miriam Baxter
Voice / Accent Coach Linda Nicholls-Gidley
Stage Manager Ruth Horsfall
Production Managers Owen Little, Rebecca Martin, Alistair Wallace
With Alex Beauman, Paul Bertram, Kate Fitzpatrick, Huw Higginson, Graeme McRae, Lily Newbury-Freeman, Emma Palmer, Amanda Stephens-Lee, Alistair Wallace, Jacob Warner.

Performance Times

Previews 8 and 9 January
Season 11 January – 1 February

Monday – Saturday 7pm
Saturday 1 February 2pm and 7pm

Approximately 2 hours and 55 minutes including interval.



Trailer, On the Shore of the Wide World


A “moving, excellent and enthralling production – give yourself a treat, go on. Don’t find yourself saying “If only…” and “I nearly did…”” Diana Simmonds, Stage Noise

“The pitch-perfect Higginson…excels as the blokishly withdrawn and later shattered Peter. It is a performance of great accuracy and tact from the British actor who made his name on the long-running TV series The Bill.” Jason Blake, The Sydney Morning Herald

“Go see this show and let it break over you like a wave. You will not be disappointed.” Jodi McAlister, Australian Stage

“Not only meets pantsguys mission statement of bridging the gap between emerging artists and theatre professionals, but raises the bar for all theatre productions in the forthcoming year.” Sydney Arts Guide

“With everything that’s happening in Sydney at the moment it would be easy to miss it, but you’ll truly be missing out if you do.” ★★★★★ (5/5 stars) TimeOut Sydney

“Director Anthony Skuse has pulled-off a no-punches-pulled what must surely amount to a definitive take on Stephens’ play. It’s got to be one of the best titles for a play ever and this is one book you can judge, accordingly, by its cover.” ★★★★ ½ (4.5/5 stars) Lloyd Bradford Syke, Daily Review

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