Meet Augusta Macquarie: Her Excellency, patron of the arts, formidable matriarch, environmental vandal.


Inside her triple-glazed compound, Augusta shields herself from the catastrophic elements, bathing in the classics and campaigning for the reinstatement of global reliance on fossil fuels. Outside, the world lurches from one environmental cataclysm to the next. Meanwhile, her sister, Olympia, thinks the best way to save endangered species is to eat them. Their niece, Basra, is intent on making a difference – but how? Can you save the world one blog at a time?

Stephen Carleton’s The Turquoise Elephant won the 2015 Griffin Award. A shockingly black, black, black political farce, it’s the sort of play that pushes itself into a season – it’s urgent, contemporary and perilously close to being real. From opera on Sydney Harbour to the tiny jewel of the Stables stage, there is nothing director Gale Edwards cannot do. She brings her magic and wry insight to the world premiere of this very funny, clever and wicked new work.

Want to go deeper?
Download the online program

Cast & Creatives

Director Gale Edwards
Set Designer Brian Thomson
Costume Designer Emma Vine
Lighting & AV Designer
 Verity Hampson
Associate Lighting Designer Daniel Barber
Sound Designer Jeremy Silver
Stage Manager Karina McKenzie
With Catherine Davies, Maggie Dence, Julian Garner, Belinda Giblin, Olivia Rose

Video Content
Xanon Murphy
Performer iOTA

Performance Times

Season 24 October – 26 November 2016


Cast Interview, The Turquoise Elephant


“If you want to laugh your way into a downward existential spiral about the way humanity has screwed the world, then The Turquoise Elephant is the play for you.”  Bec Caton, Aussie Theatre

“A darkly comic piece of absurdist mastery…This a play that should be seen, heard, and confronted by as many people as possible.” Glenn Saunders, Performing Arts Hub

“Seductively funny and satisfyingly silly…The show is a visual banquet.” Diana Simmonds, Stage Noise

“Vivid performances – with Giblin impressing most as the demented Olympia – do much to make The Turquoise Elephant feel less like an agit-prop exercise and more like a modern day Moliere.” Jason Blake, The Sydney Morning Herald

“Maggie Dence as Augusta and Belinda Giblin as Olympia are superb creations, commanding in their characterisation, hilarious in their hideousness.” Richard Cotter, Australian Stage

Blog Posts

In Conversation: Stephen Carleton


What led you to write The Turquoise Elephant?The play was a fairly immediate response to the sense of exasperation I’ve been feeling about our economic and political classes’ ridiculous denialism about climate change.  It’s all a bit desperate, really, and...

Read More +
Supported By

The Turquoise Elephant was developed with the support of Playwriting Australia and the University of Sydney’s Department of Performance Studies.

Sponsors & Partners