PREVIEW: SUNSET STRIP - Testing Sisterly Bonds

An emotional theatrical journey exploring the depths of family love and resilience. 

New Theatre presents the Sydney premiere of Sunset Strip, the latest work from acclaimed Australian playwright Suzie Miller (Prima Facie, RBG: Of Many, One).

In this heartwarming yet unflinching drama, sisters Caroline and Phoebe find their bond tested as they confront a series of life's hardest blows. While one sibling escaped their struggling hometown for a high-flying legal career, the other stayed behind - caring for their aging father trapped in dementia's grip while battling her own personal demons.

When Caroline returns home recovering from cancer treatment, she's met with the ever-optimistic Phoebe's determination to "make life fabulous" against all odds. As the sisters' clashing realities collide, Sunset Strip examines just how far someone will go for family with "tenderly gripping and frequently funny" insights, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Look, I'm a messed up, but maybe there's some beauty in just surviving," explains one of Miller's characters. It's this nuanced perspective on life's struggles that has made the Olivier Award-winning playwright one of Australia's most celebrated storytellers.

For director Annette van Roden, helming her New Theatre debut, Sunset Strip resonates as a delicate, humane and often hilarious exploration of life's universal challenges.

"I love the way all of the characters show strength through vulnerability," she told That Show Blog. "While the themes canvassed may seem 'heavy' - addiction, cancer, dementia, grief - the way they are handled is delicate and humane and often very funny."

Indeed, for a play tackling such weighty subject matter, Miller's deft hand ensures a balanced tonal journey enriched by hearty laughs and poignant pathos. Brought to life by a talented quartet of actors making their New Theatre debuts: Shane Davidson, Molly Haddon, Vincent Melton and Erica Nelson.

As the director explains, "These are issues that will have touched most people's lives but we often find hard to talk about. This play creates a touchstone to start thinking about having the difficult conversations."

With its big-hearted blend of humour and candor, Sunset Strip is an authentic, cathartic theatrical experience about braving life's tempests through the most sacred of bonds - family.

Cast: Shane Davidson, Molly Haddon

Vincent Melton, Erica Nelson

Director & Set Designer: Annette van Roden

Lighting Designer: Casey Moon-Watton

Sound Designer: Jay Murrin

Assistant Director: Martin Kelly

Stage Manager: Radhika Lal


9 July - 3 August 2024


Preview: Tue 9 July 7:30pm

Opening Night: Wed 10 July 7:30pm

Thu - Sat 7:30pm, Sun 2pm

Sat 3 August 2pm only


Full: $37

Concessions, Groups: (6+) $32

Thrifty Thursdays: $25

Preview: $20

(booking and transaction fees apply)



Top image: © Seleznov Oleksandr/Shutterstock