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Belvoir St Theatre

Belvoir St Theatre

Belvoir Street Theatre had its beginnings as The Nimrod Theatre in Surry Hills, Sydney. In 1994 it was re-branded and became ‘Belvoir Street Theatre’ and now has a firm place as one of Australia’s most celebrated theatre companies. Belvoir engages Australia’s most prominent and promising playwrights, directors, actors and designers to present an annual artistic program that is razor-sharp, popular and challenging. Belvoir has been the watering hole of many of Australia’s great performing artists such as Geoffrey Rush, Cate Blanchett, Susie Porter, Richard Roxburgh, Max Cullen, Bille Brown, David Wenham, Deborah Mailman and Catherine McClements.

In 2011 The Balnaves Foundation came on board to fund Belvoir’s Indigenous theatre program. Each year The Balnaves Foundation will provide the financial underpinning for Belvoir to present a work in the ‘Belvoir St Upstairs Theatre’ that is led by an established Indigenous artist (as writer and/or director) and tells an Indigenous story. The Foundation will also provide funds for the ‘Belvoir St Downstairs Theatre’ to produce a work led by an emerging Indigenous artist (as writer and/or director) who will be mentored by a senior Company B Belvoir artist. Belvoir will offer a range of access programs in conjunction with both productions, including free performances for the unemployed and school matinees. 

The Balnaves Foundation strongly believes that theatre has the ability to connect Indigenous culture and history with current social debate in an impactful and relevant way.

In 2017, the two Indigenous works will be Which Way Home and Barbara and the Camp Dogs.

Which Way Home is written by Katie Beckett, and is directed by Rachael Maza; Barbara and the Camp Dogs e Drover’s Wife is written and performed by Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine.

The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright's Award, a $25,000 award for the creation of a new play by an Indigenous playwright. In December 2012 the inaugural award was made to Nakkiah Lui, whose play This Heaven was part of the Belvoir's 2013 season. In 2013 the winner was Jada Alberts, for her work Me and Jungali. In 2014 Leah Purcell won the award for her radical adaptation of Henry Lawson's The Drovers Wife in which she reimagined the wife as an aboriginal woman. In 2015, Katie Beckett won the award for her play about the new stolen generation. In 2016, the award was made to Ursula Yovich.

To purchase tickets, or for more information on Belvoir St Theatre please visit

Photo Gallery
Jimi Bani in Title and Deed, directed by Jada Alberts
Katie Beckett, Winner of the Balnaves Award and Hamish Balnaves
Kill The Messenger - 2015
Video and Audio Gallery

Title : Which Way Home is Katie Beckett's heartfelt tribute to a much-loved dad - SMH

Dec 18, 2016

 Playwright and actor Katie Beckett wrote her new play Which Way Home in a hurry. It felt urgent. If she didn't get a move on, there was a chance her dad, Les, whose parenting inspired Beckett to write the play, wouldn't live to see it.

Title : A Tarantino Drover's Wife as seen through indigenous eyes

Sep 21, 2016

 Growing up in southwestern Queensland, young Leah Purcell was soothed to sleep by her mother reading Henry Lawson's short story The Drover's Wife.

Title : Leah Purcell pulls no punches in her new show The Drover's Wife

Sep 12, 2016

When Leah Purcell was a kid, she loved westerns. "I grew up on them," she says. "Spaghetti westerns. The Magnificent Seven. John Wayne in Hondo. I'd always be barracking for the Indians."  Forty years later, Purcell, an award-winning actor, writer and director, is drawing on that love of American frontier drama for her very Australian new play The Drover's Wife

Title : Reimagining The Drover's Wife: Leah Purcell weaves Indigenous Australia into classic tale

Sep 12, 2016

 The Aboriginal actor and writer radically retools Henry Lawson's short story into a bush thriller with elements of her own family history.


Jun 15, 2016

 About 2½ years ago, Ursula ­Yovich travelled to Darwin for her mother’s funeral and encountered a different world. As the ­eldest child, many decisions about the funeral fell to her, even though she struggled to comprehend the indigenous traditions ­involved.

Title : The fifth annual Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright's Award is now open for entries - Media Release

Mar 1, 2016

Now in its fifth year The Balnaves Award has become one of the most prestigious playwriting awards in Australia, be it for Indigenous or non-Indigenous writers. The calibre of entries and winners has consistently proven the depth of talent in the Indigenous theatre industry.

Title : New Stolen Generation Play Wins Katie Beckett $20,000 Balnaves Award

May 27, 2015

The high rates of Indigenous children removed from their families and taken into care will be dramatised by this years winner of The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright's Award.

Title : A Scribe, Star and Interrogator - SMH

Feb 20, 2015

Playing at Belvoir, Nakkiah Lui’s second full-length play, confronts on more than one level.

Title : Political becomes personal in sharp, compelling tale of invisibility - The Australian

Feb 20, 2015

Playing at Belvoir, Nakkiah Lui requires your attention and she gets it with theatre’s most basic tools; a story.

Title : Kill the Messenger is deeply tragic and hugely personal - The Daily Telegraph

Feb 20, 2015

There’s a lot more going on with Nakkiah Lui’s Kill The Messenger than first meets the eye.

Title : Belvoir Presents Kill the Messenger - Performing Arts Hub

Feb 10, 2015

Balnaves Foundation’s Indigenous Playwright awardee Nakkiah Lui’s play, Kill the Messenger, spotlights the complex nature of racism in Australia.

Title : Sisters and Secrets - SMH

Jan 2, 2015

Radiance - the play that revolutionised indigenous theatre in Australia

Title : Keeping it real - The Guardian

Aug 21, 2014

Belvoir's ongoing commitment to Indigenous theatre has supported numerous successful and entertaining productions. 

Title : Leah Purcell - A woman on a mission - Australian Woman's Weekly

May 31, 2014

Award-winning stage and television performer Leah Purcell is turning her focus to youth suicide and the ramifications for the family left behind in her latest play, 'Brothers Wreck' at Belvoir.

Title : Leah Purcell wins 2014 Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright's Award - SMH

May 28, 2014

Actor, director and playwright Leah Purcell wins award for her proposed radical new stage adaptation of Henry Lawson's short story The Drover's Wife.

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