Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA

The Cherry Orchard

Adapted by Adriane Daff and Katherine Tonkin After Anton Chekhov

The Cherry Orchard Sat 20 Feb - Sat 20 Mar Sunset Heritage Precinct Sat 20 Feb - Sat 20 Mar Sunset Heritage Precinct $39 - $139
Event Info Buy Tickets
Sat 20 Feb - Sat 20 Mar at Sunset Heritage Precinct, from $39 - $139

The Cherry Orchard gets an Aussie makeover and Chekhov’s last great masterpiece has never felt more relevant – or more fun.

мой друг, Moy drug, It’s a family emergency. Rani’s losing the plot. Literally. The Balmoral apartment’s been sold and the St Kilda fling has fallen through. Anya’s finally managed to drag her mum across the Nullarbor back to Manjimup. Now it’s BBQs and costume parties, champagne and music. But with debts mounting it’s becoming a total clusterf@%k of a situation, pardon the French, and the estate’s going to have to be auctioned.

Not a single slice of salami has been spared in Adriane Daff and Katherine Tonkin’s wildly Australiana take on this Russian classic comedy of inevitable catastrophe. Directed by Clare Watson this immersive theatrical experience takes place in the beautiful Sunset Heritage Precinct, where you move from the grand hall to the gumtrees and onto a party in the courtyard, equipped with its very own vodka bar. This premium cheese platter of self-absorbed characters will have you at once wishing for the glorious blooming days of the eighties and shrinking at the familiarity of it all.

Clare Watson
Adriane Daff
Katherine Tonkin
Associate Director
Ian Michael
Set & Costume Designer
Zoë Atkinson
Lighting Designer
Lucy Birkinshaw
Composer/Sound Designer
Clint Bracknell
George Shevtsov, Bridie McKim, Emily Rose Brennan, Grace Chow, Sam Longley, Brendan Hanson, Michelle Fornasier, Humphrey Bower, Hayley McElhinney, Mark Nannup, Kieran Clancy-Lowe, Ben Mortley



Clare Watson – Director
Clare commenced in the role of Artistic Director of Black Swan State Theatre Company in October 2016. For the company, she has directed Let The Right One In, The Events, You Know We Belong Together (two seasons), Xenides, Our Town and The Torrents. Previously, Clare was Artistic Director at St Martins collaborating with children and teenagers. Her recent work includes I saw the second one hit (Malthouse Theatre) and Fitter. Faster. Better. (Dance Massive, Junction Arts Festival, Malthouse Theatre). She directed the critically acclaimed What Rhymes with Cars and Girls for Melbourne Theatre Company in 2015, which received four Helpmann nominations including Best Director. In 2014 Clare was Female Director-in-Residence at Malthouse Theatre and she is an MTC Women Directors Program alumna. Her stage credits also include I Heart John McEnroe (Uninvited Guests/Theatre Works – winner Green Room Award for Best Ensemble, and five nominations including Best Director); The Man with the September Face by Kylie Trounson (Full Tilt/Arts Centre); Smashed by Lally Katz (Stables); and Hotel (Melbourne Fringe Festival – winner Best Director). Clare is a graduate of Directing at the Victorian College of the Arts. In 2016, her mainstage work has also included Lungs by Duncan MacMillan at Melbourne Theatre Company and The Events by David Greig for Malthouse and Belvoir, Sydney Festival and Adelaide Festival. Clare is a trained teacher and worked in high schools in Victoria for 15 years and was also Education Manager at Malthouse Theatre.

Zoë Atkinson – Set & Costume Designer
Zoë is a Perth based designer who has worked across many art forms in Australia and internationally for over twenty-five years. Some of her most recent local work includes Cloudstreet (Black Swan Theatre/Malthouse), Hecate (Yirra Yaakin), Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak (Perth Festival 2019/2017) for which she was also Artistic Associate; HOME (PIAF 2016) and The Museum of Water (PIAF 2017/18). Her most recent interstate work includes The Importance of Being Earnest (Ridiculusmus/Malthouse/Barbican London), The Life of Galileo (Belvoir) and The Black Rider (Victorian Opera/Malthouse). Zoë’s long history of working with Black Swan entails the design of many past shows including Xenides, Signs of Life, Jandamarra, The Carnivores, Uncle Vanya, Copenhagen, The Unexpected Man, Away and Plainsong.

Zoë studied Scenography at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts under the late Professors Petr Matasek and Joseph Svoboda, and has been the recipient of many awards including a Helpmann for her costume design on The Odyssey (Malthouse/Black Swan). Zoë is driven by visual ways to tell stories, sense of place, and a deep love of the South West of Western Australia. She is the mother of two young boys.

Lucy Birkinshaw – Lighting Designer
Lucy Birkinshaw is an accomplished lighting designer and artist. Lucy’s lighting practice encompasses theatre, opera, music theatre, concert lighting, dance, film and television. She trained formally in both the fine arts and lighting for performance.

Lucy has designed lighting for companies such as Black Swan State Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Perth Theatre Company, Malthouse, Griffin Theatre, Barking Gecko, The Aphids, Melbourne Opera, Lyric Opera Melbourne, WAYTCO, Performing Lines, My Darling Patricia, OpticNerve, Side Pony Productions, Hayloft Project, Magnormos, Red Ryder, Perth International Arts Festival, Opera in the Park, Australian Opera Studio and many others.

She enjoys collaborating with a diverse range of directors, choreographers and composers. Lucy’s distinctive approach to depth, contrast and beauty within her designs make her an identifiable theatre artist.

Humphrey Bower – Performer
Humphrey Bower is an actor, director and writer based in Perth who has worked in theatre and performance with companies and artists across Australia for over 30 years.

He was a founding member of Melbourne collective Whistling in the Theatre in the 1980s and Perth independent company Last Seen Imagining from 2001 to 2007 and was Artistic Director of Night Train Productions from 2007 to 2015.

Recent performance credits include The Apparatus (The Blue Room, 2019); Sunset (Maxine Doyle, STRUT/Perth Festival, 2019), Hiro (Sam Chester, Blue Room, 2018) and Coma Land (Will O’Mahony, Black Swan, Studio Underground, 2017).


Grace Chow – Performer
Grace Chow is an emerging Asian-Australian theatremaker, playwright and actor who trained in the Bachelor of Performing Arts at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (2020). Her work primarily takes place on Whadjuk Noongar Boodja. Grace has worked with various Australian theatre companies such as the Black Swan State Theatre Company, WA Youth Theatre Company (WAYTCo), Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP), Barking Gecko Theatre, Squid Vicious, PROPAGATION NATION and Public Service Announcement. Her recent performance and performance-making highlights include WAYTCo’s multi-national-award-winning hit REST (2019, Dramaturg/Writer), Dance Myself to Death at the National Studio Residency (2019, Writer) and her solo show Noodle Shop on the Corner of Fifth Street (2020, Performer/Maker) at The Blue Room Theatre. In 2020 Grace was a part of the Performing Lines WA Culturally Diverse Artist Residency, and continues to carry a passion for inclusivity, accessibility and diversity in the Australian performing arts ecology. 

Adriane Daff – Writer 
Adriane Daff is an actor, writer and theatremaker. She is one of the founding artists of The Last Great Hunt and an artistic associate of Side Pony Productions. Adriane has studied in Perth (WAAPA BA in Theatre Arts), New York City (Ward Meisner Studio), Paris (Ecole Philippe Gaulier) and Sydney (Kim Farrant).

On the stage some of her credits include; A Perfect Specimen, Blithe Spirit, Flood (winner of the PAWA Best New Script), The Importance of Being Earnest, Arcadia, The Visit (2005 Equity Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress), Great White (2013 Blue Room Awards Best Ensemble Performance Judges Award and the Members Choice award), Scarecrow (2006 Blue Room Theatre Judge’s Choice Award).

As co-creator and actor he credits include LÉ NØR, THE IRRESISTIBLE, The Confidence Man, ALL THAT GLITTERS, ELEPHENTS (2014 PAWA Best New Script), FALLING THROUGH CLOUDS and The Pride (2010 Blue Room Theatre Judges Choice Award and Member’s Award, 2012 ArtsHub Youth Arts award).

Adriane has been nominated twice for Best Actress for a West Australian Screen Award and has appeared on screen in Can’t Win, Do Try (nominated for Best Actress in a feature film at the Madrid International Film Festival), Other Life, Outline (Romanian Short Stop International Film Festival Best Actress award), DAFUQ?, Three Summers and ASHBECLEE.

Brendan Hanson – Performer
Brendan is a creative nomad. He is an actor, singer, dancer, director, writer and lecturer. As a performer Brendan’s recent credits include, Assassins, I Am My Own Wife, Clinton, Next to Normal, Midsummer (a play with songs) and Arcadia, all for Black Swan State Theatre Company. The Telephone for Lost and Found Opera, Into the Shimmer Heat for Nova Ensemble. For Brainbox productions he performed in Lebensraum, The Last Five Years and Grande Revue. He performed in Les Miserables for Cameron Mackintosh, Grease for Gordon Frost and Singin’ in the Rain for David Atkins Enterprises. Brendan has acted in As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night in Shakespeare in the park for deckchair theatre. He is the brains, breath and body behind the cabaret enigma Petit Mort and has appeared regularly on the Perth cabaret scene and played Ringmaster for La Soirée. He has sung for WA Opera in Tosca, The Tales of Hoffmann, The Magic Flute, Orpheus in the Underworld and Carmen.

He has directed opera, musicals, cabaret and plays and is a lecturer in performance skills in the classical voice department at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts. His directorial credits include Actéon for Lost and Found Opera, The 50th Anniversary Opera in the Park for WA Opera and the company’s ongoing schools opera programmes. For WAAPA he has directed, Cabaret Carnivale, Opera! The Opera, Angelique, Acis and Galatea, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?, Dido and Aeneas and La Serva e l’Ussero.

He was a finalist in Channel Ten’s I Will Survive, and played Hudson Fysch in Air Australia for the ABC. Brendan was awarded the PAWA award for his portrayal of Kenneth Starr in Clinton, and the Best Actor award for Lebensraum by the Equity Guild. He is a WAAPA graduate and a proud member of MEAA since 1990.

Sam Longley – Performer
Sam Longley has been working as an actor, comedian, writer and director since the late nineties. Some of his highlights include 10 years performing Shakespeare In The Park, Hoods for Barking Gecko Theatre, The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer US/Japan/ Turkey/ Canada/ Rio tours, Horse Head national tour, The Torrents and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA, Stones for Barking Gecko Theatre, Not Like Beckett for Deck Chair Theatre, Bindjareb Pinjarra Australian tour and Tony Galati: The Musical at this year’s Fringe Festival. Sam has performed in the feature films Jasper Jones, Three Summers, H is For Happiness and Where The Wild Things Are. Sam has written plays, hosted TV shows and is the creator of the improv comedy show The Big Hoo-Haa, that is now in its seventeenth year.

Bridie McKim – Performer
Bridie graduated from NIDA by stepping into a lead role, Sabine, on the ABC TV drama The Heights. Bridie has since completed a second season of series.

Bridie’s other screen credits include the comedy web series All We Have Is Now, Laura Nagy & Daniel Monks’ short film Bodies, and the multi-award winning short film Gimpsey, directed by Sofya Gollan, for which Bridie won the Award of Merit for a Lead Actress in the Best Shorts Competition as well as a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the Madrid International Film Festival. This year Bridie starred in Fat Salmon Production's short film, Cinderella, for which she won Best Australian Actor at the Focus On Ability Short Film Festival.

Bridie’s theatre credits include role of the School Girl in Downstairs Belvoir’s production of Tuesday, as well as This Hollow Crown, Face it, Not Our Story and Saison de L’amour all for the Queensland Theatre Youth Ensemble. And due to the pandemic delaying its stage production Bridie is instead now participating in an online workshop of The Cherry Orchard in the role of Anya, for the Black Swan Theatre Company of Western Australia.

Bridie will next be seen in the STAN Original TV series Bump, opposite Claudia Karvan.

Mark Nannup ­ – Performer
Mark Nannup is a Yamatji Noongar man from Port Hedland and Meekatharra in Western Australia. He is next to be heard voicing the Inspector in Fist of Fury Noongar Daa directed by Kylie Bracknell and produced by Perth Festival, a dubbing of the kung fu film Fist Of Fury into Noongar language.

Mark was recently seen in the roles of Malcom and Mischief Maker in the Perth Festival 2020 production of Hecate directed by Kylie Bracknell, a Noongar language adaptation from Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company of Macbeth that subverts Shakespeare’s play by setting the drama on boodjar. Mark completed the Victorian College of the Arts acting short course in 2016, where he played ‘Thisbe’ in A Misdummer Night’s Dream, and a year later was accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) graduating in 2019. Throughout his three years at VCA he has played Monster in F***Ing A, Montano in Ortello, Mike in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge and Securitate in Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest. He has stared in a number of short films and documentaries. Mark also works a casual narrator for SBS. 

Katherine Tonkin – Co-Writer

Katherine has worked with a number of Australia’s leading mainstage and independent theatre companies, as well as playing to festivals both nationally and overseas. Her theatre credits include: Xenides – which she also co-devised (Black Swan State Theatre Co); Cosi (Melbourne Theatre Company/Sydney Theatre Company); Abigail’s Party, Three Little Words, The Cherry Orchard, Apocalypse Bear Trilogy, Cloud Nine, and Explorations: A Streetcar Named Desire (Melbourne Theatre Company); You and Me and the Space Between (Malthouse Theatre/MIAF/Terrapin Puppet Theatre); The Histrionic and Baal (Sydney Theatre Company/Malthouse Theatre); The Wild Duck (Belvoir/PIAF), Elektra Orestes (Belvoir); Conversation Piece (Lucy Guerin Inc/Belvoir); Tame, OT: Chronicles of the Old Testament (Malthouse Theatre); The Eisteddfod (Stuck Pigs Squealing/Malthouse Theatre/Brisbane Powerhouse/Downstairs Belvoir); Gilgamesh (Uncle Semolina & Friends/MIAF/Sydney Opera House/Barbican/Festival of Australian Theatre in China); Smashed (Griffin Independent); I Heart John McEnroe (Uninvited Guests/Theatreworks); Duets for Lovers and Dreamers (Insite Arts/45downstairs) and 3XSisters (Hayloft Project).

Screen credits include Preacher, My First Summer, Wentworth, The BBQ, Macbeth, Nowhere Boys, The Future is Expensive, Winners and Losers, City Homicide, Neighbours, Blue Heelers, Snake Tales and Kick. Katherine is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and proud member of Actors’ Equity.

Black Swan State Theatre Company
Our heritage - Black Swan began 30 years ago in Perth, Western Australia in 1991 with the work of founding Artistic Director Andrew Ross AM. The company was characterised by and celebrated for its original theatrical works, Western Australian stories, site-specific and promenade productions presented outside the theatre, Perth Festival presentations that toured extensively, and cross-cultural collaborations that uplifted and celebrated Aboriginal artists.

Our achievements - Since 1991, Black Swan has presented more than 190 theatre productions, 50 national tours and collaborations, 40 world premieres, 5 international tours and collaborations, and has travelled the length and breadth of Western Australia.

Our future - Black Swan will re-establish its strong connection to the company’s heritage and our distinctively Western Australian voice. Our artistic vision and program will embrace our diverse and unique community, particularly celebrating the vitality and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Time & Location

Sat 20 Feb - Sat 20 Mar

Tue – Sun 6pm

Sunset Heritage Precinct


2hrs 30mins including interval

    • Adult: $139
    • Concession: $119
    • Friend: $116
    • Student: $39
  • Auslan interpreted performance Tue 9 Mar 6pm

Contains coarse language and cigarette smoking.


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Post Show Q&A

Stick around after the show for a Q&A on Tue 9 Mar.



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