Speaking in Tongues

by Andrew Bovell

2003 National Tour

February 26 – June 14, 2003 – 16 week tour to 34 venues in VIC, NSW, SA, WA
Melbourne, Traralgon, Wonthaggi, Warburton, Bayswater, Colac, Portland, Preston, Shepparton, Ballarat, Mildura, Echuca, Wagga Wagga, Orange, Bathurst, Belrose, Newcastle, Parramatta, Gosford, Wollongong, Wangaratta, Mt Gambier, Renmark, Port Pirie, Whyalla, Port Lincoln, Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Albany, Margaret River, Mandurah, Perth, Geraldton & Karratha.

A production by Christine Harris & HIT Productions

The play that inspired the award-winning film Lantana, is an intriguing, thrilling and engaging drama. Four actors portray the lives of nine different characters that grow in complexity through the course of the play. The stories are all linked by the themes of infidelity and betrayal, and the play constantly moves from present to past and back again, where the same events are viewed from the perspective of different characters. 

Pete is married to Jane and Sonja is married to Leon. Pete meets Sonja in a bar and they go to a cheap motel room. Leon meets Jane and they also go to a cheap motel room. Pete and Sonja don’t go through with it, while Leon and Jane do. What unfolds is an unusual set of circumstances that draws strangers together and yet creates yawning chasms in existing relationships and leaves lives ruined. The play is told in fragments in which we see people’s lives bleeding into one another’s, often by accident. This is a play that is not only resonant and challenging, it genuinely intrigues the audience, leaving them with unanswered questions.


Speaking in Tongues is a subtle and complex piece of theatre, but it leaves a powerful and distinct impression…it is an intriguing and compelling story.
Bill Perrett, The Sunday Age, VIC, 03/03

Bruce Myles’ direction makes this a first-class production well worth revisiting.
Helen Thomson, The Age, VIC, 03/03

(Speaking in Tongues’) exploration into the nature of trust and the fragility of relationships is fascinating and presented in a unique way.
Catherine Lambert, Sunday Herald Sun, VIC, 03/03

…this is engrossing theatre… all the while it demands total audience concentration.
Julie Moffatt, The Manly Daily, NSW, 04/03

A stunning display of talent and craftsmanship… The play was entertaining, thought provoking, revealing and well acted…
Megan Sadler, Kalgoorlie Miner, WA, 05/03

“It’s an engaging piece of theatre from a skilled writer that can stand on its own, and is well worth this revival.
Ron Banks, The West Australian, WA, 06/03


Jane and Valerie: Ullie Birve

Leon and Nick: John Diedrich

Pete, Neil and John: Travis McMahon

Sarah and Sonja: Nicki Wendt


Playwright: Andrew Bovell

Director: Bruce Myles 

Set & Costume Designer: Judith Cobb 

Lighting Designer: Rachel Burke 

Choreographer: Jo-Anne Robinson