The time is 1971. The play is set in a Melbourne mental institution. There is a backdrop of social unrest to the play. In 1971 the Vietnam War had been going for nearly ten years (since 1962) and Australians had had enough of it all. Another important element to the historical background to the play is that people’s attitudes towards the mentally ill in the 1960s and 1970s were predominantly negative.

The physical setting of the play is “A burnt out theatre” with “a bit of a hole” in the roof and some problems with the wiring. The physical dereliction of the theatre represents, on one level, the attitudes people have towards the mentally ill – neglectful – and where the mentally ill find themselves in society – on the edge, ignored.

Cosi is named after the opera Cosi Fan Tutte which Lewis helps the members of the mental institution put on. The narrative structure of the play parallels the structure of the opera. A similar storyline unfolds in Cosi.

Saturday May 14th until Saturday 21st May. 


Ian Mallyon - pushy, bombastic Roy

Daryl Hunt - Justin the social worker

Illona Cleeland - Julie, the down-to-earth drug addict

Peter Wright - Henry, a stuttering post-traumatic

Tristan Stevenson - Doug, a pyromaniac with a twisted mind

Shayne Byrne - Cherry, a schizophrenic addicted to food and sex

Jane Herbert - OCD and trying to keep it real

Zayne Breadmore - Lewis, just out of uni working with the patients in the institution

Earl Gooding - Nick, the ‘friend’ who steals the girlfriend

Rochelle Cruickshank - the girlfriend

Carl Agius - Zac, a frustrated musician who loves Wagner


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