Queensland Theatre is starting off the year with a bang. Artistic Director Lee Lewis and acclaimed playwright David Williamson (Don’s Party, Emerald City, Rupert) reunite to deliver a laugh-out-loud train-smash drama in Family Values.

Retired judge Roger, played by Peter Kowitz (The Floating World, Death of a Salesman) and his wife Sue, played by Andrea Moor (Let the Sunshine, Switzerland) gather their family for his birthday celebration and want nothing more than a pleasant evening with loved ones. But when their three grown children show up with unexpected guests and emotional baggage in tow, the night becomes anything but peaceful. “This is a play that brings people who would otherwise avoid each other together, purely because they’re related. What ensues is dramatic, but also funny – without that the situation would be unbearable,” Williamson said.

Family Values is a clear vision of Williamson’s radical hope for a better and more inclusive future, but heavy subjects are handled in good humour to ensure we achieve what we always set out to do – leave huge smiles on our audience’s faces,” Lee Lewis said. David Williamson and Lee Lewis have collaborated professionally many times over the past decade. Their most recent partnership in March 2020, with a run of Family Values at Canberra Playhouse, days before the unfolding pandemic heralded nationwide restrictions. Williamson and Lewis come together once more to bring the play to life in Brisbane.

The views presented by Williamson in Family Values are pertinent, urging the audience to choose social compassion over flawed systems inflicting unnecessary trauma and dividing the country. “Family Values sits on the fault lines of where Australia is today, based on real events which I’ve attempted to depict truthfully. But alongside this it simply depicts a family falling apart at the seams and coming together when it matters,” said Williamson.

Following successful runs in Sydney and Canberra, Lewis and Williamson’s latest rendition of this critically acclaimed play will run from January 28 until February 18.

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