The Floating World

Riverside Archives

This event has occurred in the past

Griffin Theatre Company

The Floating World


Lennox Theatre


19 November - 23 November 2013

By John Romeril

From the same company who brought us the hugely successful Angela’s Kitchen comes the next ‘must see’ production, The Floating World. Not to be missed.

‘A rice diet. Plain bloody rice. They paid us five cents a day and we bought eggs with it. If it wasn’t for those eggs, only officers would have come back alive.’

Les and Irene are celebrating their wedding anniversary. Gifted with the holiday of a lifetime, they set sail on the Women’s Weekly Cherry Blossom Cruise bound for the cultural mysteries of Japan. But amongst the sun hats, theme nights and piña coladas Les, a former WWII prisoner of war, soon finds himself confronted by old diggers, enemies and tormented memories. As the cruise ship floats closer towards its destination, Les’ grip on reality floats ever further away.

An electrifying descent into one man’s wartime nightmare, The Floating World is a resonating tale of the long-lasting effects of war and the ugly world of xenophobic Australia.

Following the success of his sold-out productions of Speaking in Tongues and The Boys, Sam Strong returns to the Griffin fold to direct this neglected Australian classic, last staged at the Stables in 1975 and heralded as an ‘unruly masterpiece’.

DIRECTOR: Sam Strong
DESIGNER: Stephen Curtis
COMPOSER: Kelly Ryall
STARRING: Valerie Bader, Peter Kowitz, Tony Llewellyn-Jones, Justin Smith, Justin Stewart Cotta and Shingo Usami

Dates & Times:
7:30pm, Tuesday 19 November 2013
7:30pm, Wednesday 20 November 2013
6:30pm, Thursday 21 November 2013
7:30pm, Friday 22 Novemnber 2013
2:15pm, Saturday 23 November 2013
7:30pm, Saturday 23 November 2013

Adult $47, Conc. $42, F/T Student $30, Youth 30&U $37*
*Transaction fees apply

‘Sam Strong’s revival is riveting from its comic set up to its emotionally devastating end…Kowitz delivers one of the standout performances of the year in what is also one of the best productions overall.’ 10/10 The Sunday Herald 

‘The Floating World is one of the very best productions of the year. Don’t miss it.’ ★★★★ ½ (4.5/5 stars) Sydney Morning Herald

‘Peter Kowitz gives one of the best performances of his 40-year career as a traumatised PoW in John Romeril’s forgotten gem of a play.’ ★★★★ ½ (4.5/5 stars) The Daily Telegraph

‘The play’s the thing in this beautifully staged but viscerally disturbing revival of a forgotten classic.’ ★★★★★ (5/5 stars) TimeOut Sydney

‘As the 50s moved into the 60s, and Australia was starting to forge a new relationship with Japan…the terrible experience of men such as Romeril’s dark hero Les Harding was being pushed into the background…Romeril brought it into the light again….Sam Strong’s superb revival, with an excellent cast led by Peter Kowitz and fine design by Stephen Curtis and Verity Hampson, brings it back for new generations.’ The Australian

‘A superb production…hits you in the head, heart and guts.’ ★★★★ ½ (4.5/5 stars) The Sunday Telegraph

‘Recent history and social change have conspired to enhance and re-focus the richness of John Romeril’s wonderful play of 1974; and Sam Strong’s fine production confirms both its classic status and its relevance for new generations in 2013…It’s one of the best productions of the Sydney year.’ Stage Noise

‘This is a fascinating and sensitive production of a play which has arguably only grown in relevance. Highly recommended.’ Australian Stage

‘Sam Strong has returned to The Griffin with a revival of an Australian classic that is close to a perfect piece of theatre.’ Gay News Network

‘A towering achievement.’ John Shand



Ticket Options

Adult $47
Concession $42
F/T Student $30
Youth 30&U $37
Transaction fees apply
Phone $4.60
Web $3.60
Counter $2.60
Screen $1.65
School Bookings $3.30


2 hours 20 minutes (Including interval)

Explore more Riverside shows

Jump First, Ask Later

Featuring members of the Dauntless Movement Crew and directed by acclaimed choreographer Byron Perry, this multi award-winning show tells the stories of six young champions of Fairfield’s underground parkour and street style community.

The Prado Museum:
A Collection of Wonders

A cinematic journey through one of the world's greatest art galleries, featuring Academy Award® Winner Jeremy Irons.

In Between Two

TZU’s Joelistics and ARIA-nominated producer James Mangohig are icons of Australian hip-hop and their family histories are as complex and layered as their lyrics. Both half-Asian, their respective heritages are woven through their experiences grow...