Fading screenwriter Colin is not long in Sydney before he’s seduced by its obsession with success

Teaming up with well-connected hack writer Mike, Colin finds himself in a tug of war between artistic ambition and big bucks. Fame and fortune – not to mention Mike’s criminally hot girlfriend – are up for grabs.

Part love letter, part hate mail to the harbour city, Emerald City is one of the best works by Australian theatre’s most beloved craftsman and commentator, David Williamson. Three decades after it was written, it still captures the ballsy spirit of the ’80s and retains its skewering sharpness – a panoramic view of the city that’s always prized beauty over brains.

A fast-moving, wisecracking commentary on contemporary urban mores and morals, and the rivalries and passions to be encountered on the road to success. Colin, a screenwriter, and his wife Kate, a publisher, move to the ‘Emerald City’, where fame and fortune are there for the taking, but surprises are in store for them both.

Sharp-edged, satirical and accusatory, Emerald City lays into the materialism of the 1980s with a razor wit. Within four months of its premiere, five separate productions had opened around Australia.


Lucy Bell, Mitchell Butel, Jennifer Hagan, Kelly Paterniti, Ben Winspear and Gareth Yuen

Creative Team

Director Lee Lewis
Designer Ken Done
Costume Designer and Associate Set Designer Sophie Fletcher
Lighting Designer Luiz Pampolha
Composer Kelly Ryal
Photographer Brett Boardman

“…a glittering cast doing a play about glittering but comically flawed people.”


“It’s Williamson at his sharpest and it’s often deftly funny….his observations on Australia’s cultural cringe and the tensions our artists face ring true.”


“Mitchell Butel is a gift to the role of Colin…”


“In the hands of Lewis and this fine cast it is all still… very funny.”


“Emerald City sparkles like Sydney Harbour on a sunny day.”