A co-production with Sisters Grimm

Melbourne theatre stars Sisters Grimm are everything nice, polite Australians fear: a pair of ‘loud, opinionated homosexualists’ (their words) who hold nothing sacred and whose moral compass is so far out it’s bang on. Declan Greene and Ash Flanders plunder the canon with one eye on mischief and the other on a necessary argument. Once the serial numbers are scratched off, their stolen goods are smelted into smart, anarchic comedies that question the world we live in.

Verdi’s famed Romantic opera La Traviata is the story of Violetta, a lovelorn courtesan who is doomed to choose either a life of disgrace with the pauper she loves, or a life of upscale servitude to a baron. This is not that opera. At least, not quite. This La Traviata is part opera, part protest, part drag show – a freewheeling satire that shadows Verdi’s plot via the sweatshops of Mumbai and the wastepaper basket of the Federal Minister for the Arts.

By staging an epic Romantic opera in the smallest theatre in Sydney, Sisters Grimm are plunging into the ever-expanding gap between wealth and poverty. Violetta sacrificed her life to uphold her beliefs. Will the heroine of this tale?


Ash Flanders
Emma Maye Gibson
Michael Lewis
Zindzi Okenyo


By Sisters Grimm (Ash Flanders & Declan Greene) with the cast
Director Declan Greene
Set & Costume Designer Marg Horwell
Lighting Designer Matthew Marshall
Composer & Sound Designer Steve Toulmin
Dramaturg Anne-Louise Sarks
Assistant Director Emma McManus
Production Manager Eliza Maunsell
Stage Manager Keiren Smith
Design Secondment Chris Brain




This production is a hilarious, scathing satire on that theme, as well as the ridiculous ways we’ve learnt to talk and think about art.

Ben Neutze | Daily Review

Hilarious, original, insightful and quite brilliant


Liam McLoughlin| Arts HUb

This production has more fun and feeling and ‘excellence’ than most nights at the theatre.



Dee Jefferson | Time Out

It turns out you can do La Traviata in a theatre as small as Belvoir Downstairs and do it justice….  [Sisters Grimm] have created a touching and memorable version of Verdi’s opera.

Deborah Jones | The Australian

This production turns Verdi’s work into something that questions what exactly we value in art, right now, and also brings colour and fun to something that has lost its appeal for younger audiences.


Hannah Story | The Music

The great pleasure of La Traviata is that it is like nothing else that has been on Sydney stages this year.

Cassie Tongue | Aussie Theatre