Daniel wakes up. Something is missing. The phone is not working, and the kids’ toys are not in their usual spot under the television. In fact, his wife and children seem to have disappeared.

Old Man is Matt Whittet’s extraordinary play about fathers and sons, love and loss, kindness and Newtown. It is a beautiful and shockingly simple tale in two parts, which asks if it is possible to wake up one day and make good-enough better.

Anthea Williams is an exciting young director who has been forging a career at the Bush Theatre in London.

You might know Matt’s touch of theatre magic from his performance as nine-year-old Thomas in The Book of Everything. Well, he writes just as wonderfully. His play Silver won the 2010 Parsons Award. He has a mad talent for being totally honest in the most unexpected ways, and it is on full display in this gentle, discomforting play about adults growing up.


Alison Bell
Madeleine Benson
Peter Carroll
Leon Ford
Gillian Jones
Mitzi Ruhlmann
Tom Usher
Zac Ynfante


Writer Matthew Whittet
Director Anthea Williams
Set & Costume Designer Mel Page
Lighting Designer Hartley T A Kemp
Composer & Sound Designer Stefan Gregory
Assistant Director Nescha Jelk
Stage Manager Drew Cipollone



She has picked an excellent cast, led by Ford and Alison Bell, who hits Sam’s emotional marks with unerring accuracy

Jason Blake | The Sydney Morning Herald

Directed well by Anthea Williams, with as fine a cast as we’ve seen in the intimate space of Belvoir Downstairs, the production creeps up on you.

John McCallum | The Australian

Leon Ford is well cast as the boy/man struggling with the complex demands of fatherhood, especially since he lacks a template to follow (his own father walked out when he was three). Alison Bell is equally strong and sympathetic as his wife but Peter Carroll’s depth-charge of a performance as the titular character takes this into another realm entirely.

Vicky Roach | The Daily Telegraph