Brilliant Thing

By Duncan Macmillan
with Jonny Donahoe
Director Kate Champion
Co-Director Steve Rodgers

  • Venue Upstairs Theatre
  • Dates 8 – 31 March 2019
  • Duration Approx. 1 hour and 15 mins, no interval

    Due to a sudden but quite brilliant twist of fate (we can’t tell you what just yet) Kate Mulvany will have to finish up in Every Brilliant Thing a week earlier than scheduled. Fortunately this play has its own very special way of responding to the unexpected, and we’re pleased to announce that the wonderful, tender Stevie Rodgers will be stepping into the role from March 26.

    *     *     *

    Let’s start way back when. Mum’s depressed – she’s in a place so dark it’s confronting for a child, so her son starts compiling a list of every brilliant thing in life – a child’s reasons to help mum keep going. Now it’s 20 years later and the child’s grown up. But he’s still compiling his list. What started as a naïve way of getting through the day has become a profound truth – that the sublime can be found in the everyday.

    Every Brilliant Thing is a unique and beautiful play for a solo actor, who tells his story with the help of people in the audience. We’re rebuilding the Upstairs Theatre to bring the audience into a circle around the stage; at the centre, scintillating actor and veteran of the Belvoir stage – Steve Rodgers.

    This gem of a show was designed to be uplifting, and it does it brilliantly. It is a pure celebration of life, played out in a simple, utterly surprising way.

    Heart-wrenching, playful, it’s perfect for Belvoir.

    “One of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression – and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop.” – THE GUARDIAN

    Supported by the Nelson Meers Foundation

    Every Brilliant Thing was first produced by Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre, on 28 June 2013 at Ludlow Fringe Festival.

    Warning: This production contains references to self-harm and suicide.

    If Every Brilliant Thing has raised any concerns for you following the performance, Lifeline offers a 24 hour counselling service and can be reached at 13 11 14. Additional information can be found on their website, Other services which may be of assistance include mental health advocacy organisation, Beyond Blue (, 1300 224 636), and youth mental health foundation, Headspace ( You may also consider speaking to a trusted source or engaging your local GP.


    Set & Costume Designer Isabel Hudson
    Lighting Designer Amelia Lever-Davidson
    Sound Designer Steve Francis
    Stage Manager Bella Kerdijk


    8 – 24 MAR – Kate Mulvany

    26 – 31 MAR – Steve Rodgers


    Production Photos images by Brett Boardman
    • Riverside Theatre Parramatta

      Following its run at Belvoir we will be touring Every Brilliant Thing to Riverside Theatre in Parramatta.

      The performances will run from 3 – 6 April and will be performed by Co-Director and veteran Belvoir actor Steve Rodgers.

      Tickets available here.

    • Podcast

      Director Kate Champion and Co-Director Steve Rodgers discuss with set designer Isabel Hudson and solo performer Kate Mulvany, the enduring and quietly powerful nature of Every Brilliant Thing and it’s exploration of mental illness. Podcast produced by Zoe Ferguson.

      You can also listen to our official podcast and other audio content produced by Belvoir on:

      Make sure you follow us to get all the updates on our productions.

    • Reviews

      Sydney Morning Herald
      ★ 1/2 – “This is a piece that demands we pay attention. To ourselves, the person in the next seat, across the aisle and beyond, and to the small things that bring joy. Brilliant.”

      The Australian
      “The transformation of the space by set designer Isabel Hudson and the lighting design by Amelia Lever-Davidson make this already friendly theatre a very happy, communal place to be in, for such a dark subject.”

      ★ 1/2 – “Ultimately this is a raw but heartfelt, life-affirming play, and one you won’t soon forget.”

      Time Out
       – “To direct a new audience in their performances every single night [is] an impressive feat, only surpassed by the play’s ability to take a difficult subject, expose it to the open air, and still create an affirming and brightly funny piece of theatre.”

      ★★ – “This is a must-see show; one that will probably be talked about for years . . . and likely a theatrical experience you will never forget.”

      Stage Whispers
      “The play is brilliantly conceived and very-well written – its genius is in finding such an enthralling way to deal with the most serious of issues. Every Brilliant Thingtells us that we all deal with happiness, sadness and even more difficult things. It never dismisses any way of coping – or struggling – with what’s thrown at us.”

    Keep up to date with the latest news at Belvoir