& Sons

By Tommy Murphy
Director Eamon Flack

Tommy Murphy and Belvoir gratefully acknowledge that aspects of this play are inspired by Paul Barry’s books, The Rise & Rise of Kerry Packer, Rich Kids, and Who Wants to be a Billionaire.’


  • Venue Upstairs Theatre
  • Dates 16 November 2019 – 5 January 2020
  • Duration 2 hours 30 minutes (including interval)

    New shows added for Packer & Sons until 5 January 2020!

    Tommy writes real life like no one else – robust and brilliant, complex dramatic portraits, a pitch-perfect sense of the public interest in the private life. In other words, no one is better suited to write about the Packer line. This is about power in Sydney, and fathers and sons across generations, and the childhood traumas that drive us forward.

    From humble beginnings, the myth of the Packer dynasty grows in step with their increasing influence, as each son feels the weight of time, of power. Newspapers, magazines, broadcast TV – what are they? How does each generation keep the empire one step ahead of the technological race, declare himself free of the shadow of his father and build a lasting legacy.

    A deeply researched, muscular work, Packer & Sons puts on stage the men who have loomed large over Sydney for nearly a century, following the transitions of power from father to son over three generations.

    Supported by Australian Writers’ Guild’s David Williamson Prize, The Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, and the Walking Up the Hill Foundation.


    Set and Costume Designer Romanie Harper
    Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper
    Composer Alan John
    Sound Designer David Bergman & Steve Francis
    Movement and Fight Director Nigel Poulton
    Assistant Director Hannah Goodwin
    Stage Manager Luke McGettigan
    Assistant Stage Manager Jen Parsonage


    Nick Bartlett
    John Gaden
    Anthony Harkin
    John Howard
    Brandon McClelland
    Josh McConville
    Nate Sammut
    Byron Wolffe


    Rehearsal images by Brett Boardman
    Production images by Brett Boardman


    • Running Time and Content Warnings

      Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes (including interval).

      Content warnings: Strong language, haze, herbal cigarettes, strobe lighting, occasional nudity.

      Should you wish to speak to speak to a member of staff regarding running times, content warnings or any other show related queries, our box office can be contacted on 02 9699 3444.

      If Packer & Sons 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.

    • Podcasts

      Playwright Tommy Murphy, director Eamon Flack, set and costume designer Romanie Harper, and Belvoir’s Head of New Work, Louise Gough discuss the cyclical patriarchal brutality of Packer & Sons; a play which charts the transitions of power in one of Australia’s most powerful families over three generations. Podcast produced for Belvoir by Zoe Ferguson.

      Stages with Peter Eyers

      Tommy, the writer of PACKER & SONS recently sat down with podcast recorder Peter Eyers for STAGES, a podcast devoted to the theatre industry and all the different roles and disciplines within it. In this episode Tommy speaks about the process of collaboration through which a play comes to life on stage; as well as the destructive alpha-masculinity that forms the basis of PACKER & SONS.

      Read to Filth

      Tommy Murphy, the proudly queer playwright behind PACKER & SONS has appeared on Read to Filth, a podcast dedicated to dissecting queer issues. In this episode Tommy discusses with hosts Rob and Thinesh the destructive sort of masculinity that underpins PACKER & SONS.

      The Betoota Advocate

      Playwright Tommy Murphy has appeared on the podcast of Australia’s most beloved* and longest running media empire** the Betoota Advocate to discuss all things Packer, including some of the questions the play doesn’t answer.


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