Winner of one 2012 Helpmann Award
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play (Robyn Nevin)

After a sell-out season at home at Belvoir, this production toured to Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Wollongong in 2012.

After 17 years as Artistic Director here at Belvoir, Neil Armfield directs the play about how, after 17 years, all good things must come to an end.

Every summer, Barney and Roo have come back from the Queensland canefields to the Carlton house they share with Nancy and Olive for their annual season of leisure. This year though, Nancy’s gone and got married, and Pearl’s taking her place …

 Summer of the Seventeenth Doll is one of the pillars of our national theatre. With its premiere in 1955 Australian playwriting came of age. But The Doll is also about regeneration: about sloughing off the shell of habit and delusion and finding life anew.

Three Australian greats – Neil, The Doll and the Victa mower – were all born in ’55. Here we bring (at least) two of them together for the first time!

Cast (touring)

Blazey Best
James Hoare
Steve Le Marquand

Travis McMahon
Robyn Nevin

TJ Power
Helen Thomson
Alison Whyte
Eloise Winestock


By Ray Lawler
Director Neil Armfield
Set Designer Ralph Myers
Costume Designer Dale Ferguson
Lighting Designer Damien Cooper
Composer Alan John
Sound Designer Paul Charlier
Assistant Director Susanna Dowling

Image Gallery (2011 Belvoir season)

Production Photos by Heidrun Lohr

Rehearsal Photos by Heidrun Lohr


This nuanced and beautifully acted production sweeps that aside and within minutes its audience forgets any notions of The Doll as a document of its time or comment on national identity.

Jason Blake | The Sydney Morning Herald

It packs a powerful punch and Lawler’s words have a lot of swing left in them.

The Age

Rarely (in the sense of practically never) does one witness such sublime synergy between play and production… I suggest you embark on this unforgettable journey. I implore you. I insist.

Lloyd Bradford Syke | Curtain Call

It’s an unforgettable experience, but a humbling one; a stark reminder of the heavy hand of time plodding us steadily forward.

Chris Hook | The Daily Telegraph

Some of the performances of the year are being acted out on the Belvoir stage at the moment and it’s a beautiful thing to behold.

Veronica Hannon | SX