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

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!


Steve Le Marquand
Robyn Nevin
Susie Porter
TJ Power
Yael Stone
Helen Thomson
Dan Wyllie


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
Stage Manager Luke McGettigan
Assistant Stage Manager Suzanne Large


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

Susie Porter is wonderfully tender and tough in the role, a great Olive for our time.

John McCallum | The Australian

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