Written in 1948, The Aunt’s Story was Patrick White’s favourite of his own novels, growing from the life of his admired godmother, Gertrude Morrice. It traces the uncompromisingly independent career of Theadora Goodman from the familiar certainties of Australian pastoral life to the whirling madhouse of Europe before the Second World War, ending in the United States, across the borders of sanity.

David Marr wrote in his biography of Patrick White, ‘the image of ‘The Aunt’ fused in White’s mind with a long-planned novel about a wandering spinster going mad in a world on the brink of violence.’ White wrote the novel during his post-war period of demobilisation in Greece and said ‘My creative self, frozen into silence by the war years, began to thaw…I can’t say it poured on to the paper after the years of drought; it was more like a foreign substance torn out by ugly handfuls.’

The Aunt’s Story was an act of love for director Adam Cook, who had been developing this adaptation for the stage for some 10 years and returned to Belvoir after his sell-out production of A View From the Bridge in 1996.


Julia Blake
Ralph Cotterill
Helen Morse


By Patrick White
Adaptor and Director Adam Cook
Designer Dale Ferguson
Lighting Designer Gavin Swift
Composer Peter Sculthorpe

Image Gallery

Production images by Heidrun Lohr