Clarice has recently buried her husband, and the one thing she wants to do in her widowhood is visit Egypt. Her daughter is appalled and her son-in-law is scathing, but as the violence in the Middle East escalates, Clarice might just find what she wants most of all amongst the ruins of ancient Egypt.

Written in the heat of the latest Israel-Lebanon conflict, The Gates of Egypt is Stephen Sewell’s impassioned examination of peace and vengeance. Part satire, part elegy, it cuts between suburban Australia and the muezzin calls of the Middle East. While Clarice travels back to the cradle of history, at home her children struggle with their own ability to love and forgive.

The Gates of Egypt is a determined search for a way out of the mire of attack and counter-attack. Kate Gaul returned to Belvoir to direct the great Lynette Curran in this provocative and hopeful new play which slips love into the complex equation of global fear and offers the proposition that peace begins at home.


Lynette Curran
Michael Denkha
Russell Kiefel
Jacqueline Linke
Anna Lise Phillips
Damian Rice
Indyana Schneider
Hazem Shammas
Shakira Wilson


By Stephen Sewell
Director Kate Gaul
Set Designer Brian Thompson
Costume Designer Jennifer Irwin
Lighting Designer Verity Hampson
Composer Daryl Wallis
Sound Designer Jeremy Silver
Dialect Coach Carmen Lysiak
Fight Director Olivia Stambouliah
Choreographer Raymond Mather
Production Manager Liam Fraser


Sewell’s work is intoxicating, then in its backlash of violence in the second act hits the audience for six.

Aussie Theatre

Exquisite use of language and provocative use of the theatrical form has resulted in a challenging, profound and wonderful play.

Sydney Stage