Michael Gow’s first full-length play in a decade is a dazzling tour-de-force of theatrical invention.

Roland Henning has writer’s block. When he tries to explain the situation to a therapist, his story begins to tumble back and forth between his childhood in The Shire and his work as a playwright. At the root of it all is that extraordinary day in primary school which shattered his boyhood and plunged him headlong into the dizzy circus of life and art.
His story is funny, fiercely eloquent and shockingly honest. Toy Symphony is a wrestle between the vicious bastardry of being an artist and the sheer exhilaration of the creative act.

Neil Armfield directed this breathtaking whirligig about the power of art and the force of the human mind. Richard Roxburgh slipped on the tights and jumped back on to the Belvoir stage after too long away.


Justine Clarke
Russell Dykstra
Guy Edmonds
Monica Maughn
Richard Roxburgh


By Michael Gow
Director Neil Armfield
Set Designer Ralph Myers
Costume Designer Tess Schofield
Lighting Designer Damien Cooper
Composer and Sound Designer Paul Charlier
Assistant Sound Designer Michael Toisuta
Assistant Director Matthew Lutton


Toy Symphony is a deeply involving and many-layered work in this great production by Neil Armfield, built around a stunning performance by Richard Roxburgh as Roland Henning.

The Australian

Richard Roxburgh turns in a blistering performance

The Daily Telegraph

Michael Gow’s new play is a set of interlocking puzzles within puzzles and is absorbing and entertaining in equal measure.

Stage Noise