The Flood

[View show info as PDF]

The Flood. The sheep farm is now dilapidated. The farm house, dark and squalid, still sits by the river. A tiny rundown living room is lit by broken lampshades, throwing an uncertain light onto piles and piles of magazines, a life in wreckage, a mad old lady, and her isolated hard-drinking daughter. As the sun sets, the flood waters rise. The memories are seeping through the floorboards. The screen door bangs open in the soughing wind and rain, and Catherine returns home from London. Three women are now trapped in the house – a mother and her two estranged daughters; one who takes care of her, one who has been away for twenty years.

Set against a vast dark painting of an Australian moonlit landscape – seen dimly through a veil of flywire – The Flood is an Australian Gothic, full of hidden secrets, looming unnamed threats, a heightened landscape both haunting and hostile, and the terrible undertow that the monsters are inside, not outside.

The work is realised by an extraordinary group of Australian theatre makers who have between them won over 20 theatre awards and is brought to life by 3 of Australia’s finest theatre actresses Maude DAVEY, Caroline LEE & Shirley CATTUNAR; who have won Best Actress again and again; starring in Cate Blanchett’s directorial debut at the STC (Lee), walking away with Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival (Davey), and, after 50 years in theatre, unable to keep up with the torrent of accolades (Cattunar).

The Flood will seep in and the watermarks will remain.




A Finucane & Smith creation

Written by: Jackie Smith

Directed by: Moira Finucane

Performed by: Maude Davey, Caroline Lee & Shirley Cattunar

Lighting designer: Simon Hunt

Sound designers: Darrin Verhagen & Ben Keene (Shinjuku Thief)

Set designer: Kathryn Sproule

Produced by: Finucane & Smith


Dec 2009 premiere season, La Mama Theatre, Melbourne Aug 2007 first reading La Mama Theatre, Melbourne


“The Flood is a dark & ingenious piece of Australian gothic” The Age

“It’s the best new piece of theatre I have seen this year” Aus. Theatre

“A sense of menace, entrapment and thwarted hope lurk in Jackie Smith’s latest play” Herald Sun

“Smith’s handling of the gothic form is masterful …You have to see this. It’s Australian theatre that speaks from the heart of the country” MCV

“Brilliant dialogue that at its best sounds overheard” The Age

“It’s an Australian Gothic horror that defines the genre” Aus. Theatre

“Evocative…claustrophobic… and despite the dark themes, often funny…this is a strong new play with a distinctly Australian flavour” Herald Sun

“The celebrated claustrophobic space of La Mama is electrified by the performances” MCV

“The cast… I am at a loss for words. They never let us see the acting” Aus. Theatre

“See it. See it. See it.” Aus. Theatre

“Quietly committed, rare and compelling; mummified in a stifling environment of slow decay and familial secrets. Slow burning…ultimately memorable” Sunday Age

“Engrossing, heartbreaking, delicate and frightening” Artshub

Available on request


The Exotic Lives of Lola Montez

The wildest showgirl of the nineteenth century returns.

Glory Box

The legendary, indefinable, genre-busting, burlesque-eats-its young Salon that has critics raving and festival audiences around the world in raptures.



Carnival of Mysteries

From the world’s pre-eminent purveyors of provocative variety and intimate spectacle comes the freakishly beautiful, seductive, surreal indoor carnival of mysteries.

The Flood

From Patrick White Award winner Jackie Smith comes The Flood: An Australian Gothic. When the waters rise, the monsters break the surface.


Salon de Danse

Whirl into Finucane & Smith’s decrepit dance hall, dipped in acid green and noir black, a mesmerising physical display from a wild pack of dancers & physical artistes.


The Feast of Argentina Gina Catalina

A supper show… sumptuous food… stupendous stories



The ‘beauty queen of the damned’ unleashes the Gothic in all her wicked ways.


Caravan Burlesque

The pop up Parisian Salon of sultry songs & underdressed sirens, Bollywood love gods, circus stars, backroom ballerinas and gothic queens…