Così (Melbourne Theatre Company)

ABR Arts is generously supported by ABR Patrons and Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.
Maxim Boon Tuesday, 07 May 2019
Published in ABR Arts

Louis Nowra’s much-loved play Così is often held up as the archetypal great Australian comedy, a larrikin farce in the vein of Michael Frayn’s Noises Off (1982). But as the years roll by and the play’s sensitivities diverge from contemporary standards, it increasingly seems to share more in common with Shakespeare’s ‘problem plays’.

Since its première at Belvoir St Theatre in 1992, Così has earned an affectionate fascination for many, either through study at school, various stagings, or the 1996 film iteration (directed by Mark Joffe), with its extraordinary before-they-were-famous all-star cast. And yet, Così clings to several woefully dated ideals, particularly in its handling of mental health, that naggingly tug at its status as a revered classic.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Published in ABR Arts
Maxim Boon

Maxim Boon

Maxim Boon is an arts and culture writer and editor based in Melbourne. He is the Senior Group Editor and National Arts Editor of Street Press magazine The Music, and formerly the Online Editor of Limelight Magazine. He is the new classical music critic for The Age. Maxim also writes extensively about the LGBTQ community, queer culture, and politics.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.