Australian Classical Theatre production image collage

Formed in 1999, Australian Classical Theatre (formerly known as Petty Traffikers) is a company dedicated to the re-discovery and artistic re-interpretation of Australia’s literary heritage.

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Over the past decade and a half we have built a reputation for innovative adaptations and award winning productions of works by C.J. Dennis, Henry Lawson and Barbara Baynton. Our recent change of name reaffirms our policy whilst expanding the scope of our work to include international classical works and the creation of new writing based on Australian historical events. We continue our commitment to touring this work as widely as possible in search of new audiences.

A Sunburnt History - NOT Gallipoli

A Sunburnt History - NOT Gallipoli

Oh my, Gallipoli! The Sunburnt team once again presents historically accurate comedy that is controversial and on the edge—addressing the big topics, such as sport, police, marriage, the stolen generation, celebrity, Hitler (of course), and even pulling a Mr Abbott out of their hat. A Sunburnt History returns to continue dispelling the myths from our shores—taking a blowtorch to everything that’s been swept under the carpet because of Gallipoli.

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A Sunburnt History - Citizenship

A Sunburnt History - Citizenship

50,000 years ago the first immigrants arrived on Australian shores. A Sunburnt History is getting back to doing what it does best, busting myths and shaking Aussie history ’til the truth falls out. Looking at Queensland’s slavery, the Mabo Decision, and the biggest gaffe of all, The White Australia policy, we find out what it really means to be an Australian.

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A Sunburnt History - the first fleet

A Sunburnt History - The First Fleet

The next installment of A Sunburnt History—a hilarious and insightful examination of the First Fleet, by the creators of the sellout production A Sunburnt History - The true story of Burke and Wills.

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A Dreamer

A Dreamer

An Australian treat. Using only three chairs and a bath, Barbara Baynton's short story A Dreamer, written in 1890, is brought to life through soundscape, movement, symbolism and her own words.

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A Sunburnt History

A Sunburnt History - The true story of Burke and Wills

A Sunburnt History was conceived for three reasons: to provide audiences a chance to hold a mirror up to society past and present; to learn more about the story of Burke and Wills; and to offer a fresh perspective and get Aussies doing what they do best—have a good laugh at themselves.

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Australian Classical Theatre presents I Take Your Hand In Mine: Chekhov with Olga

I Take Your Hand In Mine

Anton Chekhov is known the world over for his writings on love, and yet the most memorable of Chekhov’s love stories is not one that he wrote, but rather one that he lived—with Olga Knipper, actress and leading lady of the Moscow Art Theatre.

The story spans six short years, in which they play evolving roles—first as playwright and actress, then as lovers, then as husband and wife, and finally as invalid and caretaker, until Chekhov’s untimely death at the age of 44.

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Australian Classical Theatre presents The Sentimental Bloke

The Sentimental Bloke

The Sentimental Bloke is a dynamic theatrical adaptation of a timeless Australian literary classic.

This multi award winning show has enjoyed seven return seasons since 1999, and tells the story of Billo the Bloke and his little peach Doreen in a high energy, silent movie inspired theatrical framework that has received critical acclaim and delighted audiences statewide.

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Australian Classical Theatre presents The Drover's Wife and The Bush Undertaker

The Drover’s Wife

These two short stories The Drover’s Wife and The Bush Undertaker, about ordinary people battling to live off the land, anchor Lawson’s literary reputation.

This ingenious adaptation captures the humour, steel and pathos of these great Australian characters in a beautifully crafted, poetic realization which premiered at the Castlemaine State Festival before enjoying a Victoria wide tour and seasons in Melbourne.

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Australian Classical Theatre presents Ginger Mick at Gallipoli

Ginger Mick at Gallipoli

Combining larrikin humour, pathos and Dennis’ unique slang verse, this show is an original adaptation of the book diggers famously carried in their breast pockets during World War One. It tells of Ginger’s exploits and the mates he makes whilst serving in the “little AIF”.

It is a rambunctious and gloriously physical staging of the story, presented with war time songs and large amounts of wonderful clowning.

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Australian Classical Theatre presents The Chosen Vessel

The Chosen Vessel

Theatrical adaptations of three short stories A Dreamer, Squeaker’s Mate and The Chosen Vessel from one of Australia’s most important female writers, Barbara Baynton.

Dealing with themes particular to Australian women, these stories portray the dark underbelly of bush life, revealing the horror yet remaining lyrical and full of striking imagery.

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