Monstrous Theatre announce the world premiere of ROOTLESS COSMOPOLITANS

Monstrous Theatre have just announced the world premiere of celebrated Australian playwright Ron Elisha’s dangerous comedy ROOTLESS COSMOPOLITANS. It will be directed by Suzanne Heywood and performed at Chapel off Chapel from 15th May – 2nd June 2024.

This timely and thought-provoking black comedy explores the polarising power of social media, antisemitism, and the minefield of identity politics.

The play centres around esteemed artistic director Ira Brot, who in six short years has transformed a small, struggling theatre company into an international sensation. Ira has the world at his feet – money, influence, and creative freedom – but one little tweet threatens to derail his perfect life. Add to this his Jewish convert wife, a vaguely antisemitic theatre company Chairperson and an ambitious assistant director waiting in the wings, and you have the ingredients for the oldest of all culture wars, played out on a modern stage. Ira must also deal with a complex relationship with his mother who, although long dead, is alive and kvetching inside his head.

The term, “Rootless Cosmopolitan” originated as a Soviet Russian pejorative for Jewish Intellectuals in the late 1940s. It had its roots in Stalin’s 1946 campaign against Jewish writers and creatives who he claimed were subject to “bourgeois Western influencers”. It continues to be an antisemitic trope implicating Jews as “eternal outsiders” with no nationalistic loyalty.

Ron Elisha is a Melbourne-based playwright whose plays, over the last 40-odd years, have been produced throughout Australia and the world, with translations into several languages. He has won multiple awards, including four Australian Writers’ Guild Awards, and is best known, originally, for his plays ‘In Duty Bound’, ‘Einstein’ and ‘Two’ and, more recently, for ‘The Soul Of Wittgenstein’ (London), ‘Unsolicited Male’ and ‘Anne Being Frank’, the last enjoying a very successful off-Broadway world premiere in September 2023. ‘Anne Being Frank’ won two Broadway World Awards during its recent New York season.

Ron said:

In recent times, the putatively progressive Jewish world has been turned upside down, leaving one clinging desperately to what used to be the ground underneath one’s feet. In such circumstances, one might be forgiven for uttering a ‘cri de coeur’ . Mine is titled ‘Rootless Cosmopolitans.’

Monstrous Theatre is a commercial producer of plays, opera and Musical Theatre based in Melbourne, Australia. The independent production company was established by husband-and-wife team, Theresa Borg, and Anton Berezin, after selling their previous businesses, Life Like Touring and The Entertainment Store, to TEG/Ticketek. The pair have entertained more than 7 million patrons globally with their original family shows and musicals. Borg and Berezin have had multiple presentations of their work on Broadway, London’s Westend and countless productions across every continent of the globe. Monstrous Theatre will announce two premiere productions during Q1 2024, with further productions slated for development throughout 2024 and 2025.

Suzanne Heywood remarked that “Theatre has the potential to act as a mirror to society and while we may not always like what we see, this function of theatre is more important now than ever. Robust debate seems to be stifled by the misconception that the expression of a different point of view creates an “unsafe space”. Comedy can be our secret weapon to shift this mindset. The laughter of recognition is a kick start to the process of courageous scrutiny.”

Rootless Cosmopolitans will be Suzanne’s fourth collaboration with Ron Elisha having had the great pleasure of directing both “Unsolicited Male” and “Donating Felix” for Q44 Theatre Company and “I really don’t care” for The Melbourne Cabaret Festival. Suzanne has been involved with theatre and television since childhood starring in JC Williamsons production of “The Miracle Worker” and regularly performing in “The Ten Again” and “The Magic Boomerang” for Pacific Films and “Homicide”, “Division 4” and “Matlock Police” for Crawford Productions. She has worked for the MTC and Malthouse as well as many major musicals as a dialogue and acting coach and as Artistic Associate directed multiple productions for Q44 Theatre Company.

Anton Berezin, who will play the role of Ira Brot, is also a producer of the play:

I’m a first-generation Jewish refugee from the former Soviet Union and grandson of Holocaust survivors. My father and grandfather were both jailed as subversive ‘intellectuals’, so you could say I’m from a family of rootless cosmopolitans. Growing up, my family always used laughter to deal with life’s challenges. I think that’s why I adore Ron’s writing so very much. His humour is so wonderfully black and his characters so human and flawed.

Anton is an Australian actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. Berezin is best known for his roles in major commercial musical theatre productions such as Phantom of the Opera, The Bridges of Madison County, Evita, Once the Musical, Doctor Zhivago, Wicked, The Producers, Cabaret, Cats, Fiddler on the Roof, The Secret Garden and many others. His film and television work has included roles in Newton’s Law, The Divorce, Jack Irish: Black Tide, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Neighbours, MDA and The Secret Life of Us.

Rootless Cosmopolitans will go on sale at on Wednesday 28th February 2024.

For more information or to join the waitlist, visit

Full cast will be announced in the coming weeks.

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator, and is the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief of She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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