MTC | Caryl Churchill’s Masterpieces Unite In Exclusive Double Bill

Melbourne Theatre Company’s captivating double bill featuring two distinct and powerful works by
the legendary playwright, Caryl Churchill, premieres this Friday 11 August at the Southbank Theatre.

Directed by Melbourne Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, Anne-Louise Sarks, What If If Only and Escaped Alone are presented side-by-side for the very first time, offering audiences a profound and thought-provoking theatrical experience.

Caryl Churchill is a multiple Obie Award-winner and widely celebrated as one of the world’s greatest
living playwrights. Her play What If If Only is a micro-meditation on grief and possibility, starring Alison Bell, while Escaped Alone is a visionary play starring Helen Morse alongside Kate Hood, Debra Lawrance and Deidre Rubenstein, exploring afternoon tea and the apocalypse.

In Escaped Alone, four women gather in a garden, engaging in conversations that intertwine personal anecdotes with the telling of catastrophic events, resulting in a darkly humorous yet poignant exploration of survival and resilience in the face of terrifying circumstances.

On the other hand, What If If Only delves into the realm of loss and acceptance, as a partner contemplates a world without their loved one, painting a vivid picture of life, death, and the complexities of letting go.


I am incredibly honoured to present two of Caryl Churchill’s brilliant works, What If If Only and Escaped Alone together for the first time.

Caryl Churchill’s use of language has a rhythm and musicality akin to great poetry, often affiliated only to Shakespeare’s works. She has this ability to elevate the domestic while grounding the epic, capturing the absurdities of everyday life and revealing to audiences new possibilities and alternative ways of seeing and being.

Churchill’s writing across both works invites audiences on a timely thematic journey of survival, resilience, loss and acceptance.

What If If Only and Escaped Alone will play for a strictly limited season at Melbourne Theatre Company’s Southbank Theatre.

Season Details

Venue: Southbank Theatre
Date: 11 Aug 2023

For more information click Here

Photo Credit: Pia Johnsons

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