Everyone knows that friendships made in bathrooms are ones that last for life”

Cactus follows Abbie and her best friend Pb as they navigate their last year of high school. It’s going well. I mean, they’re still virgins, but it’s going well. Milestones are being met. Exams are drawing near. Freedom is on the horizon. Then Abbie gets some news that suddenly and unceremoniously plunges her into a world she wasn’t ready for.

Madelaine Nunn’s Cactus is a brutally funny, heartbreakingly honest, award-winning play for anyone who is or ever has been a teenager. Exploring the power of friendship and unspoken female truths, Cactus reminds us of the excitement and confusion of being confronted by the adult world.

Winner of the ATYP Rebel Wilson Theatre Maker Scholarship, shortlisted for the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award, nominated for an Australian Writer’s Guild Award, and selected for the 2023 VCE Theatre Studies Unit 4 Playlist, Cactus was inspired by the beauty and ferocity of female friendship alongside the taboos and shame that start in adolescence and continue to confront women throughout their lives.

“A vivid and touching and effortlessly funny portrayal that puts the intimate textures of female companionship centre stage… Cactus brings to life the awkwardness and vulnerability of adolescence through well-crafted and vital performance”


“Cactus is warm, funny, heartbreaking and captivating from start to finish. It will have you laughing hysterically one minute and crying the next, as it takes you through the journey of friendship, loss and adolescence.”


“Madelaine Nunn’s Cactus is a brilliantly written work that explores friendship, adolescence, hardship and identity with full throttle honesty and stoic integrity.”



ABBIE Ayesha Harris-Westman
PB Lucy Rossen

Creative Team

Playwright Madelaine Nunn
Director Katie Cawthorne
Producer Madelaine Nunn
Dramaturg Jane FitzGerald
Production Design Madelaine Nunn & Katie Cawthorne
Lighting Design Aedan Gale
Sound Design Rachel ‘Stoz’ Stone
Stage Manager Claudia Howarth
Operator August Shearman
Set Construction Thomas Pidd
Set Dresser Alex Donnelly
Photographer Darren Gill
DOP/Camera Operator/Editor Samuel Baulch
Sound Mixer Justin Gardam
Digital Producer Madelaine Nunn