With the town she grew up in changing all around her, Barbara is determined to change with it.

Dreaming of a way out, she sets her sights on landing a job at one of the new resorts popping up all over town. Meanwhile, her partner Den is having change forced upon him. The steelworks he’s worked at his whole life has been sold and Den must reinvent himself to survive. The arrival of Barbara’s daughter, Verge, just might be the thing that tips Barbara and Den over the edge. Set in Wollongong during the economic rationalism of the late ‘80s, Diving for Pearls remains startlingly relevant—the political decisions of that time planted the seeds of divide we continue to witness between those with opportunity, and those without.

Helpmann Award-winning actor, the great Ursula Yovich stars as Barbara, a character as significant in the history of Australian theatre as Willy Loman is in America’s.

Content Warnings: sexual references, references to suicide.

“If you’ve ever read it or studied it, you’ll know Diving for Pearls is one of those plays that leaps off the page. This production has it shaking you by the shoulders.”


“This play is a classic for a reason: it captures a truth of regional struggle and treats it with respect and concern. It’s a play for anyone with a social conscience…”


“Ursula Yovich and Steve Rodgers are perfectly matched as Barbara and Den: both completely fearless actors unafraid to show us their characters’ vulnerabilities and ugliness.”



Steve Rodgers, Ebony Vagulans, Ursula Yovich, Jack Finsterer, Michelle Doake

Creative Team

Playwright Katherine Thomson
Direction Darren Yap
Set & Costume Design James Browne
Lighting Design Benjamin Brockman
Composition & Sound Design Max Lambert & Roger Lock
Stage Manager Cara Woods
Photography Brett Boardman