In a year spent tending to the dead, a young man learns to live.
A world premiere production and winner of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2020–21.
Steve never imagined he’d end up working in the funeral industry. But when he finds himself living back home in Toowoomba to save up for his wedding, it’s the only job he can get.
The year he spends working among the dead opens his eyes to what awaits us at the end and what it means to live.
With respect, wit and a nod to pop culture, Steve takes us on a journey that celebrates finding your place in the world, the power of personal redemption and humility in the face of the big questions.
Return to the Dirt is a refreshing, honest and surprisingly uplifting invitation to start the conversations we all try to avoid.
“There is so much to love about this show, it definitely leaves one with a sense of pride, that work like this is being created and supported in Queensland. This is a distinctly Australian story told in our voice, with so much of that irreverent, dark, dry Australian sense of humour. It’s also jam packed full of meaning, love, sensitivity, and beauty. It reminds you of what is important in life and in death.”
★★★★ “Funny, moving, and surprisingly informative. RETURN TO THE DIRT draws back the curtain on a notoriously opaque industry”
“This play is sheer genius. It’s bloody brilliant. What a marvellous piece of theatre. I gave the cast a standing ovation on their first curtain call and I stood clapping long after they’d left the stage. I hope everyone gets to see this, young and old. Bravo Steve Pirie and the team at Queensland theatre. Would love to see more works like this.”
Greg/Ensemble Chris Baz
Steve Mitchell Bourke
Claire/Ensemble Sophie Cox
Deb/Ensemble Jeanette Cronin
Lucy/Jess/Ensemble Miyuki Lotz
The Playwright Steve Pirie
Ellie Aara Afraz/Cleo Davis
Writer Steve Pirie
Director Lee Lewis
Designer Renée Mulder
Lighting Designer Ben Hughes
Composer and Sound Designer Julian Starr
Associate Lighting Designer Christine Felmingham
Stage Manager Kat O’Halloran
Deputy Stage Manager Yanni Dubler
Assistant Stage Manager Natalie Callaghan
Assistant Stage Manager (Rehearsals) Pip Loth
Production Observation Makiko Shibuya
Wedding Dance Choreographer Dale Pengelly
Professional Ballroom Dance Instructor Blair Petterd
Ballroom Dance Consultant Carol Jelley
Vocal Consultant Megan Shorey