1-11 AUGUST 2024 View all 2024 events

Event info

Presented by BLEACH* and Griffin Theatre Company

Presented by BLEACH* and Griffin Theatre Company

Sizzling hot concrete. Rainbow towels on half-dead grass. On a hot summer’s day, bodies of all shapes, colours and sizes journey to the public pool longing to do one thing…

Mununjali poet Ellen van Neerven is one of Australia’s finest and most awarded writers (Throat, Heat and Light). Swim is their debut work for the stage.

Genderfluid protagonist E negotiates the space between the men’s and women’s change rooms. They flex in front of the cute pool attendant. As they step onto the diving blocks, the words of their Aunty come to them—and suddenly, the crystalline blue tiles give way to much deeper water. Swim is delicate and tough, honest and achingly beautiful—and it muses on everything from the sovereignty of water to gender identity and the binding strength of culture and family. Told with cheek and heart by Baad/Yawuru performer Dani Sibosado (Bran Nue Dae), Griffin Theatre Company is proud to premiere this work on Gadigal Land at Carriageworks before it travels to Yugambeh Country (Gold Coast) for an exclusive season on Country at BLEACH* Festival.

Don your goggles and get ready to hit the fast lane.

Content Warning
This production of swim contains spoken descriptions of child abuse, grooming, transphobia and racism. The play also contains references to sexism, sexual abuse, suicide, self-harm and violence. The production makes use of haze.


Griffin Theatre Company

Griffin is the only theatre company in the country exclusively devoted to the development and staging of new Australian writing. Located in the historic SBW Stables Theatre, nestled in the heart of Kings Cross, Griffin has been Australia’s home for the exploration of new stories since 1979.

We are the launch pad for new plays, ideas and writing—work that is bold, visionary and risky. Plays like Prima Facie, Holding the Man and City of Gold all had their world premieres at Griffin before going out to capture the national imagination. In the words of our longest-serving Artistic Director, Ros Horin:

We are the theatre of first chances.

We are passionate about nurturing emerging and established practitioners alike. We pride ourselves on connecting a vast community of artists, audiences and supporters who consider our theatre their creative home. We tell the stories that will help us know who we are as a nation, and who we want to become.

Stories about us. Written by us. For us.


Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning author, editor and educator of Mununjali and Dutch heritage. Ellen‘s first book, Heat and Light (UQP, 2014), a novel-in-stories, was the recipient of the David Unaipon Award, the Dobbie Literary Award and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Indigenous Writers Prize.  Their first poetry collection Comfort Food (UQP, 2016) won the Tina Kane Emergent Award and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize. Throat (UQP, 2020) was the recipient of Book of the Year, the Kenneth Slessor Prize and the Multicultural Award at 2021 NSW Literary Awards and the inaugural Quentin Bryce Award. Personal Score: Sport, Culture, Identity (UQP, 2023), a book that weaves history, memoir, journalism and poetry, is their latest release and is forthcoming in North America in April 2024 through Two Dollar Radio.

    DirectorAndrea James
    Production ManagerDamion Holling
    Movement DirectorKirk Page
    DesignerRomanie Harper
    Lighting DesignerKaren Norris
    Video DesignerSam James
    Composer and Sound DesignerBrendon Boney
    Performer (“E”)Dani Sibosado
    Performer (“Aunty”)Sandy Greenwood
    Production ManagerDamion Holling
    Stage ManagerIsabella Kerdijk
    Cultural ConsultantLann Levinge
    Gender and Inclusivity ConsultantBayley Turner
    Ticket prices
    • Adult$39
    • Concession$29
    • A booking fee will be applied at checkout.

    Home of the Arts

    135 Bundall Road, Surfers ParadiseQLD 4217

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    Thursday 01 Aug6:30PM
    Friday 02 Aug6:30PM
    Saturday 03 Aug2:00PM6:30PM
    All times are QLD AEST
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    We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Yugambeh Language Region and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People of the Gold Coast. We recognise their continuing connection and contributions to country and culture. We pay respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.