The Overcoat (Main image)

Belvoir Street Theatre’s 25A Program presents


The Overcoat is based on the 1842 short story
by Russian absurdist, novelist and playwright, Nikolai Gogol

The Costi siblings Rosemarie, Constantine, and Michael are all forging significant careers in the theatre and music worlds. They have joined forces for the first time to create a new work which will be premiered at Belvoir St Theatre in November.

The Overcoat is a new and dark musical comedy. It is the tale of an office worker’s ill-fated attempt to find a sense of belonging in a lonely city.

“Nikolai is a clerk and a social outsider – perpetually uncomfortable in his skin,” says director Constantine Costi.

“Following an embarrassing exchange with a colleague, he decides to sell everything he owns in order to buy a brand-new overcoat in a desperate effort to change his life forever.”

The Overcoat is set in the frantic city streets of St Petersburg, as seen through Nikolai’s eyes. It is an imagined city inspired by Russian avant-garde art and film of the 1920s. The city pulses to the rhythm of a Russian jazz trio. It features a cast of four and a band consisting of piano, saxophone, and double bass, performing music composed by Rosemarie Costi.

“The songs and music draw on a combination of traditional Russian folk tunes and bebop jazz,” says Rosemary. “Gogol’s writing has an innate lyricism as his characters scurry about trading office gossip and scandals. Typewriters, the tailor’s sewing machine, and the howling Russian wind all provide inspiration to the soundtrack inside Nikolai’s mind.”

Michael says, “The Overcoat is a surreal puzzle. There are no triumphs,no heroesor happy endings. But there is a love story. Seeking warmth from the Russian winter, Nikolai turns to the only thing incapable of rejecting or tormenting him, a brand new coat.”

“There is something extremely relevant about The Overcoat. Today, we are more disconnected from each other than ever, climbing bureaucratic ladders to nowhere, and much like Nikolai, we slip through cracks and seek solace in objects and comforts we can’t afford in the hope they give us purpose.”

Constantine adds, “Gogol’s work is surreal, hilarious, and at times, disturbing. Our adaption captures this world in a whirlwind of music and story.”

Actor and musician Charles Wu will play the central role of Nikolai (rehearsing for The Overcoat, while also performing upstairs at Belvoir in An Enemy of the People). After graduating from NIDA in 2014, Charles has appeared in Samson and Jasper Jones (Belvoir), ChimericaThree Sisters and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (STC). He has starred in Foxtel’s Secret City, Channel Nine’s Doctor Doctor and Here Come The Habibs and Kriv Stenders’ Australia Day. As a musician, Charles works under the moniker Earthquake Magnificent, an electroacoustic project blending Asian pop, folk, noise and hip-hop.

Created by Michael, Rosemarie and Constantine Costi
Director Constantine Costi
Book and lyrics Michael Costi
Production Designer Emma Vine
Lighting Designer Alex Berlage
Composer Rosemarie Costi

CAST: Kate Cheel, Aaron Tsindos, Charles Wu and Laura Bunting


Dates: 14 November – 1 December, 2018
Venue: Downstairs Theatre, Belvoir St Theatre (25 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills)


All tickets to 25A productions are $25
Preview tickets are $20.
Click BUY TICKETS to book your tickets now.
Belvoir Box Office (02) 9699 3444

Performance times: 

Wednesday 14 November 8.15pm
Thursday 15 November 8.15pm
Friday 16 November 8.15pm (Opening Night, private event)
Saturday 17 November 8.15pm
Tuesday 20 November 6.45pm
Wednesday 21 November 6.45pm
Thursday 22 November 8.15pm
Friday 23 November 8.15pm
Saturday 24 November 8.15pm
Sunday 25 November 5.15pm
Tuesday 27 November 6.45pm
Wednesday 28 November 6.45pm
Thursday 29 November 8.15pm
Friday 30 November 8.15pm
Saturday 1 December 8.15pm