Producers Samantha Young, Eloise Snape and producer/playwright Joanna Erskine are thrilled to announce the world premiere of Air at the Old 505 Theatre from 13 June. From the desk of award-winning Australian writer Joanna Erskine (K.I.J.E., Boot), directed by Sydney Theatre Award-winning director Anthony Skuse (4.48 Psychosis, Mystery of Love and Sex), comes this black and bittersweet comedy about death, grief, holding on and letting go.

Annabel sits in a dark radio studio, hosting the graveyard shift. Having severed all relationships with her family after the death of her father, she spends her nights reading the death notices to a silent unseen audience. One morning while on air, the station phone rings. When Annabel answers, she unwittingly unleashes the grief and secrets of an entire community, desperate to connect with the past.

The inspiration for the play came from Erskine’s own experiences with death and grief and a small notice in the Sydney Morning Herald’s obituaries column, advertising a radio program that reads the death notices daily. While the service is designed for the print handicapped, Erskine began to wonder who in the wider Sydney community might be listening? A story began unfolding with a collection of characters for whom grief was a constant companion yet experienced in many different ways. For some it would be a comfort and the reader a companion. The program provided witness to those that had passed, an opportunity to atone past misdemeanors like running over the family cat. 

Joanna Erskine writes, “The play uses magic realism, a magical world within a realistic setting, to traverse the connection between loved ones lost and those still on earth.” Director Anthony Skuse added, “Air is a comedy about grief: how we carry it, how moving through it can feel like our life is in suspension, how it isolates us and how it brings us together.” 

Air stars Tel Benjamin (People, Places and Things), David Lynch (A View From the Bridge, Neville’s Island), Diana McLean (Glorious, 4000 Miles), Suzanne Pereira (The Crucible, Platonov) and Eloise Snape (Bell Shakespeare’s Macbeth, 4000 Miles).


Playwright – Joanna Erskine
Director – Anthony Skuse
Set and Costume Designer – Kelsey Lee
Sound Designer – Benjamin Freeman
Lighting Designer – Sophie Pekbilimli
Production Manager – Rebecca Poulter
Stage Manager – Steph Kelly
Produced by Samantha Young, Eloise Snape and Joanna Erskine


Venue: Old 505 Theatre (5 Eliza Street, Newtown)
Season: 13 – 30 June, 2018
Times: Tue – Sat 8:00pm
Price: $45 Premium Adults* / $40 Adults / $30 Concession, Industry & Under 30 /
‘Pay what you want’ Previews

* Premium Adult patrons will be given first choice of seating each performance night. As well as securing the best seats in the house, it gives you a chance to invest further in the development of the work you are seeing and allows the Old 505 Theatre to continue to be a vital incubation space for new work.