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When The Light Leaves

Citizen Theatre & High Line Productions
12 - 23 June 2019 - La Mama Courthouse
Photography, Graphic Design, Set Design, Video

When The Light Leaves is a brand new play from emerging playwright Rory Godbold that deals with issues surrounding the new Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws that came into effect in Victoria on 19 June 2019. These laws will allow Victorians access to VAD and coincide with the play’s season at La Mama Courthouse, Carlton, 12-23 June.

When The Light Leaves is told through the fragmented memories of people trying to reconcile their grief, bursts of memory, smatterings of text and interspersed action during the wildness and pain of the main character’s death. To represent the chaotic non-linear storyline I created a minimal, abstract set design where props and lights hang down from the ceiling and are in perpetual motion. In the centre of the stage is a swinging pendant light which represents the main character’s time slowly ticking away until the light is finally extinguished at the conclusion of the production.

︎Production images


"...a moving and nuanced four-hander, featuring elegant design and emotionally charged performances." - (Cameron Woodhead) The Age

"Stu Brown’s simple but effective design suspends props on fishing wire, lending a pendulum-like swiftness and inevitability to proceedings"  - (Cameron Woodhead) The Age

“A simple abstracted stage created by Brown, with perfectly complementary and striking lighting from Gascoigne add to the maelstrom of darkness and despair.” - Samsara Dutton (What Did She Think?)

“There is a huge amount of talent present in the cast and crew of When The Light Leaves, resulting in a moving exploration of what it means to allow people to live out the final moments of their lives with dignity, compassion and in control.” - (Myron My) My Melbourne Arts

“gripping and irresistible” - (Cameron Colwell) The Music

“a bold and thought provoking piece of theatre” - (Myron My) My Melbourne Arts

︎Official trailers

As Victoria moved towards a future where people have a choice at the end of their lives, When The Life Leaves explored different voices, values and ideas within the complex public debate, giving people an understanding of what is at stake when someone is making an end of life choice. It also brought a young, queer voice into the conversation, with the play’s central relationship taking place before and after the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

To inspire conversation in the community, a Q&A was held on the evening of Wednesday 19 June, immediately following the performance. A panel of different stakeholders discussed the issue and what it means for Victorians moving forward. The Q&A was facilitated by Konrad Marshall (Feature Writer – The Age) and the panel included:

  • Jill Hennessy (Victorian Attorney General)
  • Dr Carolyn Johnston (Senior Research Fellow in Law and Biotechnology)
  • Dr Nick Carr (GP)
  • Fiona Patten (Leader of Reason Party)
  • Kass Hall (Artist, Writer & VAD Campaigner)
  • Marg Radmore (Retired Nurse & VAD applicant)

︎hero image, postcard, poster design


Written by Rory Godbold
Directed by Jayde Kirchert


Tomas Parrish as Dan
Leigh Scully as Liam
Veronica Thomas as Kate
Michelle Robertson as Alice


Set Design, Graphic Design, Photography & Video by Stu Brown

Lighting Design by Gina Gascoigne

Costumes by Aislinn Naughton

Sound Design by Imogen Cygler

Stage Manager & Sound Operator: Teri Steer

Lighting Operator: Jamie Turner

Associate producers: Alex Suttie & Steph Clare-Cover
Dates: 12 - 23 June 2019

Times: Wed 6.30pm | Thu, Fri, Sat 7.30pm | Sun 4pm

Running time: approx 70 mins

Venue: La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond St, Carlton

Tickets: Full $30, Concession $20


Further info: @citizentheatreau

︎ supplementary images


Photography & graphic design for theatre, artists, musicians & performers.

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© Stu Brown 2019