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Celebrations continue at Adelaide Festival Centre with Dunstan Playhouse Celebrating its 50th Anniversary

Dunstan Playhouse is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a dedicated exhibition showcasing memorabilia, costumes, and artwork open to the public today at Adelaide Festival Centre.

The exhibition titled 1974: Stage Two reflects on the incredible hub of creative energy that Dunstan Playhouse and Space Theatre created and how it has fostered local and international actors, creatives, and artists for over 50 years.

In a trip down memory lane, the exhibition highlights the many performers who had their professional debuts on the Dunstan Playhouse and Space Theatre stage including Australian actors Judy Davis in State Theatre Company South Australia’s Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus (1978) and Tilda Cobham-Hervey in The Age I’m In (2008).

Judy Davis’ costume for Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus, 1978

The exhibition includes costumes worn by legendary Australian actors including Adelaide’s own Sarah Snook (State Theatre Company South Australia’s King Lear, 2009), Cate Blanchett (Company B’s The Seagull, 1997), and Jacki Weaver (State Theatre Company South Australia’s Entertaining Mr Sloane, 2010).

Jacki Weaver’s hot pink Entertaining Mr Sloane nightie and Sarah Snook’s costume from King Lear

Other noteworthy items include a human sized pink seahorse costume from The Song of The Seals (1984), a 50-year-old bottle of commemorative wine from the opening ceremony of Dunstan Playhouse and Adelaide Festival Centre branded crockery including vintage salt and pepper shakers.

Seahorse costume from The Song of The Seals (1984)

Adelaide Festival Centre Exhibitions & Collections Assistant Annie Egerton: “We’re so excited to share this exhibition celebrating both Dunstan Playhouse and Space Theatre, as well as the extraordinary talent that brought them to life, both on stage and behind the scenes.

From the outset, the Drama Centre is where you went to see bold, innovative theatre and we hope audiences enjoy seeing some of the highlights from the last half-century.”

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM: “The celebrations continue at Adelaide Festival Centre as we celebrate Dunstan Playhouse’s 50th year. We invite visitors to reminisce and reflect on the many special items in this collection.”

Minister for Arts, the Hon. Andrea Michaels MP: “Named after the extraordinary proponent of the arts Don Dunstan, so many South Australians have enjoyed performances at the Dunstan Playhouse over the past 50 years including thousands of children who have enjoyed their first experience of theatre on its stage.

“It’s wonderful to be celebrating that legacy and I encourage everyone to visit the exhibition and step back in time to when it all began.

The free exhibition will be open to the public during performance times and on Fridays and Saturdays from 10am – 3pm.

For more information visit

Adelaide Festival Centre Crockery and Bag
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