Adelaide and South Australia's premier Arts & Entertainment coverage

Edgy Rom-Com Musical For The Modern Age, Van Badham’s ‘The Questions’ To Premiere In Adelaide

 There’s an experiment. I think we should try it. 

She has a master’s degree in Gender Studies. He thinks Jordan Peterson would make an ideal dinner guest. They both realise this blind date is doomed, but an outside catastrophe and “shelter in place” lockdown order forces these polar opposites into the longest first date ever. And the frustrated rock band rehearsing in the apartment next door is hardly helping them stay calm. Desperate to end the constant bickering, they turn to “The Questions”, a real-life psychological questionnaire researchers promise can build intimacy between anyone. But are either of them ready for the answers?

Inspired by a true story from the COVID-19 pandemic, The Questions is a rom-com musical with edge from iconoclastic Australian playwright, columnist and author, Van Badham, featuring genre-busting, folk, punk and pop melodies from her long-time collaborator, composer Richard Wise (Late Night Story).

Starring Charles Wu (Doctor Doctor), Chaya Ocampo (Chimerica, Godspell, Year Of) and joined by Sam Lau (Leslie and Anita, Coldhands), James Bannah Jr (Sounds of Adelaide) and Elder Conservatorium graduate Jackson Mack, The Questions taps squarely into the zeitgeist with a hilarious and unsparing observation of modern intimacy. Will chaos and disaster reign? Or will our mismatched couple find meaningful connection, even love?!

Written by one of Australia’s most celebrated and provocative playwrights, Van Badham – whose works have been performed across Australia and the world and with music and lyrics by Richard Wise – The Questions explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by asking a series of personal questions, based on Arthur Aron’s famous New York Times article “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love”. Playwright Van Badham says “In our polarised world, one of the most powerful, transformative and liberating acts we can experience is that moment we connect with people who are not like us.”

State Theatre Company South Australia Artistic Director Mitchell Butel, fresh from performing and co-directing the smash hit Candide, directs this world premiere. “Van’s laser wit and spookily deep understanding of the complexities of the human heart has made her one of my all-time favourite playwrights. And this genius idea was too spicy and excellent not to produce. Coupled with Richard’s glorious melodies that are redolent of sources as wide as Sondheim and Bacharach and Radiohead, audiences are in for a very big, funny and touching treat.” 

Set and Costume Designer Jeremy Allen (The Normal Heart, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?), Lighting Designer Gavin Norris and Sound Designer Andrew Howard have created a sleek contemporary high-rise setting in which we witness two people go from an ordinary blind-date to extraordinary circumstances and compromising co-habitation within minutes! 

The Questions is supported by the State Theatre Company South Australia Commissioning Collective which has aided the development of new work over the last eight years, with success stories including Hibernation (2021), Antigone (2022) and The Dictionary of Lost Words (2023). 

Jane Doyle OAM, member of the Commissioning Collective, said: “Being part of the Commissioning Collective affords us the unmitigated pleasure of being involved from the ground up, watching talented creative artists, write, design, compose, light, stage manage, direct and act in new work. It’s thrilling to be involved.” 

The Questions, Space Theatre, July 26 – August 17.

Tickets here!

Share your love

Popular News

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. We don’t send any spam email ever!