Sweeping through the Russian Revolution, World War II, and Brisbane history, Motherland is an epic new work of historical fiction, informed by actual events.

Three women, exiled from their homelands, find their lives are woven together across continents and decades. Nell Tritton, the Brisbane wife of a deposed Russian prime minister forms a close friendship with Nina Berberova, who is exiled in Paris. The woman who would tell their story is Alyona, a Russian curator whose dreams of a new Australian paradise are crushed by bankruptcy and the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

Shortlisted for the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award, Motherland is a tapestry of friendship, displacement, home, and identity – a finely-crafted story of the casualties of love, ambition, and politics.

Venue Format
Theatre, Black Box Venue
Technical Rating
Touring Party

The play has adult content and some loud noises (gunfire). There is a live flame carefully managed on stage.

Ellen Belloo is Katherine Lyall-Watson, Caroline Dunphy, Kathryn Kelly and Danielle Shankey working together to create new Australian work that combines text and contemporary performance.

Caroline has worked over the past 18 years as an actor, performance maker, director and teacher. She has created a repertoire of original theatre works dedicated to developing innovative performance, whilst studying a training methodology and philosophical practice with Brisbane-based company Frank Theatre specialising in avant-garde theatre.

Katherine was shortlisted for the 2013 Patrick White Playwright's Award, for the 2008 Queensland Premier's Drama Award and has been the recipient of fellowships and residencies for her playwriting.

Company Website

Unique Selling Point

Motherland is based on the true story of a Queensland woman who married an exiled Russian Prime Minister and saved him from the Nazis in WWII. It is compelling drama and engrossed audiences when it premiered in Brisbane.

Marketing Materials

Touring pop-up foyer display with historical information and built in audience engagement memory booth The play has been published by Playlab Media releases and interviews available Education notes are available (suitable grades 11 & 12) DVD also available by request

Community Engagement

Belloo Creative has a touring pop-up display that accompanies Motherland. This is a perfect foyer installation and includes a memory booth where audiences can record their own stories of home and belonging. The pop up features a timeline of the play's events and photographs and histories of the real people on whom the play is based.

There is also the possibility of a Q & A with the performers after the show each night. The play script has been published so there is possible engagement with readers, universities and libraries.

Belloo Creative is also able to deliver workshops.