Remaining a vital masterwork 20 years after it was penned by Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman, this new adaption of The 7 Stages of Grieving, is a wise and powerful play about the grief of Aboriginal people and the hope of reconciliation. In this one-everywoman show, Indigenous actor Chenoa Deemal spins poignant stories of different people from different mobs – tear-streaked tales of tragedy go hand-in-hand with jubilant celebrations of simple survival.

Funny, devastatingly sad, politically relevant and culturally profound as it traverses the phases of Aboriginal history, The 7 Stages of Grieving is an invitation to face hard truths, to join hands and grieve. It shares true and personal stories that need to keep being told. And perhaps most importantly, it opens a dialogue about the issues that separate and unite Indigenous and non-indigenous people.

The 7 Stages of Grieving, a Grin and Tonic Theatre Troupe (Grin & Tonic) and Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) co-production, was critically acclaimed in local and national press, it proved an instant hit with teachers, educators, students and the general public, resulting in an extended 2015 season.

Venue Format
Theatre, Black Box Venue
Technical Rating
C, The production can be modified to suit most venues
Touring Party

Suitable for schools audience years 9 - 12: Adult concepts (death, grief, race and discrimination)

Venue must have raked seating + suitable back wall (or cyc) for front projection. Venue must be able to have full black out.

55 minute performance - 8 performances per week ( 6 days) - 2 performances per day on non-consecutive days.

Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) is the state’s flagship professional theatre company. Established in 1970, each year it creates new work and stages an eclectic mix of Australian and international productions. QTC is dedicated to encouraging artists and artform development through creative developments and extensive touring. Across 2015/16, QTC will deliver seven tours to regional and metropolitan audiences across Australia.

Grin and Tonic Theatre Troupe (Grin & Tonic) was founded in 1964 and has been an important part of the small to medium theatre sector in Queensland ever since. As a small and nimble company Grin & Tonic has sought performance and developmental opportunities through strong artistic collaborations. Since 2014, Artistic Director, Jason Klarwein, worked closely with QTC's former Artistic Director Wesley Enoch and the rest of the team, as a QTC Resident Director. Grin & Tonic’s new production of The 7 Stages of Grieving was presented during 2015.

Grin & Tonic and QTC are now working actively as co-producers to bring this outstanding work to a broader audience and to maximise opportunity to tour across Queensland, Australia and Internationally.

Company Website

Unique Selling Point

A much loved text, studied by many in the last two decades, the play is as relevant and connected today as it was when published 20 years ago.

“Ten seconds into Jason Klarwein’s magnificent new production of The 7 Stages of Grieving, and you’re hooked by the sense of history. Humble, decent and engaging...” The Australian

The story telling techniques employed are diverse and rich, highly charged with emotion, finding moments of humour and light, interwoven with visual theatre and poetry.

The collection of stories exploring grief and loss, not only give an insight into Indigenous perspectives but into the human condition.

Marketing Materials

  • 2015 season collateral - Poster and Program
  • Production images
  • Brisbane season audience voxpops
  • 5 minute promotional video
  • Full archive available on request (only for viewing by Presenter - not to be distributed)
  • Teachers resource kit
  • Published text available for purchase direct from Play Lab

Community Engagement

Complimentary to the performances of The 7 Stages of Grieving, meaningful engagement activities will be extended to each community.

QTC's Teacher Resource Kit, with strong links into curriculum areas Drama, History and SOSE, and Drama Syllabus links into category 2: Contemporary ATSI Theatre Forms, One Person Show, will be supported by a free 50 minute in-school or in-theatre workshop suitable for year 9-12 students.

QTC's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), demonstrates an ongoing commitment to maintaining and building respectful and resilient partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Whenever an ATSI work is performed we undertake a Welcome to Country and we would anticipate our presenting partners to undertake similar. We envisage this as an invitation for interaction between you and your local communities, garnering their support and participation.

Chenoa Deemal is from the Thitharr Warra clan (Hopevale), inclusion in this production of local language, artworks and design elements from the area, deeply resonates with her. Following in the footsteps of some of Australia's greatest female Indigenous actors, Chenoa brings this poignant work to life, and looks forward to sharing her unique story and experience of the process with Indigenous young people, local communities and audience members through informal yarning circles, Q&A or meet&greets.