The West

An outback adventure
Tim Winton’s second play, Signs of Life, celebrates life in outback Australia.

A moving play about how personal histories shape people will be presented at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre at the end of the month.

Black Swan State and Sydney theatre companies come together to bring Tim Winton’s Signs of Life to the stage.

Set in outback Australia, the play is about people who have little but find hope in unexpected alliances.

Alone in her farmhouse on the riverbank one night, Georgie Jutland hears noises out on the highway—car doors, voices, weeping.

She’s recently widowed and a little spooked.

It’s not just her—the entire world feels wrong, as if the land beneath her feet is dying. It hasn’t rained for years. The river has dried up and the olive grove is beginning to wither around her.

After the longest wait, a figure slowly emerges from the darkness.

A man, an Aborigine, seeks help.

He says he needs petrol. His sister is out in the car, screaming. They’ve been sleeping in it for days.

Can Georgie help? Should she trust them?

And what do you do when guests settle in and show no inclination to move on?

Signs of Life is a story about people with uncertain futures navigating with only shreds of the past to guide them.

It’s about the mutual incomprehension between white and black in country where nobody is really sure they belong any more, and where everyone’s fate seems to have been determined by those who came before.

Bitter and funny, Signs of Life reflects on the ways in which people with radically different histories form awkward, spiky alliances in order to survive.

It is the second play written by bestselling author and four-time Miles Franklin Award winner Winton, of Western Australia.

Suitable for people aged over 13 years, Signs of Life will show at 8pm on Saturday, June 30.

To book tickets, visit or call the box office on 9550 3900.

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