Grace Under Pressure

Health professionals are with us when we’re born, and they’re with us when we die. They devote their lives to caring for us, but how do we care for them? Can a doctor or nurse give a patient the best possible care if he or she hasn’t slept for days? What if they also being bullied or sexually harassed at work? What if they complain about having to work excessive hours, but are told to stop whinging and suck it up? How do they cope with the pressure?

Based on hours of in-depth interviews with doctors and nurses about their experiences of training and working in hospitals, Grace Under Pressure is a surprising, intimate, and deeply moving theatre experience that reveals these hidden stories of health professionals in their own words. Ranging from darkly funny to utterly heartbreaking, the stories within Grace Under Pressure will leave no audience member unaffected. Beautifully staged and disarmingly performed, Grace Under Pressure is a truly unique theatre experience.


“a very effective and affecting verbatim work exploring the dysfunctional culture of the healthcare system.” Jason Blake, Sydney Morning Herald, 2 November 2017

“A deeply moving work that is both hopeful and compelling” 26 October 2017

“Brutal and unflinching, yet told gently with humour, Grace Under Pressure is not easy to watch, only in so far as this is not fiction: the abuses that the healthcare workers face are happening every day in hospitals in every suburb, and will continue until changes are made” Joy Minter, The Buzz From Sydney, 28 October 2017

“Grace Under Pressure shines a light on an often overlooked and taboo subject, highlighting the need for change.” Naomi Gall, The AU Review, 30 October 2017

World premiere, 25-28 October 2017, York Theatre, Seymour Centre

2020 Tour:

5 March 2020, Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo.

7 March 2020, Capitol Theatre, Tamworth.

10 March 2020, Orange Civic Theatre, Orange.

13-14 March 2020, Civic Theatre, Newcastle.

2021 Tour dates:

Alexander Theatre, Monash Performing Arts Centres, Clayton, 15-16 April 2021. Tickets here

Margaret River Heart, Margaret River, 22 April 2021. Tickets here

Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, Bunbury, 24 April 2021. Tickets here

Wyndham Cultural Centre, Werribee, 4 May 2021

Frankston Arts Centre, Frankston, 6 May 2021. Tickets here

Wangaratta Performing Arts & Convention Centre, Wangaratta, 8 May 2021. Tickets here

Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Wollongong, 12-15 May 2021. Tickets here

The Art House, Wyong, 18-19 May 2021. Tickets here

Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, 21-22 May. Tickets here

Cairns Performing Arts Centre, Cairns, 26 May 2021. Tickets here

Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton, 28 May 2021. Tickets here

Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, Queanbeyan, 10-12 June 2021. Tickets here


Whitehorse Centre, Nunawading, 23 October 2021. Tickets here

Bunjil Place, Narre Warren, 27 October 2021. Tickets here

Horsham Town Hall, Horsham, 4 November 2021. Tickets here


Writers: David Williams & Paul Dwyer in collaboration with the Sydney Arts & Health Collective

Performers (World Premiere season): Renee Lim, Rose Maher, Sal Sharah & Wendy Strehlow.

Performers (2020 & 2021 Australian tour): Emily Taylor, Sal Sharah, Tanya Schneider & Meg Dunn.

Understudies (2021 tour): Carla Jane McCallum, Richard Bligh, Mary Helen Sassman & Stephanie Panozzo.

Understudies (2021 tour Western Australia): Amy Mathews, Igor Sas, Helen Hanson & Arianna Williams

Director: David Williams

Dramaturg: Paul Dwyer

Associate Director (WA Understudy cast): Hellie Turner

Lighting Designer (World Premiere season): Richard Manner

Lighting Designer (2020 Australian tour): Nicholas Higgins

Sound Designer: Gail Priest

Set & Costume Designer: Isabel Hudson

Production Manager (World Premiere season): Emma Bedford

Stage Manager (World Premiere season): Patrick Howard

Company Stage Manager (2020 Australian tour): Maureen Thomas

Touring Technician (2020 Australian tour): Glenn Parry

Stage Manager (WA Understudy cast): Jenny Poh

Producer (World Premiere season): David Williams (for Seymour Centre)

Producer (2020 Australian tour): Suzie Franke (for Alternative Facts Pty Ltd)

Grace Under Pressure was co-commissioned by Seymour Centre and The Big Anxiety, and developed with the support of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Sydney. The Big Anxiety has been assisted by the Australian government through the Department of Communication and the Arts’ Catalyst—Australian Arts and Culture Fund. The 2021 tour of Grace Under Pressure has been assisted by the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative.