Grace Under Pressure

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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 wildly 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


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

Performers: Renee Lim, Rose Maher, Sal Sharah & Wendy Strehlow

Director: David Williams

Dramaturg: Paul Dwyer

Lighting Designer: Richard Manner

Sound Designer: Gail Priest

Set & Costume Designer: Isabel Hudson

Production Manager: Emma Bedford

Stage Manager: Patrick Howard

Producer: David Williams (for Seymour Centre)

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.