Black Swan State Theatre Company of Western Australia acknowledges the Whadjuk people of the Nyoongar Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and live.

First Nations People have been telling stories on this country for many thousands of years, and we acknowledge their incredible contribution to the cultural and environmental landscape we reside in.


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Content Warnings



Content Warnings

Welcome to our additional content warnings page. Here is where we would like to give you further details about the show to help you decide if the production is right for you and help you navigate any content warnings to give you a full picture of what to expect when you attend.

Read on at your discretion as this information may contain spoilers!

There are a number of organisations here to help if any content affects you. Connection and Wellbeing Australia (CAWA) have listed them here.

2023 Season

Things I Know To Be True
By Andrew Bovell
Directed by Kate Champion

Recommended Age: 15+

This production contains mature themes and coarse language.

Amnesia, references to memory loss (possible)
Married couple at an age where conversations around lapsing mental capacity happen.

Anger issues (possible)
A parent loses their composure and attacks their young child. 'It was a moment. A moment of anger.' A husband sees his wife as angry 'Why are you also so angry?' 'I'm not angry... I'm tired.'

Car accident, vehicle accident (mild)
Death of a parent and spouse in a car accident. 'She veered off the inside lane and hit the concrete divider before flipping the car. She was crushed on impact. She was dead on arrival at the hospital where she worked.'

Child abuse, child neglect (possible)
Description of a daughter being asked to watch her younger baby sister, who climbs a ladder and falls hurting her head. Then mother physically punishes the older daughter. 'You tore the hair from my head... and then you slapped my face.'

Cigarettes, smoking (mild)
Character describes 'smoking these long coloured cocktail cigarettes'. Some characters smoke cigarettes in production.

Coarse language (mild)
'Mild use. 'bitch' 'shit' 'fuck' 'cunt.'

Depression (mild)
Character references seeing their mother crying 'Once I saw her, mum, bawling her eyes out and banging her head against the trunk of that tree'. A son describes living in unhappiness for a long time living a false life 'I'm unhappy now... I have been unhappy for a long time.' A father who has entered retirement is caught in a routine of gardening and malaise 'Sometimes I find myself standing in the shed wondering what to do next because everything has already been done.'

Divorce (mild)
Characters discuss elements of divorce and potential divorce in the storyline 'FRAN: Is this about Steve? PIP: I'm leaving him'. Reference to adultery also made. References to past parents' relationship troubles 'I saw it happen to my mother. Stuck in a miserable marriage with a man she didn't love because she couldn't afford to leave.'

Drugs, depiction of someone on drugs (mild)
Son appears on drugs/distressed. Symptoms include erratic actions, aggressive talk, and enlarged pupils. 'It's easier to ask me what drugs I haven't taken.'

Homophobia (possible)
Parents dealing with a potential conversation of son being 'gay' and 'being fine with it'. 'I mean a part of me thinks Not My Son. Please God not my son.'

Loss of a loved one, death of a parent and spouse (mild)
Death of a parent/spouse in a car accident.

Self-harm, self-harm presented on stage (mild)
A son starts hitting himself in the face.

Sex, descriptions of sex (mild)
Mild descriptions of characters having sexual encounters.

Sexism, misogyny (possible)
Observations made about how men and women get treated differently. 'If it was a man making this decision... If it was Mark or Ben you would support it.'

Suicide, mention of suicide (possible)
Light comment about spending more time with a long-term husband 'Because I'd bash him to death with the back of a shovel if I had to spend all day with him and then I'd kill myself from boredom.'

Transphobia, misunderstanding realities of transitioning, non-acceptance of someone's transition (strong)
A father misinterprets a moment of a child informing them of transitioning 'Unless you told us you had decided to become a woman. Then I would be shocked.' and having to comprehend the reality and nuance of this news. A mother not accepting a child's intention to transition 'Well, Fuck you! Go. Be a woman. But not in my house. I don't want to see it.' 'When you come back a woman, I will look for my son in her face and mourn his loss.'

Violence, physical assault (mild)
Light comment about spending more time with a long-term husband 'Because I'd bash him to death with the back of a shovel if I had to spend all day with him and then I'd kill myself from boredom.' A small altercation between father and son, threatening to get into a fight.

Jurrungu Ngan-ga [Straight Talk]
Created by Marrugeku

Recommended Age: 15+

Mature themes, coarse language, partial nudity, depictions of violence, racial abuse and police/border security brutality, references to self-harm and use of low-level strobe light and haze effects. This performance contains the names of people who have passed away.

Abuse, (strong) emotional, verbal and physical abuse
Actors present onstage move in a way to invoke imagery of torture and abuse. A man is pushed down onto the floor and stripped naked, his bare behind showing, and placed in a spotlight. Bodies are aggressively picked up and placed into position. Some movements invoke imagery of restraint and constriction.

Cigarettes, (mild) cigars, herbal cigarettes, smoking
Mild references in movement to making smoking paraphernalia.

Coarse language, (mild)
Words used include - 'Fuck' 'Asshole' 'Bitch'

Contains names/voices/images of people who have passed away, (strong)
The work asks the audience to hold the names of people who have passed at the hands of police brutality, social injustice, transphobic trauma, mental and physical torture to asylum seekers. These names are of real life people, some of which are First Nation and Aboriginal identities, viewers are advised these names are spoken.

Contains words and descriptions that may be culturally sensitive, (strong)
First Nations people are advised names of First Nation individuals who have passed are spoken. Descriptions of traumatic events which have happened to First Nation identities, Trans bodies, and Refugee bodies are spoken about, and alluded to in movement.

Death in custody, (strong)
Historical deaths in custody are directly referenced, both of First Nations Peoples and Asylum Seeking peoples. Imagery of people being restrained by police reoccurs through the piece. Performers join their wrists together as though being handcuffed and simulating being taken by police on multiple occasions through the piece. A young Aboriginal man lies on the floor simulating being arrested saying the words "I can't breathe".

Flashing lights, (mild) bright lights
The work contains mild bright lights.

Guns, (strong) gun violence
Simulated execution by handgun to head takes place. An actor kneels on the floor, another actor approaches quickly with a microphone and holds the microphone to the back of the kneeling actors head. A gun shot is heard, the actor kneeling falls over, the actor holding the microphone begins to sing.

Intergenerational trauma, (strong) violent colonialism

Kidnapping, (mild)

Loud noise, (mild) loud music

Nudity, (mild)
See above under Abuse.

Racism, (strong)
Systemic racism, racial profiling, police brutality, Islamophobia, genocide, white supremacy, antisemitism, hate crimes, lynching, Black trauma, white nationalism

Self harm, (mild)
Self harm imagery.

Simulated violence, (mild)
Knife fight, physical fight.

Suicide, (mild)
Suicidal ideation, suicidal thoughts

Torture, (strong)

Transphobia, (mild)

Trauma, (strong)
PTSD, victim blaming

War, (strong)
Bombing, refugee crisis

Dirty Birds
Written by Hayley McElhinney & Mandy McElhinney
Directed by Kate Champion

Recommended Age: 13+

This production contains mature themes and coarse language, use of strobe and haze effects.

Animal death/loss (mild)
In the play a bird flies into and smashes against a window and dies. The production uses an artificial made-for-purpose inanimate crow which looks realistic. A funeral is held for the bird, and the dead corpse is put in a box. At different points in the play the dead corpse becomes symbolic to represent other elements in the world, but is always visually present as a dead bird.

Anxiety, agoraphobia, panic attacks (possible)
Interpretations can be made about characters in the piece suffering from agoraphobia e.g., 'Hazardous air quality. You are strongly advised to stay indoors and refrain from breathing.' And character Martha finds it difficult to go outside whenever near the door.

Body shaming, fat shaming (possible)
Throughout the play characters mention elements of their bodies they are not satisfied with, and describe situations where they are aware of people looking and judging them. E.g., 'Hiding me but also drawing attention to me, pointing out my neck, my lips, my guts and face. Everyone was looking. Everyone... I began to see I wasn't right at all.' 'I'm hideous. Do something! My face, my face, I've got to fix my face! Help me.'

Cigarettes, smoking (mild)
Characters pretend to smoke pipes.

Coarse language (mild)
Christian Lord's name taken in vain. 'Jeezus, Christ and the Almighty.'

Death, murder, drowning, death threats, poisoning (mild)
Characters describe a journey across a sea on a boat where 'On the way to this god-forsaken land. She drowned.' 'So many. Gone under. Never to be recovered. Ah the sea, the sea. She's a terrible mistress.' Multiple mentions of being 'dead' by both characters.

Flashing lights, bright lights, strobe effect (mild)
At the discretion of artistic team, strobe lighting is used in some storm moments.

Haze, smoke effect (possible)
At the discretion of artistic team, haze is used in some storm moments.

Horror, supernatural imagery, magic (possible)
A character appears claiming to be a ghost at an outside window.

Loud noise, loud music (possible)
Stage directions of a 'loud bang' at a window with a body hitting the window.

Poverty, homelessness, starvation (mild)
Characters in story are sent eviction notices while in their home and keep ignoring them. Characters who lack food and claim 'we will starve to death'. Mentions of 'another starved to death' taking a long journey on a boat.

Violence, physical assault (mild)
Descriptions of environment turning on characters. 'The pointy talons of the wind were tearing at my flesh' 'the burning cold needles of wind cut deeper'. A character acts out attacking someone with a rope and calls 'die die die'. A character holds a fuel can and matches and alludes to lighting the can. A character elaborately (and comically) acts out a death.

2024 Season

The Pool
By Steve Rodgers
Directed by Kate Champion

Recommended Age 10+

This production contains mature themes and coarse language.

Please note the following content warnings may contain spoilers.

Body shaming, fat shaming (mild)
Character speaks of dealing with self confidence issues to do with their body in a swimsuit when they are younger.

Child abuse, child neglect (mild)
A plot line involving a swim instructor being proud of a young swim student and kissing her on the cheek out of excitement, lands him in and his colleague in a difficult position. A character speaks of being kicked out of home by their parents when they were 17, and being slapped by their father after almost drowning in Green's Pool when they were very young.

Death, murder, drowning, death threats, poisoning (mild)
A character jokes about throwing themselves in the water and drowning themselves. At another time a character in the play tells a story of almost drowning as an infant at Green's Pool in Denmark.

Drugs, depiction of someone on drugs (mild)
A character who is a recovering drug addict mentions some of the drugs they've been addicted to in the past; Codeine, Demerol.

Mental illness (mild)
Character living with diagnosed depression represented.

Medical procedures, hospitalisation (mild)
Mentions of Cancer treatments and hospitalisation, also mentions of treatment needed to address a prolapsed vagina.

Terminal illness, cancer (mild)
Multiple references to cancer.

Trauma, PTSD, victim blaming (mild)
Character suffering possible trauma from incident of almost drowning as a child.

Violence, physical assault (mild)
Mention of a child biting an adult on the arm and drawing blood

Audience interaction (mild)
Possible audience interaction for those who have selected to take part at point of purchase.

Barracking for the Umpire
By Andrea Gibbs
Directed by Clare Watson

Recommended Age 15+

This production contains mature themes, coarse language and haze effects.

Please note the following content warnings may contain spoilers.

Coarse language (mild)
Words spoken include 'dickhead' 'asslicker' 'fuck' 'shit' 'bullshit' 'dick'.

Cult (possible)
Jokes made about a speechwriting organisation being a cult.

Hallucinations, delusions (mild)
A character suffering from CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) has visions of his coach from younger football playing days.

Haze, smoke effect (mild)
At the discretion of artistic team, haze is used in some storm moments.

Homophobia (possible)
A plotline involving homosexual football players reveals an unconscious bias against homosexual players in the community of AFL.

Sex, descriptions of sex (mild)
Mention of someone getting 'fingered behind the shed' in school.

Sexism, misogyny (possible)
Plot line of new Women's AFL starting up reveals a bias from some in the Football community around the abilities of women playing the sport.

Trauma, PTSD, victim blaming (mild)
Play's central storyline revolves around a character living with CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) - suffered from playing high level impact sport for many years.

RBG: Of Many, One
By Suzie Miller
Directed by Priscilla Jackman

Recommended Age 12+

This production contains sexism and coarse language.

Please note the following content warnings may contain spoilers.

Abuse, emotional, verbal, physical, domestic abuse (mild)
Direct quotes as spoken by Donald Trump about leeching over women and 'grabbing them by the pussy' - not seen, but spoken.

Loss of loved one, death of a parent and/or spouse (mild)
Deaths of family members remembered and relived by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, including her mother, her sister, and her husband.

Medical procedures, hospitalisation (mild)
Ruth recounts her husband’s battle against testicular cancer, her battle against breast cancer, and her loss and subsequent death at the hands of pancreatic cancer.

Sexism, misogyny (strong)
The life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of battling long inherited personal and structural misogyny. Reference to imbalance for women through RBG's life made, including Donald Trump's sexist and misogynistic language, women not being included in mourning procedures at Jewish funerals, women being told not to raise their voice, limited positions in higher education for women and the difficulty of women being hired into law firms.

Suicide, mention of suicide (mild)
In speaking about a case, Ruth tells the audience of a child who took their own life. No method is described.

Prima Facie
By Suzie Miller
Directed Kate Champion

Recommended Age 15+

This production contains coarse language and strong themes of sexual assault. 

Please note the following content warnings may contain spoilers.

Abuse, emotional, verbal, physical, domestic abuse (mild)
Character described as lurching at another character and almost spitting at her. Allusion to a man throwing a plate of food at the wall and his mother having to clean it up. Description of bruised and beaten women.

Coarse language (mild)
Words spoken include 'fuck' and 'shit.’

Rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual violence, statutory rape (strong)
The central character of the piece, and narrator of the piece, is a defence lawyer who deals with Sexual Assault cases and represents the defendants. High and consistent instances of sexual assault are discussed and presented as part of the lead character's profession, such as;

  • Not wanting to know if an accused man committed a crime to maintain objectivity in defence.
  • The ambiguous areas of consent in legal terms, such as 'you have to prove that HE DID NOT KNOW there was NO CONSENT. That it was reasonable for him to think it was okay.'
  • Extensive scenes of sexual assault victims being cross examined about their sexual assault experiences.

Also spoken are experiences by the lead character in first person account of rape and sexual assault; 'I push him away' 'I feel him lift me up. Carefully carry me to the bed' 'I fall partly asleep. Damien's face is then kissing mine.' 'I move my face, his hands are all over me.' 'Feel his hands and his legs pushing against me, I am suddenly very awake. He's on top of me but his hand is on my face.' 'He takes my hands and I can't move' 'He's inside me, it's rough and painful. And it hurts something horrible.' 'I feel myself leave my body.' 'His hand is over my mouth.' 'I'm struggling to get out from under him.' 'It goes on and on.' 'Searing pain inside of me, I want to vomit again’.

Self harm, self harm presented on stage (strong)
Descriptions of self harm expressed 'I dig my thighs with my nails, make myself feel the pain.' 'Dig my nails into my palms.'

Sex, descriptions of sex (strong)
Descriptions of flirtatious actions; 'Damien's hand lingers on my back as he talks to me', 'Damien's hand around my waist', 'Damien is kissing my neck, it's nice', 'I find myself kissing Damo', 'We fuck on the sofa in his office', 'Later, in bed. Kissing and touching.'

Trauma, PTSD, victim blaming (strong)
In the world of the characters, that of criminal defence law, there is a culture of questioning sexual assault victims' validity. The lead character and narrator both engages in and experiences this; 'The restaurant bill indicates there was a lot of sake drunk by you both, witnesses say you were giggling yes?' and 'You took off most of your clothes, is that right?' After being subjected to sexual assault, our narrator shows sign of distress and trauma, including; having to see the perpetrator of the rape being at her workplace, having to go through many uncomfortable processes of legally trialling her attacker, including describing her attack to police in reporting the rape, reliving the event over and over in the courtroom process, an extensive scene of cross examination by a QC lawyer of her testimony - questioning at length small details about her statement, and having to go to hospital and use a rape kit and be examined extensively. During this period of the work the play also touches on instances of guilt at not doing enough to stop the attack.

Violence, physical assault (mild)
Descriptions of a fight in a bar - with result of 'blood encrusted forehead.’