Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday

“Heartwarming… deftly executed… faultless performances… the unguarded stories that emerge here are surprisingly elating Hello, Goodbye and Happy Birthday is made of powerful, life-affirming stuff.” — Rebecca Harkins-Cross, The Age

“One of the most charming shows of the year” — Alison Croggon, ABC Arts

“Audio documentary rendered as magnificent verbatim theatre… infused with a terrific sense of life rarely felt in a theatre.” — John Bailey, Realtime

Recently I attended an 80th birthday party, followed shortly after by an 18th. It occurred to me during the birthday speeches that the former felt eerily like a farewell party and the latter a hello-world-here-I-come type event. The pairing of these two events felt rather profound and innately theatrical. It started me thinking about entrances and exits into adulthood and I guess into life itself - an opportunity to explore the bookends of a life fully lived.

Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday is a new audio-scripted performance work by Roslyn Oades and collaborators. The source material for this project is the result of an extensive engagement period with community members aged 80 and over followed by a similar process with participants aged 18 years. Immersed in the institutional environments of nursing homes and high schools – this project explores the threshold from child into adulthood, as well as, from self-sufficient adult into aged care dependency. Both sets of age groups were asked to respond to a parallel series of questions, drawing direct links between their experiences. How does it feel to be at the very start or the very end of life’s journey? And what unique insights can we gain from these perspectives? Audiences are offered a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on the conversations of those grappling with how to say goodbye; and where to begin.

Toured by Performing Lines, Originally produced by Malthouse Theatre & Melbourne Festival


WINNER - Green Room Award: writing for the stage
WINNER - Green Room Award: lighting design by Paul Jackson
NOMINATED - 6 Green Room Awards
NOMINATED - 2018 Helpmann Award (Best Regional Touring Production)
SHORTLISTED - 2016 NSW Premiere's Literary Award
SHORTLISTED - 2015 Australian Writers Guild Award


Original Cast: Jim Daly, Matthew Connell, Evelyn Krape, HaiHa Le, Roger Oakley & Diana Perini
Tour cast includes: Aileen Huynh & Izabella Yena
Direction/Audio-script: Roslyn Oades
Movement Director: Nat Cursio
Sound Design: Bob Scott & Russell Goldsmith
Original Lighting Design: Paul Jackson
Tour Lighting Re-design: Stephen Hawker
Original Set Design: Christina Hayes
Tour Set Re-design: Matilda Woodroofe
Audio-script editing: Roslyn Oades & Bob Scott
Script Dramaturge: Raimondo Cortese
Additional dramaturgy: Bob Scott, Nat Cursio, Paul Jackson & Yana Taylor
Interviews: Roslyn Oades
Interview assistance/Community photos: Piper Huynh
Production Stills: Jeff Busby
Publicity Image: Sarah Walker
Community consultants: Paul Brophy at Sambell Lodge, Kirsty Baird at City of Yarra & Piper Huynh


Please direct initial enquiries to Roslyn Oades>>


2017 AUSTRALIAN TOUR produced by Performing Lines:
Theatre Royal, HOBART, TAS
Geelong Performing Arts Centre, VIC
Ulumbarra Theatre, BENDIGO, VIC
Civic Theatre, WAGGA WAGGA, NSW
Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, NSW
Casula Powerhouse, SYDNEY, NSW
Riverside Theatre, PARRAMATTA, NSW
The Events Centre, CALOUNDRA, QLD
The Arts Centre Gold Coast, SURFERS PARADISE, QLD
Darwin Festival, NT
Portland Arts Centre, VIC
Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, MT. GAMBIER, SA
Chaffey Theatre, RENMARK, SA
Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, WA
Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, WOLLONGONG, NSW

2016 APAM Showcase Presentation:
Cremorne Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre

2014 Premiere Season:
The premiere season of Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday was a coproduction between Malthouse and the Melbourne Festival in association with Roslyn Oades and was presented at The Beckett Theatre, Malthouse.


This project has been kindly assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council of the Arts, its arts funding and advisory board; by the City of Yarra; by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria; the Malthouse 2013 Female Director-in-Residency Program, The Robert Salzer Foundation and Monash University Academy of Performing Arts. An initial development was supported by Campbelltown Arts Centre’s 2011 Sitelab Residency. We gratefully acknowledge the many generous community participants who trusted us with their words.