Stories of Love & hate

“200 per cent free of judgement and full to the brim of joy” - Pip Smith, FBi Radio

“A sparkling essay on the shifting sands of community feeling.” - Sydney Morning Herald

“The arduous listening of Oades and her cast contrasts sharply with the profound absence of listening that lies at the heart of the Cronulla riots. In repeating these stories of love and hate with such sensitivity and artistry, the performance provides us with an opportunity to re-hear our fellow citizens and to rehearse new modes of local, cultural, and national belonging.” - Caroline Wake, Realtime #89

Stories of Love & Hate explores great loves, broken hearts and the fragile bonds that hold our society together. At times funny, bizarre and confronting, cultures and ideologies collide in this intimate and innately Australian exploration of love and loss.Drawing on an infamous local incident, which attracted worldwide attention, Stories of Love & Hate considers the idea of hate as a consequence of feeling the things we love are under threat. The result is a collection of interlinking personal stories told with affection, integrity and humour.

Stories of Love & Hate traces the lives and loves of people directly affected by the 2005 Cronulla riots including a group of pro surfers, a carload of ‘bass heads’, elderly ocean swimmers, a philosophical father, Muslim schoolgirls, a newspaper photographer and a baton-wielding cop. Over a two-year period, director Roslyn Oades interviewed 65 residents, aged between 14 and 79, from Bankstown and the Sutherland Shire on the ’love of their life’. Sidestepping the media hype and social outrage surrounding the event, the source material for this unique verbatim theatre show is directly inspired by the passionate people who were there.

Stories of Love & Hate is the second part in a trilogy of headphone-verbatim plays titled Acts of Courage. This collection - which also includes I'm Your Man and Fast Cars & Tractor Engines is now available through Currency Press. Order online >>

Produced by URBAN THEATRE PROJECTS in association with BYDS / Remounted at Sydney Theatre Company

Image by Gabriel Porras & Myles Formby

Image by Gabriel Porras & Myles Formby


Director/Creator: Roslyn Oades
Performers: Mohammed Ahmad, Roderic Brynes, Janie Gibson & Katia Molino
Script Consultants: Andrew Ma & Alicia Talbot
Designer: Clare Britton
Sound Artist: Bob Scott  
Lighting Design: Neil Simpson
Artistic Consultant: Deborah Pollard
Community Liaison: Tim Carroll
Interview Assistants: Mohammed Ahmad, Alex Bruszt & Lou McKerihan
Production Stills: Heidrun Lohr

We gratefully acknowledge the generous community interviewees who trusted us with their words.


Premiere season: Produced by Urban Theatre Projects in association with BYDS (2008). The show was originally presented at both the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire and at Bankstown Arts Centre in Sydney’s South West – taking the show back to the two communities at the heart of it’s conception.

Remount Season: Sydney Theatre Company (Wharf 2) as part of their 2011 Education season.

Performance Lecture Adaptation: In 2009 Roslyn was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney to deliver a performance-lecture based on Stories of Love & Hate as part of a major retrospective exhibition of the work of contemporary indigenous artist Fiona Foley. This performance lecture was also presented at Vitalstatistix (2011) and the Transcultural Mapping Conference at Sydney University (2010). 

SUPPORTED BY: Urban Theatre Projects, Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NSW, Bankstown City Council, BYDS, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Sydney Theatre Company