With the year drawing to a close, we look back over the theatre that wowed our critics in 2019. With so much on offer, it was tough reducing our lists, but this is what we picked.


Counting and Cracking (Belvoir and Co-Curious)

Vaishnavi Suryaprakash and Sukania Venugopal in Counting and Cracking. Photograph © Brett Boardman

For years, there have been calls for more diversity on stage in Australian theatre. Here was a thrilling example. Written by S. Shakthidharan, the epic, wildly ambitious, three-and-a-half-hour play featured a cast of 17 performers speaking in six different languages – a device that was ingeniously and seamlessly handled on stage by director Eamon Flack. Moving between Sri Lanka and Australia, between 1956 and 2004, the fascinating play tells a compelling, complex story of Sri Lankan history, and reflects on a section of Australian society rarely portrayed onstage. Political, personal, provocative and illuminating, it was groundbreaking theatre.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Melbourne)

The cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Photograph © Matt Murphy

Muggles recognise magical theatre when they see it and this...