Queensland Theatre opens its 50th season with David Williamson’s 1987 satire Emerald City, a tale of ego and ethics set amidst the affluence of Sydney’s arts scene in the 80s. A co-production with Melbourne Theatre Company directed by outgoing Queensland Theatre Artistic Director Sam Strong, this production of Emerald Citycelebrates not only 50 years of Queensland Theatre, but also Williamson’s 50th year of playwriting.

Nadine Garner and Jason Klarwein. Photograph © David Kelly

Driven by nostalgia for childhood summers as well as the sparkling allure of fame and fortune, successful screenwriter Colin (Jason Klarwein) moves his family from Melbourne to Sydney. While Colin collaborates with hack writer and hustler Mike (Rhys Muldoon) to work on a passion project screenplay, his publisher wife Kate (Nadine Garner) is on the up and up with a promotion and her recent hard-won publication on the Booker Prize shortlist. Both Colin and Kate find themselves unexpectedly swept up in the glitz, glamour, sex, and success, but must eventually make the choice between art and money before the Emerald City of Oz chews them up and spits them out.

From the abrupt opening to the final curtain, Williamson’s...