At turns hilarious and chilling, poignant and explosive, Bogga uses verbatim oral histories to explore the decline and fall of the infamous Bjelke-Petersen regime through the microcosm of Queensland's notorious Boggo Road Gaol in the 1970s and 1980s.

Bogga is the result of a long partnership between the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble and the Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society. With the support of the Brisbane City Council through their Community History grants, historian Chris Dawson recorded oral histories from a dozen former guards and prisoners, and with their permission Rob Pensalfini wove these into a lively theatre script. All of the words and events in the play (recounts of murders, riots, corruption, escapes, and daily prison life) come directly from the oral histories - nothing has been added or altered. The script was revised with the support of the Queensland Theatre Company, with the input of several local playwrights and dramaturgs including Stephen Carleton, from 2014 to 2016. November 2017 will see the world premiere of Bogga, produced by the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble and directed by long-time Core Ensemble member Rebecca Murphy.


  • Season: 9 - 11 Nov 2017 (Thu-Sat); and 15 - 18 Nov 2017 (Wed-Sat)
  • Preview: Wed 8 Nov 2017 (all tickets $25)
  • Opening Night Gala: Thu 9 Nov 2017 (Mingle with the cast and crew and enjoy food and refreshments after the show)
  • Matinée: Sat 11 Nov 2017
  • Q&A: Thu 16 Nov 2017 (20min Question and Answer session after the show)
  • Venue: Geoffrey Rush Drama Studio, University of Queensland, Saint Lucia
  • Times: Evening shows at 7:30pm, Matinée at 2pm
Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Week 1 Nov 8 2017
7:30pm Preview
Nov 9 2017
7:30pm Gala
Nov 10 2017
Nov 11 2017
2pm and 7:30pm
Week 2 Nov 15 2017
Nov 16 2017
7:30pm Q&A
Nov 17 2017
Nov 18 2017


  • Full: $30
  • Concession/Preview: $25 *
  • Group Discount (10+): $24

* Concessions are for full-time students, pensioners, health care card holders, MEAA card holders, 4ZZZ subscriber card holders, and Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble members

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Cast and Crew

  • Director: Rebecca Murphy
  • Writer: Rob Pensalfini
  • Cast: Ellen Hardisty, Paige Poulier, Chris Vaag, James Elliott, Johancée Theron

How To Get There

Bus: Brisbane City Council buses stop at several locations on the university campus. The Studio is closest to the UQ Lakes bus station, which is serviced by BCC bus routes 29, 109, 139, 169, 192, and 209. Visit the TransLink website for more information.

Ferry: The Brisbane City Council's UQSL Citycat service stops at the University of Queensland ferry terminal on Sir William Macgregor Drive, approximately 400 metres' walk from the Studio. Visit the TransLink website for more information.

Car: The studio is best accessed by car via Sir Fred Schonell Drive - drive east to Campbell Road, then turn left onto Blair Drive, then right onto Union Road. Limited parking is available on the south end of Union Road near university buildings 21B and 22; more spaces are available on the lower floor of the UQ Centre, as well as at open-air spaces adjacent to the UQ Sport Aquatic Centre. Parking is metered until 9pm on weeknights, and is free on weekends. For more information on parking at UQ, visit the Parking at UQ website.