Black Box

10 - 19 May 2024
Cremorne Theatre, QPAC
1 hour 40 minutes
(no interval, subject to change without notice)
$69.90 - $99.90 *
* A transaction fee of $7.20 applies.

Available Discounts

Concession, Youth, Child, Groups, Schools

A new Australian Musical based on a true story

You don’t know him, but he may have saved your life.

Black Box is Queenslander Paul Hodge’s ground-breaking new musical based on the extraordinary true story of David Warren, the Australian inventor who created the black box flight recorder that is now on every plane around the globe.

Driven by the death of his father in an unexplained plane crash when he was eight, Black Box follows David as he fights for an invention that could record the final moments of a flight before it crashes – the black box. His obsession around this invention places his career, marriage and mind at risk. It’s a show about memory, and how we hold onto, and let go of, those we love.

Black Box writer and composer, Paul Hodge, said, “David’s invention was inspired by his love of music. I wanted to create a theatre form that was as inventive as David’s idea, which led to the use of recorded voices and music, in the same way the black box gives recordings, to immerse the audience in David’s sound world.”

Black box inventor David Warren will be played by internationally renowned singer and actor Michael Cormick, who has had leading roles around the world, including in Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast with Hugh Jackman. David’s wife, Ruth, will be played by Helpmann Award winner Helen Dallimore who as well as touring extensively throughout the UK and Australia was the original Glinda opposite Idina Menzel in the West End production of Wicked.

The auditory world that inspired David to create his life-saving invention shapes the audience’s experience at Black Box, which utilises pre-recorded voices and instruments to create a world of music and memory to tell his story. While Helen and Michael are on stage, the rest of the cast are present through a history-making audio experience. Black Box is the first binaural musical with audience members wearing headphones that allow them to be totally immersed in a 360-degree world of sound. Binaural recording uses two microphones, arranged at the position of human ears to create a 3D stereo sound sensation for the listener of actually being in the room with the recorded actors and instruments. This world-premiere production will be directed by David Berthold.

Presented by Grey Gum Productions and Tinderbox Productions

Black Box is proudly supported by Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative, and by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

Information on Wearing Headphones to Experience the Binaural Sound

Information on wearing headphones to experience the binaural sound which is integral to this production.

This production of Black Box uses binaural stereo to create a 3D soundscape, and wearing headphones is a critical aspect of the show.

A pair of headphones is available on each audience member’s seat. These headphones are of lightweight design with foam ear-pads for comfort. The ear pads are regularly changed and cleaned.

Stereo sound and on-ear headphones may not suit everyone’s hearing needs. A sound check plays in the auditorium before the show starts allowing you to test out what works for you. We have a range of additional equipment to help everyone get the best experience of the show, and we will have a team in the auditorium to help find the best solution for you on the day.

We advise you to take your seats at least 20 minutes before the start of the performance to ensure we have time to make sure everything is working correctly.

Ushers will also be in the auditorium to provide assistance in the unlikely event that your headphones stop working during the performance.

Cast and Creatives

  • Michael Cormick
  • Helen Dallimore
  • Book, Music and Lyrics Paul Hodge
  • Directed by David Berthold
  • Sound Design Daniel Herten
  • Set and Costume Design Isabel Hudson
  • Lighting Design Ben Hughes
  • Musical Direction Bev Kennedy

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