The Sapphires - one of Australia's best-loved stories

Published on 28 February 2020


The Sapphires is one of Australia’s best-loved stories, winning multiple awards as a play, film and soundtrack album. Now Rockhampton audiences can experience the raw energy, fun and emotion of this story live on stage at the Pilbeam Theatre in April.

Featuring Rockhampton’s own Lorrinda May Merrypor amongst a talented cast, The Sapphires is a heart-warming tale inspired by the true story of playwright / director Tony Briggs’ mother.

Set in 1968 during a time of massive social upheaval including landmark changes to Aboriginal rights, it tells the story of a singing group of four young Aboriginal women, discovered by a talent scout at a St Kilda night club.

He convinces them to tour Vietnam to sing classic soul songs for the troops and it becomes a life-altering trip to the depths of war and back again. The Sapphires is an energetic, fun and engaging play that affirms life and the realisation of dreams.

The show features some fabulous hits of the era, performed live on stage, including He’s So Fine, Respect, My Boyfriend’s Back, Stop in the Name of Love, I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Chain of Fools, Love is Like a Heatwave and more.

Writer Tony Briggs has directed his work in a version he promises will be the most intimate telling of The Sapphires story yet. 

“I hope the audience will feel a fresh sense of connection to a story that has already successfully infiltrated the psyche of the Australian theatre and movie going public and get a sense of joy and understanding of who Aboriginal people are and walk away from The Sapphires with a smile on their faces,” Mr Briggs said.

The Sapphires is presented by Rockhampton Regional Council, and is part of the See It live Theatre Season.  It will be performed at the Pilbeam Theatre on Saturday 18 April. Tickets: $45 for adults and $41 for concessions.
PAY-YOUR-AGE: Patrons aged 26 years and under pay $1 per year of age.