Arts Review

Queensland Theatre presents Family Values

Queensland Theatre presents Family Values, a confronting production that centers itself around a dialogue on the current political climate in Australia. Director Lee Lewis masterfully balanced the disharmony between family members with a comedic twist without ever crossing the line. The end result is a bittersweet aftertaste that reminds you of the imperfections that exist within your own family.


It was interesting to watch as each new character was introduced and the narrative rapidly unfolded while the exploration of the relationships between the family members remained a consistent driving force throughout the performance. With each twist and turn in the narrative the audience developed a better understanding of each character as the hidden truths quickly began to resurface. LGBTQ+ portrayal was handled respectfully, and the “butch lesbian” cliche was abandoned for a nuanced representation of a Border Force boat Commander who spent a lifetime trying to prove herself and seeing the political dilemma from a different lens to her more empathetic better half. 


While the central plot was focused around a moral dilemma on a political issue, the narrative had a lot to say about how quickly family dynamics can change when faced with opposing views. It is clear with regards to the execution there is a very talented team supporting this production from behind the scenes and the cast members delivered an exceptional performance portraying an eclectic mix of characters. Williamson has carefully designed a cast of characters that remain grounded in their worldview without resorting to extremism.


David Williamson not only creates space for a healthy dialogue around sensitive issues but doesn’t resort to archaic stereotypes when writing queer characters. It was clear that a lot of time and energy was spent crafting this narrative, and creating nuanced characters that were believable, which left a lasting impact on the audience. Family Values remained “short and sweet” with its 1.5 hour long duration, hitting all the right notes before leaving us right where we started, gathered around a family table.


28 JAN – 25 FEB



Review: Joanna Letic


Imagery: Brett Boardman



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