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.

“As an anthropological artefact, its value is immense. As a work of theatre it is at turns humorous and chilling.”
Meredith Walker, Blue Curtains Brisbane

“The years of work in development of Bogga are not only apparent but clearly have been rewarded with an interesting show about an interesting place that stood the test of some interesting times in this state’s history.”
The Blurb



Cast: Ellen Hardisty, Paige Poulier, Chris Vaag, James Elliott, Johancée Theron

Director: Rebecca Murphy

Writer: Rob Pensalfini

Historian: Chris Dawson

Production Manager: Kylii Davis

Stage Manager: Josie Dodson

Assistant Stage Manager: Sarah Doyle

Costume Design: Kaylee Gannaway

Set Design: James Elliott

Lighting Design: Josie Dodson and Ashleigh de Latour

Sound Design: Josie Dodson and Rebecca Murphy

2017 Production included music from: My Three Sons, Lemmings, The Pinups, The Skeletones, The Colours, No fixed Address, The Parameters