Queensland Theatre and Brisbane Festival will produce the world premiere season of Trent Dalton’s novel Boy Swallows Universe. In a huge coup, Queensland Theatre has secured the rights for the world premiere of the stage version of Brisbane-born Trent Dalton’s mega-hit novel. Queensland Theatre’s Artistic Director Sam Strong will direct an adaptation by Tim McGarry in a co-production between Queensland Theatre and Brisbane Festival.

Boy Swallows Universe is an utterly wonderful novel of love, crime, magic, fate and coming of age, set in Brisbane’s violent working-class suburban fringe. Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It’s not as if Eli’s life isn’t complicated enough already. He’s just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way – not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer.

But Eli’s life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He is about to fall in love. And, oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day, to save his mum. A story of brotherhood, true love and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe will be the most heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novel.

The stage version of Boy Swallows Universe will have its world premiere in September 2020 as part of Brisbane Festival. “I love theatre so much and I love Queensland Theatre, Sam Strong is a theatre genius and I’ve told him he has my blessing to go as big and as ambitious and as creative as his big brain can take him,” said Dalton.

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