Love it, hate it, leave it, return to it. Work out your local pride complex at ‘All My Friends Are Returning to Brisbane.’

Reprinted from, the best source for independent news, interviews and reviews about everything that does happen in Brisbane 😉

Book tickets at this link for All My Friends Are Returning To Brisbane at the Anywhere Fringe Brisbane Festival building in South Brisbane happening 30 November to 3 December 2023.

Ah Brisbane. Brissie, Brisneyland, Brisvegas. The Deep North, the home of the Kurilpa water rat. Cultural wasteland, subtropical wonderland. Call it what you will the ebb and pull of the Sunshine State has its young people running away, and then running back to Brisbane, in a perpetual state of disenchantment and ocker pride. These themes are explored in the production, All My Friends Are Returning to Brisbane, the sequel to the charming, All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane.

The cast of All My Friends Are Returning to Brisbane, (L-R) Sharnee Tones, Tim Jackman, Tammy Tresillian, Jaz Robertson. Image credit including cover: Kris Anderson.

We had a chat to writer and director Stephen Vagg. Stephen is a writer of television, theatre and film, best known for writing the play and film of the aforementioned All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane.

Tell us about the show in 100 words or less.

Anthea is returning to Brisbane after more than a decade away in London. She tries to pick up her old life but everyone else seems to have moved on, including her former best friend Michael, who is now married with a child. All My Friends Are Returning to Brisbane is a comedy about coming home, and discovering that some things change while other things remain the same.

Tell us about your venue.

South Brisbane has become a thriving hub over the past two decades so it totally suits being the location of a venue of a play about how Brisbane has changed. Also the venue used to be a hair salon of Stefan, and what’s more Brisbane than him!

What is your creative process like?

I came home during COVID. Fellow writers were posting things on facebook how Shakespeare wrote King Lear during a plague, so we’d better get cracking on our King Lear. This was as close as I could get!

Sharnee Tones. Image credit: Kris Anderson.

Tell us your origin story. How did this show start?

Paul Osuch, who runs the venue, directed the original stage production of All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane years ago at the Cement Box Theatre. We’ve remained good friends since and I wanted him to direct the sequel. He directed a live read through of the play last year (at the same venue) which went really well. It was quite an emotional experience because we’d both been through so much in our lives since that original production. His schedule didn’t allow for him to direct the production of the play but he is still heavily involved as manager of the venue and I rely on him a lot for advice. I’m using all the actors he originally cast for the read through – if it wasn’t for Paul this wouldn’t be happening.

Who is your perfect audience member? Who is going to LOVE this event?

Honestly? I could lie but the truth is the people who will like it most are members of Generation X or Y who went to a Brisbane GPS school, and spent some time away from Brisbane before returning home. And have had a wine or two before curtain.

Is there anything else we simply MUST know about the show?

The cast are terrific, it’s a comedy with serious bits, and there’s a reference to Rob Borbidge if you’ve been craving that in your theatre-going.


Nadia Jade

Editor-in-Chief Nadia Jade is a Brisbane-based creative and entrepreneur with a bent for a well-turned phrase and an unerring sense of the zeitgeist. She watches a disproportionate amount of live performance and can usually be found slouching around the various circus warehouses of Brisneyland.

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