A Queensland Theatre Company and Black Swan State Theatre Company production


Imagine a world in which the air we breathe is just another commodity like food and fuel.Something that can be bought and sold according to market forces.


  • About


    Perth 1 – 18 Oct 2014 , Brisbane 17 Nov – 7 Dec 2014

    How much do you think you’d have to breathe? This was the darkly comic premise on which Ben Elton based his first play, the hilarious and critically acclaimed satirical comedy Gasping. First performed in London in 1990, starring Hugh Laurie; it has been revisited by Elton and reimagined for a new century and a new country.

    This major rewrite Gasp! relocates the story to an Australia grown giddy on the resources boom. Corporate powerhouse Lockheart Industries is already making a mint, but too much money is never enough. Their genius plan to privatise the air we breathe, with the ‘Suck and Blow’ filtering machine is an instant hit and sales soar. But it splits the planet into the haves and the have-nots – and if you can’t pay, you don’t breathe.

    Infused with the sarcastic, sharp wit that made Elton a household name (The Young Ones, Blackadder), the play is a breathtaking, biting, brilliantly funny satire on the heartlessness of big business and the ruthlessness of the advertising industry. And it’s as relevant and hil‘air’ious as ever. Continuing Queensland Theatre Company’s fertile collaboration with Western Australia’s Black Swan State Theatre Company, Gasp! draws cast members from Brisbane and Perth.

    Production Photography by Gary Marsh Photography

  • Creative Team

    Creative Team

    Writer // Ben Elton
    Director // Wesley Enoch
    Designer // Christina Smith
    Lighting Designer // Trent Suidgeest
    Projection Designers // optikal bloc
    Sound Designer // Tony Brumpton
    Design Associate // Penelope Challen
    Directorial Associate // Daniel Evans

    Cast Includes // Caroline Brazier, Lucy Goleby, Damon Lockwood, Greg McNeill and Steven Rooke.

“It looked clean and corporate with straight walls, furniture that moved on rails for easy scene changes and a huge screen at the back, where the go-to projection wizards Optikal Bloc created scene magic once again. Add to this Trent Suidgeest’s lighting and the whole two hours was a visual treat.”