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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Boy Swallows Universe — POSTPONED

The award-winning Aussie novel is coming to the stage, world premiering at Brisbane Festival in 2020.
By Samantha Teague
February 18, 2020
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Boy Swallows Universe — POSTPONED

The award-winning Aussie novel is coming to the stage, world premiering at Brisbane Festival in 2020.
By Samantha Teague
February 18, 2020
  shares
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UPDATE, JUNE 29, 2020 — Brisbane Festival has announced that Boy Swallows Universe will no longer take place at the 2020 festival, and will now world premiere in 2021 instead. "Ongoing restrictions surrounding mass gatherings and the current closure of many performance venues across the country has forced the postponement of the Boy Swallows Universe season, previously scheduled for 29 August to 19 September 2020," it advised in a statement. Exact 2021 dates have not been announced as yet; however the festival takes place in September each year.

Ticketholders and waitlist members can obtain further information via QPAC.

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Set in the backstreets of suburban Brisbane, Trent Dalton's award-winning 2018 novel Boy Swallows Universe is destined to become an Aussie classic. It follows a young boy, his prophetic brother and his jailbreaking best friend as they navigate the heroin-filled underworld of 80s Queensland. And it's about to come to life on the stage.

In September 2021, the stage version of the novel will world premiere in Brisbane. It'll be a co-production between Queensland Theatre and Brisbane Festival, with the former's ex-Artistic Director Sam Strong directing the adaptation, which will be written by playwright Tim McGarry.

Brisbane-born author Dalton said in a statement it was only fitting that the stage show should premiere in his hometown. "It was the people of Brisbane who took that wild, strange book and ran with it first and that book belongs to them now and this production will belong to them, too."

Boy Swallows Universe has snagged a slew of local awards, including Book of the Year, Literary Book of the Year and Audio Book of the Year at the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards. The novel, which has sold 160,000 copies in Australia alone, was also been longlisted for Australia's most prestigious literature prize, the Miles Franklin Award in 2019.

Fans of the novel will be excited to hear that it won't stop at the stage, either — Boy Swallows Universe is also destined for the small screen. Harper Collins had sold the television rights to the novel, with Australian actor and director Joel Edgerton (who recently wrote, directed and produced Boy Erased) set to produce the show alongside Dalton as executive producer.

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