World Premiere


Jack Maggs

By Samuel Adamson

Based on the novel by Peter Carey

15 Nov — 30 Nov 2024
Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre

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You’re a dead man if they find you.

Step back in time to 19th-century London, where intrigue and mystery mix in the world premiere of Jack Maggs. Peter Carey’s best-selling and Miles Franklin Award-winning “reworking” of Charles Dickens’ canonical novel Great ExpectationsJack Maggs comes alive on stage in a sweeping new adaptation by South Australian playwright Samuel Adamson, renowned for his successes at England’s National Theatre with Southwark Fair and The Light Princess with Tori Amos.

The story follows the enigmatic ex-convict Jack Maggs (Carey’s version of Magwitch) returning to London from Australia and embarking on a relentless quest to find his ‘son’ Henry Phipps, who has mysteriously disappeared. Maggs soon becomes entangled in the web of Phipps’ neighbour, Percy Buckle and his bizarre household, where he makes a deal with young novelist and “mesmerist” Tobias Oates (or is it Charles Dickens himself?) to find Phipps. Oates has other plans though, and in Maggs, might just find the perfect inspiration for his new novel.

Unveil a world of ambition, secrets and unexpected alliances, with a cast of beloved and celebrated South Australian actors including Mark Saturno (The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia?, A View from the Bridge) as Jack Maggs, James Smith (Euphoria, Girl From The North Country) as Tobias Oates, Jacqy Philips (Mr Burns, a Post-Electric Play), and recent NIDA graduate hotshot Ahunim Abebe.

Under the masterful direction of former Artistic Director, Geordie Brookman, Jack Maggs will take audiences on a strange and surprising slither around the Old Dart with a cavalcade of dazzling Dickensian characters all in search of the truth, in the most exciting page to stage adaption since The Dictionary of Lost Words.


Peter Carey’s narrative rushes like a great stream towards a glittery fall, gathering momentum as it rolls.” – The Boston Globe

Wildly entertaining.” – New York Review of Books

Samuel Adamson writes the best dialogue I’ve ever read or had the pleasure to direct. It’s metropolitan, quick- witted, alive with internal tensions, graceful, lightweight and profound.” – Dominic Dromgoole, Former Artistic Director, Shakespeare’s Globe

Show Info

Contains some coarse language and adult themes.

More information will be available closer to the show.

Creative Team

  • Written by

    Samuel Adamson
  • Based on the novel by

    Peter Carey
  • Director

    Geordie Brookman
  • Set & Costume Designer

    Ailsa Paterson
  • Composer

    Hilary Kleinig
  • Sound Designer

    Andrew Howard
  • Cast

    Ahunim Abebe
  • Cast

    Jacqy Philips
  • Cast

    Mark Saturno
  • Cast

    James Smith


Single tickets are now on sale! Tickets can also be purchased via Ticketek:

Save up to 20% on tickets by packaging 4+ mainstage shows in a 2024 Subscription.


Single Ticket Prices

Adult $85.00
Concession $75.00
Under 30, Full Time Student $39.00

Adult $95.00
Concession $85.00
Under 30, Full Time Student $49.00

All bookings incur an $9.25 transaction fee.
Visit the Ticket Price page for the full list of subscription and single ticket prices.

Access Performances

Audio Described Performances and Pre-Show Briefing for blind and vision impaired patrons
Saturday, 23 November, 1.00pm (briefing), 2.00pm (performance)
Monday, 25 November, 5.30pm (briefing), 6.30pm (performance), with a post-show Q&A

Captioned Performances for deaf and hard of hearing patrons
Wednesday, 27 November, 11.00am

Wheelchair access & Companion Cards
Wheelchair accessible seats, companion cards and other accessible bookings can be made via phone on 08 8415 5353 (Monday – Friday, 9.00am – 5.00pm), or via email at

Visit the Access page for more information on our Access Program.


Tangent Talk
Get the story behind the story with our Tangent Talk series at the State Library of South Australia. Before you see the show, join us for a drink and panel discussion.
– Monday, 28 October, 5.30pm

Subscriber Briefing
2024 Subscribers are invited to join us for an exclusive Subscriber Briefing to learn more about the creation of the show.
– Monday, 11 November, 6.00pm

Post Show Q&As
We hold Q&As with our artists and creative teams so that you can ask questions about the production.
– Monday, 25 November
– Wednesday, 27 November (matinee performance)

A Date with State
Supported by the Office for Ageing Well and Seniors Card, join us for our 2024 A Date With State program, with pre-show tea and coffee before the performance and a post-show Q&A.
– Wednesday, 27 November, 10.00am (pre-show tea and coffee), 11.00am (performance)


Venue Access

This show will be performed at the Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre.

The recommended Dunstan Playhouse and Space Theatre drop off zone is at the northern end of the Riverbank Footbridge on War Memorial Drive (walk across the Footbridge to Dunstan Playhouse) or at the Intercontinental Hotel (walk north between the Intercontinental Hotel and Railway Station along the lane way to the Riverbank). There is also a drop off area and two accessible car spaces on lower Festival Drive, accessible from the west via Montefiore Road.

Getting to the Venue

Adelaide Festival Centre is easily accessible by public transport, including the tram (stop at Railway Station), trains, buses and a free bus service that operates on a loop throughout the city and North Adelaide with stops on the corner of King William Road and North Terrace.

For more information visit

For information about parking visit the Adelaide Festival Centre website.

Dining Options

Malt Shovel Taphouse
Located at the Adelaide Festival Centre at the end of the Adelaide Oval footbridge
Open Wednesday 3pm-11pm and Thursday – Sunday 11.30am-late

The Strathmore Hotel
Located 5 minutes from the Dunstan Playhouse at 29 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Open 7 days, 11am – 3am