World Premiere

State Theatre Company South Australia presents

The Puzzle

By David Williamson

20 Sep — 12 Oct 2024
Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre

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When you’ve got the right piece, you’re in no doubt.

All aboard for the world premiere of a dazzling new comedy from Australia’s most prolific and venerated playwright, David Williamson.

When the Dunstan Playhouse opened in 1974, former Artistic Director, George Ogilvie commissioned Williamson to write the now legendary play The Department for State Theatre Company South Australia. Fifty years later, the master wordsmith delivers to Adelaide audiences a delicious new black comedy about marriage, desire, polyamory and parenthood set to hit those same heights.

Married couple Mandy and Craig are bored with their (mostly) monogamous relationship. Eager to inject some vim into their vows, they book themselves in for a “lifestyle” cruise, where they meet Brian and Michele, similarly looking for some stimulation at sea…

Meanwhile, the buttoned-up Drew and his free-spirited daughter, Cassie are just trying to reconnect on what he thought was an “art” tour!

The keys go in the jar, the recriminations flow in the bar.

This large cast of comic experts is led by the AFI and Logie Award-winning Erik Thomson (Packed to the Rafters, Aftertaste) as Drew, Chris Asimos (Ripcord, Hibernation) as Brian, Ansuya Nathan (Hibernation) as Mandy, Anna Lindner (Blame the Rabbit, A Beginner’s Guide to Grief, Wolf Creek), Nathan O’Keefe (Chalkface, Cathedral, Gaslight) and in her professional stage debut, the electric Ahunim Abebe as Cassie.

The White Lotus meets Triangle of Sadness meets Don’s Party in this bitingly funny, smart and surprising take on sex, secrecy and second chances, directed by Artistic Associate Shannon Rush (Cathedral).


Williamson (is)… Australia’s most enduringly popular social comedy writer… keenly observant and satirical.” – The Sydney Morning Herald.

Our greatest dramatic entertainer” – Australian Financial Review

Show Info

Contains some coarse language, adult themes, and strong sexual references.

More information will be available closer to the show.

Creative team

  • Written by

    David Williamson
  • Director

    Shannon Rush
  • Cassie

    Ahunim Abebe
  • Brian

    Chris Asimos
  • Drew

    Erik Thomson
  • Mandy

    Ansuya Nathan
  • Michele

    Anna Lindner
  • Craig

    Nathan O'Keefe


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, 28 September, 1.00pm (briefing), 2.00pm (performance)
Monday, 30 September, 5.30pm (briefing), 6.30pm (performance), with a post-show Q&A

Captioned Performances for deaf and hard of hearing patrons
Wednesday, 2 October, 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.


Subscriber Briefing
2024 Subscribers are invited to join us for an exclusive Subscriber Briefing to learn more about the creation of the show.
– Monday, 16 September, 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, 30 September
– Wednesday, 2 October (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, 2 October, 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