Watershed: The Death of Dr Duncan


2-8 March 2022

Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre

Composer: Joseph Twist

Libretto: Alana Valentine & Christos Tsiolkas

Director: Neil Armfield

Conductor: Christie Anderson

Choreographer: Lewis Major

Adelaide Chamber Singers



As his body hit the water, few heard the impact, but the ripple effect of the murderous act defied natural law and swelled to seismic scale.

It’s 50 years since the infamous drowning of Dr George Ian Ogilvie Duncan a moment in time that triggered an alleged police cover-up, a city-wide scandal, national outrage, a Scotland Yard investigation, pioneering gay law reform… and a glaring absence of convictions.

Fusing inquest transcripts, press clippings, private correspondence, real and imagined monologues spanning five decades of anti-gay violence, and 30 years of research by local historian Tim Reeves, this joint commission between Adelaide Festival, Feast Festival and State Opera South Australia demands the embrace of all thinking audiences, but is of special importance to this city.

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