Siren Theatre Co in association with Seymour Centre

The Trouble With Harry

By Lachlan Philpott

16 Feb - 3 Mar

“An eloquent example of what grown­up, gender­conscious theatre is capable of achieving…”

Terry Blain, Irish Theatre Magazine


The Trouble with Harry re-imagines the true case of Eugenia Falleni AKA Harry Crawford, a father, husband and alleged murderer that scandalised 1920s Sydney exploring ideas of gender, perversion and complicity.


Harry Crawford – born a biological woman Eugena Falleni – lived in Sydney as a man and married twice. He, his wife Annie, and her son, lead an ordinary life in the suburbs of 1920s Sydney. Until a knock at the door and the arrival of a young woman sets in train a series of events that will result in an astounding revelation – and, ultimately, sow the seeds of bloody murder.


This play creates a world which is both of historic detail and very deliberately NOW. Philpott’s fierce political intelligence ignites a flame for all who are forced to live a lie. Lachlan’s poised poetic text overlaps, interweaves, dances with intelligent observation and searing drama. This is a rollicking good yarn and a breathtaking peek into the souls and lives of others.


Under the astute direction of Kate Gaul, this cracking cast promise ferocious performances and a theatrical world where we can imagine Harry and the social mores that moulded and haunted his every waking moment.


“Without doubt, this is the best new play to come out of this country in a long while…A play that is unafraid to navigate the clichés of the Aussie period drama, that cuts into our cultural prejudice and unresolved gender assumptions, that squarely lays the blame back in the laps of its audience, is a play worth seeing. That it is also poetic and rich and moving renders it unmissable.” Tim Byrne, Time Out Melbourne


“An eloquent example of what grown up, gender conscious theatre is capable of achieving…it is a play which all those interested in our ongoing evolution as sentient social beings would benefit from seeing. What is ‘authentic’ and unalterable in human nature, and what is up for negotiation? The Trouble with Harry doesn’t answer these questions definitively, but poses them with particular intelligence and acuity.” Terry Blain – Irish Theatre Magazine


For more information:

The Trouble with Harry is part of the Mardi Gras 2017 Festival program and is sponsored by Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation (SB&W).

The Trouble With Harry was developed with the support of Playwriting Australia at the National Script Workshop 2011.

Image: NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, Justice and Police Museum, Sydney Living Museums



Director: Kate Gaul

Designer: Alice Morgan

Composer & Sound Designer: Nate Edmondson

Lighting Designer: Matt Cox

Cast: Thomas Campbell, Bobbie-Jean Henning, Jodie Le Vesconte, Jonas Thomson, Niki Owen, Jane Phegan



Q and A Session follows the performance on Tuesday, 21 February. Join playwright Lachlan Philpott, director Kate Gaul and the cast for a post-show Q and A discussing the process of creating The Trouble with Harry.


Q and A Session follows the performance on Thursday, 23 February.


Transgender: looking back, moving forward: How does The Trouble with Harry contribute to advancing contemporary transgender issues?


After the 23 February performance of The Trouble with Harry, join us for a special Q and A discussing the history of transgender (the term that did not yet exist in the time of Harry Crawford), the politics of the play and the role of the performing arts in shaping contemporary thought and opinion on trans issues.


The playwright Lachlan Philpott will be joined by the University of Sydney PhD candidate Rillark Bolton whose research explores the experiences of identity formation and community creation for trans masculine individuals, and Dr Anna Hickey-Moody, Associate Professor in Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, who will also examine the importance of performance for feminism and queer activism.


The discussion will be chaired by Charles O’Grady.