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Emilie Collyer, who had an awesome piece in the latest Torpedo, has a creative, thoughtful and immediate kind of blog, between the cracks

- Literary Minded


Gobsmacked Theatre, Adelaide Fringe, 2018

Gobsmacked Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe, 2017

Shortlisted - EdFringe'17 'Derek Award - BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT

Darebin Arts Speakeasy and Melbourne Fringe, 2014

Highly Commended: Best Emerging Writer Award Melbourne Fringe Festival 2014


Review Quotes:

Adelaide Fringe 2018

'★★★★ Once Were Pirates is a unique exploration of societal norms where the darkly comic humour is set against complex, serious, matters.' - Tulpa Magazine

'This is a rollicking, swashbuckling, thought-provoking story of survival, strength, and grace.' - Broadway World

'This well written black comedy offers a bit of everything, from poetry to music to sea shanties and around it is wrapped a layer of social comment.' - The Advertiser

'...there is certainly fun to be had' - The Clothesline

Edinburgh Fringe 2017

 'It's a genuinely laugh-out-loud funny performance.' - British Theatre Guide 2017.

'Funny, moving and supremely clever!' - Tim Ferguson, 'The Doug Anthony Allstars'


Emilie Collyer's script is wonderful. The set design is clever, the costuming spot-on. There is nothing letting the team down here. Every aspect of this show works together to create something special. Once Were Pirates is a terrific piece of theatre that will leave you thinking about it long after you leave your seat.

Squirrel Comedy

The show is very entertaining, funny in its dark comedy ... leaves the audience with questions of humanity and the makeup of our divided society.

4 stars

Melbourne. Arts. Fashion.

A genuinely interesting take on modern life, and what it means for work, humanity and pirates



Audience Quotes:

'Just wanted to drop you all a note saying thank you and congratulations for last night. I thoroughly enjoyed it and loved the fresh, Beckett-esque interpretations of swashbuckling anti-heroes. '

'Hey me hearties...Loved your show! ... it evoked in me the early days of Carlton. The days of Pram and Dickens. Beautiful.'

'Thoroughly enjoyed this clever 2 hander. Recommended.'

'Congratulations on your amazing play. I absolutely loved Once Were Pirates. It is still under my skin.'


Darebin Arts Speakeasy presents:

Once Were Pirates

Premiering at Melbourne Fringe Festival 2014

Shane and Gareth used to be pirates. Now they are stuck in the real world, trying to figure out how to live. A tale of two bad men trying to make good.

A brand new play by Emilie Collyer (2013 Fringe Best Emerging Writer, 2013 Green Room Nominee) featuring Ben Clements and James Cook, directed by Daniel Czech.


Image: Lachlan Woods

Design: Lliam Amor


Northcote Town Hall

189 High Street

Northcote (West Wing Studio 2)


DATES: 17-28 September (Preview 17 Sep)

TIME: 7pm Sun 6pm, no show Monday, (60min)

TICKETS: Full: $26, Concession: $21

Groups 4 or more: $22, Preview: $21

Tightarse Tuesday: $21

Sunday 21 & 28: 2-for-1 (Full price)

BOOKINGS: or call (03) 9481 9500 or call (03) 9660 9666

This production contains strong language and is not suitable for children

Dramaturgy:                 Bridget Balodis

Set design:                   Alexandra Hiller

Costume design:           Rebecca Dunn

Lighting design:            Steve Hendy

Sound design:              Nick McCorriston