The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

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Presented by Critical Stages Touring

"★★★★★ - We felt like privileged listeners, given access to an extraordinarily insightful confrontation with the way in which grief loosens our grasp on reason" - ArtsHub

The details will be different, but it will happen to you. 

Described by the New York Times as ‘thrilling and engaging – universal, profound... and uplifting’ Joan Didion’s celebrated memoir is brought to life by Green Room Award-winning actor Jillian Murray in a critically-acclaimed solo performance that reunites her with director Laurence Strangio (L’amante Anglaise national tour 2019). 

This highly personal account of loss through the lens of hope unpacks a surreal and overwhelming time in Didion’s life as she faces the sudden loss of her husband John, and later her daughter Quintana. Deeply moving, sometimes funny, and ultimately joyful, this is one woman’s story of the journey to find acceptance, and the lessons learnt in letting go. 

After a critically-acclaimed sell-out premiere season at Melbourne’s FortyFiveDownstairs this is a production that is a must-see for fans of great drama. 

Approximately 85mins (no interval)
Recommended for ages 15+ 

Written by Joan Didion 
Directed by Laurence Strangio 
Lighting Design Andy Turner
Sound Design Darius Kedros
Photography Jodie Hutchinson
Performed by Jillian Murray

"★★★★★ - The audience is mesmerised, holding on to every word, gesture, with eyes following her movements, taking in what’s been so eloquently said”
- Theatre People 

“Jillian Murray gives a superb performance - poised, vulnerable, intelligent, and full of the subtlest ironies” - Herald Sun 

The Year of Magical Thinking is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc., and Concord Theatricals Company. This production was developed for the stage by FortyFiveDownstairs. 

This event is part of Chatswood Culture Bites 2022, Willoughby City Council’s innovative program of music, theatre, comedy and more in Chatswood CBD. 

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Images by Jodie Hutchinson


  • Thursday, 14 July 2022 | 08:00 PM - 09:25 PM


Zenith Theatre and Convention Centre, McIntosh St and Railway St, Chatswood, 2067, View Map

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