NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.



Written by
Matthew Whittet

Directed by
Jessica Arthur


About the show

World Premiere

I feel like I’ve got a hole in my chest… it’s getting bigger.”

Lukas isn’t in a good place. He hasn’t been for some time.

His friends Claude, Song and Dylan can’t sit by and watch anymore. Tenderly and patiently, they start to tell each other stories. Of the moments they all met. Of the times they were complete idiots. They tell these stories because they know their friend Lukas also needs to tell his. His life depends on it.

This group of 20-year-olds are there for each other in the only way they know how – with ridiculous stupidity, blunt honesty, and unconditional joy.

The simplest acts of kindness are sometimes the most important.

Content Warning
Kindness contains themes of suicide, self-harm, substance abuse and addiction. This production includes the use of haze/fog, strobe lighting and strong language.

Matthew is an actor and writer who has worked extensively in theatre, film and television for the past 20 years. Matthew’s first play Twelve was workshopped at the National Playwrights Conference in Perth, 2006. His second was Silver, directed by Ben Winspear for Belvoir downstairs, in which he also performed solo. In 2010, two further plays premiered in Adelaide; Fugitive (Windmill) and Harbinger (Brink Productions), beginning what has become an ongoing creative bond with the city and its audiences.

In the same year, Matthew was the Philip Parsons Young Playwright Award recipient sparking the development of the play Old Man which premiered downstairs in Belvoir’s 2012 season.

Matthew’s collaboration with Windmill has resulted in four plays, with Girl Asleep being the most recent. Its predecessors are the Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Award-winning School Dance and trilogy stablemate Big Bad Wolf.  All three of these plays were concurrently performed at the Adelaide Festival (2014). Matthew’s two-hander Cinderella garnered outstanding reviews at the close of 2014 in the Belvoir downstairs space, and the premiere of his 2015 play Seventeen was a huge success in the upstairs theatre. In 2017, it had a season at London’s Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.

Matthew’s feature film adaptation of his play Girl Asleep (supported by The Hive Production Fund) debuted at the Adelaide Film Festival and went on to open the 2016 Generation 14plus Programme at Berlin International Film Festival. It also won The Age Critics’ Award for Best Film at Melbourne International Film Festival, the 2016 CinefestOz Prize, the Australian Film Critics Association award for Best Film, and the Seattle Film Festival Grand and Youth Jury Prizes. Its release nationally and internationally was followed by a free-to-air screening on ABC TV.

Matthew’s play Fight with All Your Might the Zombies of the Night, winner of the 2015 Foundation Commission Award, premiered at ATYP in November 2016. Matthew was among the seven Sidney Myer Creative Fellows chosen in 2012, and he is currently adapting his play School Dance to feature. In 2020, Matthew’s play No Need to Hide a Light When it Shines Like Hers was the Inaugural Online Voters’ Prize winner for Griffin’s Lysicrates Prize.

In television, Matthew has written for the Netflix / Fremantle reboot of Heartbreak High and has an original television series in development with Goalpost Pictures.

Jessica is a theatre director and co-founder of The Anchor theatre company. She was Resident Director at Sydney Theatre Company 2018 – 2022, directing productions such as Chalkface, The Tenant of Wildfell HallWonnangattaBanging DenmarkMosquitos and Home I’m Darling.

Jessica also worked as Assistant Director on The Harp in the South Part I and Part IIDinnerChimerica and Endgame for Sydney Theatre Company, as well as Miss Julie for Melbourne Theatre Company.

Further productions Jess has directed include Two Hearts (King Cross Theatre), The Wolves (Old Fitz) and itx subsequent Belvoir season, Realism (NIDA), Intoxication (La Mama Courthouse) and Unend (Never Never Theatre Company), which went on to play at the Adelaide and Sydney Fringe Festivals.

Jessica also directed for the Martin Lysicrates Prize for Griffin Theatre at the National Theatre of Parramatta. Her most recent production was the world premiere of Lose To Win for Red Line Productions.


In order of appearance

JK Kazzi

Lillianne Lord

Madeline Li

Lập Nguyễn

Jack Patten

Finn Gough
Caitlin Green


Jessica Arthur*

Set/Props Designer
Madaleine Cooper

Costume Designer
Taylah Miller

Lighting Designer
India Lively

Sound Designer
Jordan Magnus-McCarthy

Voice Coach
Jack Starkey-Gill*

Assistant Director
Mehhma Malhi

Production Stage Manager
Bernadett Lorincz

Deputy Stage Manager
Arwen Davidson

Assistant Stage Manager
Archer Dametto
Jasmine Power

Construction Manager
Tommaso Patelli

Costume Supervisor
Michiru Encinas

Costume Maker 
Delan Woods

Properties Supervisor
Tanne Patterson

Head Electrician
Sam Scott

Set/Props Assistant Designer
Alice Vance

Costume  Assistant Designer
Isaac Valentine

Costume Assistant
Katrina Mark

Properties Assistant
Oliver Gregg

Technical Assistants
Emma Clulow
Guinevere Fisher
Finlay Hogan
Matt Phillips
Tung Son Tran Tat Thang
Thomas Howieson

Holding On Means Letting Go
Composed by JK Kazzi

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