The Year of Magical Thinking

Critical Stages Touring
Joan Didion
Directed By:
Laurence Strangio
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An intimate, powerful and deeply-personal story, performed by one of Victoria’s finest actors.


“This happened on December 30, 2003. That may seem a while ago but it won’t when it happens to you. And it will happen to you… that’s what I’m here to tell you.”

Following the success of L’amante anglaise, Green Room Award winners Jillian Murray and Laurence Strangio re-join forces to present Joan Didion’s remarkable memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking – a highly personal account of loss and grief.

Adapted by Didion from her award-winning memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking unpacks a surreal and overwhelming time in her life, as she faces the loss of her husband John, and a year later, her daughter Quintana. Deeply moving, sometimes funny, and ultimately hopeful, this is one woman’s story of her journey to acceptance and learning to let go.

Short Review

Technical Information

Technical Rating:
Touring Party:
Bump-in Time:
Bump-out Time:


Pre-rig required. Venue to supply: 16 profiles, 8 fresnels, lighting gel. Touring party with travel with an ETC Ion or similar.


Presenters to supply speakers, wireless lapel mic system and mixing console. The touring party will travel with a show laptop running Q-lab and a sound card. Further detail available in the Preliminary technical specifications document.


Staging is simple, consisting of a table and chair in an empty space.

Crew Notes

Bump in:
2 x Lighting staff – 4hr call
1 x sound staff – 6hr call
1 x mech 3hr call

Performance: 1 x sound operator – 2.5hr call
Bump out: 1 x crew for 1hr

Transport Notes

The production can travel in a 2 tonne van

Audience & Marketing Notes

This is a production that will appeal to adult arts and theatre lovers, and will have particular appeal for audiences aged 40+ and 65+. The play will appeal to lovers of literature and fans of Joan Didion.

Selling Points

  • Joan Didion is a fascinating and highly acclaimed writer. When President Barack Obama presented her with the National Medal of Arts in 2013, he described her as “one of the most celebrated American writers of her generation”. She is the subject of the Netflix documentary “Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold”.
  • The play is based on her award-winning book of the same name – offering opportunities to connect with local bookstores, libraries and book clubs.
  • The production had an incredibly successful premiere season at fortyfivedownstairs in 2019, enjoying sold-out performances and outstanding reviews. Many audience members contacted the company after the show to express how much they connected with it.
  • Audiences will be familiar with Jillian Murray’s award-winning performance as Claire Lannes in L’amante Anglaise. This is a very logical follow-up for theatres who presented the Critical Stages tour of this production in 2019, with the same creative team and lead actor.

Community Engagement

  • Q&A’s and forums available.





02 9252 6340




Venue Format

Studio or proscenium


85 Minutes

Available Until


Budget & Fees

What are these? Find out more.

Remount: $19891.5

Weekly Sell Off: $8677.96

Per Performance: $0

Apra Obligations:

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