Past Production

1347 (1996)

“You’ve GOT to see this…the bravest company in town pulls it off with zest, professionalism and talent to burn”  – TIME OUT

1347The second Matrix production to find a venue in the Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens, and performed with the support of the Brisbane City Council, 1347 was a bawdy, comical, and epic adventure story, set on the eve of the Great Plague of 1348. Inspired by the riotous mediaeval tales of Boccaccio’s Decameron, the play followed the fortunes of a group of young travellers escaping the ravages of the plague into the Florentine countryside. Book-ended by Death (in an attractive human guise), weaving stories to relieve the boredom of the young fugitives, the action incorporated approximately 30 of Boccaccio’s tales and brought to vibrant life some of his most vivid characters. Like its predecessor, The King and the Corpse!, 1347 was devised through improvisation in six weeks, was highly physical in style and empowered the actor as storyteller. Authentic mediaeval live music lent a vibrancy to the boisterous acting to create an evening of magical, physical theatre under the stars.


Production Details

1347 was first performed by Matrix Theatre, in association with Brisbane City Council, at the Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens (Main Stage), Brisbane,  August 3rd-24th , 1996.


Sandro Colarelli: The Stranger, Father Puccio, Prince
Mark Conaghan: Federigo, Buffalmacco, nun
Peter Cossar: Calandrino, guard
Paul Denny: Paganino, Alberto
Julie Eckersley: Francesca, twin, Mother “Dolly” Usimbalda
Carita Farrer: Mrs Calandrino, twin, nun
Helen Howard: Simona, Filomena, Constanza, nun
Stephen Jackson: Count Egano, Gulfardo
Jacy Lewis: Lisetta, Neifile, Catella, Sister Salvestra, guard
Jamie Rowe: Tancred, Bruno, Paganino’s servant, nun

Jevan Cole
Seamus Kirkpatrick
Guy Webster

Michael Futcher and Helen Howard

Michael Futcher

Katherine Lyall-Watson

Kate Stewart

Guy Webster

Tony MacDonald

Angus Douglas

John Futcher

Rachel Christopherson




A spirited and engaging night of rough-and-tumble theatre…this clever adaptation makes for a great night under the stars. See it.”  
– The Courier Mail  

Futcher’s considerable talents are well-utilized as director. He has combined energetic choreography with traditional movement to produce a piece which is fast, smooth and entertaining.”
– Scene Magazine

Magic night under the stars…the production shows all the tricks that have already become the hallmarks of Futcher and Howard’s Matrix Theatre: a script honed into shape from the collective suggestions of the cast; a physicality which uses the actors’ bodies to suggest a tower, a cart, a tree a cradle and a storm at sea; and an energy which makes even stock characters shine like individual stars.” 
– City News

Clever, colourful, well-acted – and tragic, comic and bawdy by turns…1347 is refreshingly different and great fun as you picnic under the stars.”
– Australian Financial Review

For an unusual night out you won’t get better value.”

– Time Off

A spirited and innovative production with some deeply satisfying moments of pure theatre”  

– The Brisbane News