Michael Gow

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For the British general, see Michael Gow (British Army officer).

Michael Gow is an Australian playwright and director most famed for his 1986 work Away.

As a student at Sydney University, Gow acted and directed with the Dramatic Society from 1973-1976. After graduation, Gow went on to act with Nimrod, Thalia and Sydney Theatre Companies.[1]

He was the Artistic Director at the Queensland Theatre Company from 1999 until 2010. Productions he directed for the company include: Private Fears in Public Places, John Gabriel Borkman, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2007); The Importance of Being Earnest, Anatomy Titus Fall of Rome: A Shakespeare Commentary, I Am My Own Wife, (2008); The School of Arts and The Crucible (2009).

Away is the story of three Australian families who go on holiday "up the coast" for Christmas 1967 as a remedy to personal crises, whose story threads eventually interconnect. The families cross the class and social divides: one is in a smart hotel, another is at the local caravan park; another is in the throes of possible divorce. These factors are woven into a story of love and loss that allows a young boy and girl to taste first love and the pain of death while their parents cope, more or less, with the consequences. It remains a landmark of Australian contemporary drama and the best of Gow's earlier work.

Europe is also an intriguing work as a young man and a European actress of uncertain age meet in her dressing room.

Gow had not written a full length play for ten years while fully engaged as artistic director of QTC – Queensland Theatre Company – then produced Toy Symphony in 2007, which received its world premiere production at Belvoir St Theatre. It was a critical and popular success, starring Richard Roxburgh in his first stage role for some years. Toy Symphony is a further exploration of Gow's Shire roots and much else besides. The production won four Sydney Theatre Awards: Best Mainstage Production, Best Director (Neil Armfield), Best Actor (Richard Roxburgh) and Best Supporting Actress (Monica Maughan).


  • The Kid (1983)
  • The Astronaut’s Wife (1985)
  • Away (1986)
  • 17 (N/A)
  • On Top Of The World (1987)
  • Europe (1987)
  • 1841 (1988)
  • All Stops Out (1989)


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