Nowra’s vibrant play is set inside a mental health institution in Melbourne in 1971.
Lewis, a young director, takes on the task of mounting a production of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte in the burnt-out theatre. He becomes emotionally involved with his patients-cum-actors as his operatic production lurches forward and anti-Vietnam protests rage outside.
The icing on the cake is that it’s all based on playwright Louis Nowra’s own life. In the 1970s, he himself directed a musical with patients from Melbourne’s Mont Park Psychiatric Hospital. The one-off performance brought joy to everyone involved.
First produced in 1992, COSI has become one of the most successful Australian plays produced in the last two decades. A terrific play about madness, illusion, sanity… and theatre.