John Burls Plays

John Burls has been Writer in Residence at The Independent Theatre since its inception. His major works include Parliamentary Privilege (entry in the 2000 Queensland Premier’s Writing Awards archived in the State Library and the World Library), TV Signals, Hart the Musical, Nancy, Nancy II, Farting About in Make-up, The Firm, Up Eumundi Road (topical revue 1995-2013), Comedy & Consommé (3 new comedies each year, 1995-2016).

His background includes nearly 3 decades in Sydney radio and TV (mostly concurrent) and included news reading, writing, acting, producing, disc jockey. He has been broadcasting almost continuously for 61 years.  For 26 years he wrote (apart from plays) a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast Daily and currently writes a monthly nostalgia column for The National Senior Newspaper (since 2004).

The Indee stopped competing on the drama circuit several years ago due to our almost full-time theatre commitments. Until that time we had had a “charmed run” as they say, with John’s plays taking out many awards over the years. Here are some of the best for winning Best Play and Actor/Actress awards in one Festivals.

  • Lennie and Lee (needs 2 incredibly good males)
  • The Earnestness of Being Important – 3m, 3f
  • Barney – can be 2m, 3f or 1m, 4f,
  • The Naked Flame – 2m, 2f
  • Mourning Tea – 2m, 1f
  • Potter is Mine – 1m, 1f
  • Altered Egos – 2m, 2f
  • Plaything – 2m, 4f
  • Tenth Anniversary – 3m, 3f
  • Sarina – 1m, 1f teenager
  • The Daffodils – 1m, 2f
  • In Harold Parsley’s Wake – 1m, 4f
  • The Herb Garden – 3f
  • Vonney and Clive – 1m, 2f

One-act plays able to be presented as a season Dead Funny is made up of 3 one-acts and can be presented as a season. Second Choice, You Must Meet Folks and Dead Funny. Dead Funny stands alone as a festival play and is a multi award winner. Nesbitt for President is joined by Theatre Mannas, Another Gamble as a one-act evening. Happy’s Last Smile adds The Home Viewer and The Bishop’s Crunch.

Full-length Drama/Comedy

  • The Ideas Pool
  • Chain of Deceit
  • President Elect
  • Parliamentary Privilege
  • TV Signals


  • Hart the Musical
  • Nancy
  • Farting About in Make-up
  • Nancy II
  • The Firm

Topical Revue

Up Eumundi Road (20 years)

For Children

  • Hansel and Gretel
  • Robin Hood
  • Peter Pan
  • Wizard of Oz
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Cinderella
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Wind in the Willows
  • The Reluctant Dragon

One-act plays $50 per performance.

Full-length plays $120 per performance. If you have done a season of one-act plays and wish to take one of them to a Festival it is only $15 per performance.  Ring 5472.8200