Federica Caso speaks with Ruby Conolan Barrett about A Bed of Roses, the Arbour Theatre Company’s new theatre piece about living in a share-house.

1. How did the idea of A Bed of Roses come about? What did you want to say?

A Bed of Roses started as my brainchild last year during lockdown. When Covid-19 hit I was living in a share-house in Sydney with my housemates, and when lockdown was announced things got pretty crazy, pretty quickly! I wanted to explore what happens when people aren’t allowed out, and examine the beautiful, crazy and messy moments that emerge when people are at their very best and very worst.

This story was the case for so many young people during this time, so to create A Bed of Roses I reached out to young people across Australia and the world to hear what their personal experiences were.

These stories, as well as stories from our cast and company, have been devised and scripted into the show you will see- a house-party that takes place just as lockdown is announced, and our cast members have to figure out how they can exist with each other when they can’t stand each other!

2. A Bed of Roses is an immersive theatre performance. Why immersive theatre?

I love immersive theatre because it allows you to be completely inside of the world of the play- not only watching the action but surrounded by it and taking part in it! A Bed of Roses is particularly exciting because the audience members become guests of the party when they arrive. They then have the chance to walk through our amazing venue (House Conspiracy in West End) as the play begins, dancing in the garden, singing in the kitchen, and interacting with the characters as the play takes place around them.

3. Who is in the cast and how did Arbour Theatre start?

The cast is made up of a host of amazing local Brisbane artists: Maisie Crosdale, Francis Rosbrook, Ben Snaith, Asia Beck and Oliver English. The show is written by Disapol Savetsila (Co-Artistic Director of Arbour Theatre Company) and directed by myself, Ruby Conolan Barrett (also Co-Artistic Director of Arbour Theatre Company).

We began Arbour Theatre Company late last year as we wanted to create vibrant, meaningful moments for the stage that matter to young people and local Brisbanites. Coming from a directing and writing background, we felt we could facilitate the telling of stories which haven’t had the chance to be heard before, and use our experience and powers for good!

4. A Bed of Roses will show at House Conspiracy between the 12th and 16th of May. What can people expect and where can they go to find tickets or contact the Arbour Theatre crew?

People can expect to be immersed in a share-house (in a real, converted Queenslander no less) party that has gotten a little bit out of hand, with passive aggressive post it notes, scattered Uber Eats bags, deep love and even deeper frustration! There will be live music and bevvies in the garden beforehand, and a good dosing of #real vibes.

People who like Fleabag, Please Like Me or Spaced will also love this show!


Bed of Roses will run from 12 to 16 May, 6.30-7.30pm, at House Conspiracy in Mollison Street, West End.

Tickets are available at this link HERE or you can follow Arbour Theatre Company on Facebook and Instagram for all the info and some cheeky #BTS shots!

Feature image supplied.