Every week somewhere in Australia news headlines proclaim yet another tragedy of young lives lost in a car wreck. Communities are shocked, politicians duck for cover, fellow students set up roadside shrines and families are torn apart…

La Boite presents Engine by Janis Balodis. Conceived in the wake of yet another fatal crash on the roads of regional New South Wales, this groundbreaking production by NORPA is now touring that area, ahead of a strictly limited three week season at La Boite's Roundhouse Theatre from 25 August.

Engine is about family, community and cars; of fixing what's broken and celebrating life. Set a month after a fatal crash, this is the story of Grumpop who lost a grandson and Natasha who lost a brother. It's about how they deal with their grief and begin to rebuild what's broken.

Natasha wants to remember Stevie by finishing the project car he was working on before the crash. Grumpop is a retired mechanic and he could help but he just wants to put it all behind him.

Two actors play all the parts, creating a physical and dynamic style of performance. Bob Baines is a prolific presence on stage and screen, best-known recently as the principal of Summer Bay High in Home and Away. He stars with Melanie Zanetti - one of the most exciting emerging artists in Queensland, fresh from her success in The Little Dog Laughed earlier this year.

Joining them onstage is a chorus of young actors from three high schools: Brisbane State High School, Clairvaux MacKillop College and St Laurence's College, who have been guided through the project by director Julian Louis and NORPA.

They bring dynamic physicality, character and unique perspectives on young people in cars to this highly-charged production.

It's a funny and moving roller-coaster ride that will break your heart and mend it.

"The car crash at Broken Head that killed four young men in 2006 shocked the nation. Ripples from the tragedy spread out in every direction; from the families to the school and to the wider community. Unfortunately the story of young people having their lives cut short in cars is one that is played out all too often in the headlines and in the evening news bulletins. NORPA's latest home-grown production picks up on some of these themes..." - The Northern Rivers Echo, 29 July 2010

Venue: La Boite

Dates:  25/08 – 11/09/10

Official Site:

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