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24 hours in the life of a group of disadvantaged Australians living in a rooming house



The theme of the rock musical DIVE came to Xavier when he was working at the Department of Human Services and was exposed to a number of stories relating to the lot of disadvantaged people in Australia. Xavier then embarked on further research and added additional characters and stories from the media, one-on-one interviews and biographical sources. The idea to have the characters living together in a run-down rooming house (or “dive” in the Australian vernacular) was a turning point in that it created a believable reason for the characters to interact, and the dilapidated “home” itself became a reflection of the state of their own lives.

DIVE seeks to remind middle Australia that not everyone is so lucky, even in an affluent society such as ours there is a hidden underclass, and that it doesn’t take much (e.g. divorce, mental illness or drug abuse) for even a well-off person to fall from grace and end up at the bottom of the heap. Xavier also decided to include multi-ethnic characters into DIVE in order to more accurately reflect the true diversity of modern Australian society.

On a dramaturgical front, DIVE is a theatrical experiment, an exercise in writing a musical on a topic that doesn’t lend itself to the traditional song-and-dance musical styles. DIVE plays around with song styles and character archetypes and turns stereotypes on their head. Gritty realism appears in an art form that is often unrealistic and fanciful. DIVE is also an exercise in dramatic structure, interweaving the character arcs of multiple characters in a way that is both cohesive and exciting.

We hope you enjoy DIVE on a number of levels, and thank you for supporting a new Australian musical!


Presented by:
Songsmith Australia &
Wyndham Arts Alliance

Produced by:
Xavier Brouwer &
Wolf Heidecker

Directed by:
Wolf Heidecker
Aaron Allen
Jo Armstrong
Lucinda Barratt
Aparna Bhattacharjee
Otis Binnie
Cory Corbett
Joshua Erwin Ongso
Nina Nicols
Giovanni Piccolo


Demonstration recordings


Policy III

Pete visits the Bureaucrat to apply for the dole.
Sung by Aaron Allen and Otis Binnie

Here I am alone again

Sue regrets having had a blue with Pete.
Sung by Lucinda Barratt




Rock Themes

Played by Aaron Allen (guitar)

The Premiere production played at the
Open Stage Theatre July 9-20 2014


75 minutes (one act no interval)

Wed July 9th at 8pm (Preview)
Thu July 10th at 8pm (Opening)
Fri July 11th at 8pm
Sat July 12th at 8pm
Sun July 13th at 3pm (Matinee)
Wed July 16th at 8pm
Thu July 17th at 8pm
Fri July 18th at 8pm
Sat July 19th at 8pm
Sun July 20th at 3pm (Matinee)

Download the 2014 Production's Programme




Open Stage Theatre

Melbourne University campus, 
corner of Grattan & Swanston Sts,
Parkville 3010 (near the Lygon St
Italian restaurant district)

Easy tram access via lines
1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 64, 67, 72


The 2014 Production co-incided with the Joint World Conference on SOCIAL WORK, EDUCATION and SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT held in July in Melbourne.
A number of supporters sponsored folks such as the Choir of Hope and Inspiration, Rooming House advocates and Big Issue Vendors to see the production through a Pozible fundraising campaign!

3CR Radio Interview

3CR Audience Vox Pop

3CR Rooming House Resident Interview

Monash University Media Coverage

Image Gallery







DIVE Facebook Page  DIVE Facebook Page


For other works by Xavier Brouwer
Please visit Xavier Brouwer's Website

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