God of Carnage Hero 1
Echo Theatre

God of Carnage

Written by Yasmina Reza
Directed by Jordan Best

Two couples meet to discuss an incident between their sons, and what starts as a civilised discussion with espresso, clafoutis and small talk, quickly descends into a gloves off mess of name calling, tantrums, and projectile vomiting. Once you remove the veneer of respectability, you reveal the savage mess beneath. 

“The actors’ sense of timing in this fast-paced play is superb. Jordan Best’s assured direction blends breathlessly fast comedy with the sadness underneath. Yes, we’re laughing, but it hurts.”

Canberra Critics Circle


A comedy of manners without the manners.

“At 5:30 P.M. on the third of November, in Telopea Park, following a verbal altercation, Benjamin Raleigh, eleven, armed with a stick, struck Henry Novak in the face. This action resulted in, apart from a swelling of the upper lip, the breaking of two incisors, including injury to the nerve in the right incisor.”

Two eleven-year-old boys, a stick and some broken teeth are the catalyst in this classic comedy, which Echo Theatre have reimagined, setting it in Canberra in a vibrant new production. When two couples meet to discuss the playground incident between their sons, the evening begins quite amicably. Soon, however, the afternoon deteriorates from one of mild unease and discomfort, into a deluge of accusations, recriminations, jealousy and rage.

There’s aging parents, drug side effects, precious catalogues, abandoned hamsters, not to mention drinking, fighting, projectile vomiting and the destruction of some rather lovely tulips. Boys will be boys, but can the grown-ups be grown up enough to resolve their differences without losing sight of right and wrong?

Winner of an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and a Tony Award for Best Play, God of Carnage is a whip smart comedy taking place over a single afternoon. Running at just under 90 minutes, with no interval, and designed specifically for touring, this production can bump in and perform on the same day, requires minimal tech, and has a small touring party of 5, making it a cost-effective option for venues. As well as the production-specific high quality marketing materials, this award winning play has been translated into a dozen different languages, been performed all over the world, and was made into a film in 2011, creating a wealth of additional material to use when promoting the show. It’s far easier to sell something that people have heard of. Echo Theatre can provide education resources for engagement with school curriculum. 

God of Carnage 90 second promo


Theatre is a mirror, a sharp reflection of society. The greatest playwrights are moralists.
- Yasmina Reza, playwright 

What makes this play so accessible, so funny, so uncomfortable and real, is that we know these people. We are these people. These awful, flawed, vengeful, vulnerable, and messy people. That’s the comedy, and the tragedy, of this magnificent play.
- Jordan Best, Director


“Best and her excellent ensemble of four highly charged actors display the disturbing universality of irrational response.  The timing is excellent, the relationships between each character perfectly captured as interactions shift and sway from friendship to animosity and outright attack. Best’s direction never falters and the actors rise to the occasion. It is a pleasure to see the four actors sparking and sparring.” 
- Peter Wilkins, Canberra Critics Circle

“Getting to and getting that ending right, with a long almost embarrassed pause with no-one moving while the lights slowly fade to black, demonstrated the professional ensemble quality in the actors, clearly working with a director with a clear sense of the sublety of the French satire.  What do we really know of the nature of our existence, after all?”
- Frank McKone, Canberra Critics Circle

“The multi-layers within the script were revealed through clever stage sculpting, well-differentiated characters and the heightening of critical moments though powerful variations in emphasis…a classy, highly engaging and most accessible production.” 
- Jo Woodward, City News

“There's not a wrong note in the under 90 minute running time …a quartet of great actors getting a chance to play with material that allows them to play the full gamut from genteel politeness to mind-boggling rage.” 
- Simon Tolhurst, Canberra Theatre Watcher


Echo has a focus on creating from within. Under the guidance of artistic director Jordan Best, Echo produces at least one show each year as part of the subscription season with a view to offering these shows across the wider region. Echo provides a rich creative environment that promotes the amazing wealth of established and developing talent that enriches our cultural landscape.

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Arts on Tour
02 8038 1880