Riverside's National Theatre of Parramatta

Lady Tabouli

By James Elazzi directed by Dino Dimitriadis

Lady Tabouli, a sold out success at the 2020 Sydney Festival, is a story of secrets, passion and saving face. This Middle Eastern family drama takes a searing look at how expectations eat away at us until we decide to change the rules. Unapologetic, piercing and bittersweet… we all have families and we all have secrets.

Production photography by Robert Catto

"Lady Tabouli has a fly-on-the-wall quality to it that draws you into a complex dilemma in which faith, traditional notions of masculinity, and social standing within a tight-knit community all play a part.”

It’s the day of his nephew’s baptism and Danny is godfather. Living back home with his religious Lebanese mother, he’s thrown into the maelstrom of preparations and high emotions. The family can’t afford to lose face, especially with Danny recently and mysteriously calling off his engagement. But secrets will out, and amidst the sugared almonds and balloon deliveries, Danny shares the truth about being gay and discovers the true colours of those to whom he’s closest. Where do you turn when the people you love refuse to accept the truth? Lady Tabouli captures the complexity and range of family dynamics from heart and humour to frustration, love and uncompromising values. 


 “Rush for tix – don’t dawdle.”  ★★★★ Stage Noise full review

 “Elazzi’s writing is powerful and passionate. Its incisive honesty provides an urgency that grips us, having us invested in the family’s story, regardless of where we stand in relation to its arguments."  Suzy Goes See full review

 “Dino Dimitriadis directs this production with the compassion and imagination for which he is highly respected across the Sydney theatre scene.”  Stage Whispers full review


Riverside's National Theatre of Parramatta (NTofP) is creating and presenting transformative and inspirational professional theatre experiences that reflect the world around us and the diversity that is contemporary Australia. Hence our tagline, Putting the Nation on Stage.

As an arm of Riverside Theatres, NTofP commissions, creates, produces, presents and tours work. We are equally committed to capacity building and nurturing talent by providing opportunities for theatre practitioners both on and off stage to develop their craft. We are creating communities, access, visibility and infrastructure that supports and builds capacity for performance in our region and beyond.

Producing theatre that resonates with our audiences is the core of our work. Since our launch at the end of 2015 we have toured three works, Stolen, The Red Tree and Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam. Two of these were world premieres.


My hope is to explore what happens to unconditional love when it’s pushed to the limit. Because choice has consequences. I’m interested in interrogating what comes to the surface, and what is lost when we shake up our cultural fabric. I want to retain the beautiful complexities of my Lebanese Australian culture. Belonging, loss, fear, and imminent rejection are all a part of the complicated kaleidoscope. Is it really about the sugared almonds?

James Elazzi

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