They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

October 24th, 1979 — November 30th, 1979


La Boite Theatre, Brisbane


La Boite Theatre


David Bell


Ray Herman from the novel by Horace McCoy


Errol O'Neill
Kevin Squire
Keith Fleming
Katy Atkinson
Margaret Walsh
Mark Cloherty
Janice Fowler
David Pyle
Lindsay Flint
David Clark
Fiona MacKenzie
Patrick Reed
Chris Hoepper
Marlon Hodges
Ann Moxon
Ken Wall
Patricia Furman
Garry Cook
Heather Goater
Paul Friedman
Rainee Skinner
Chris Burns
Sally McKenzie
Dan Garlic
Vivian Bint
Suzanne Marshall
Peter Darch
Gillian Tye
Doug Smith
Genevieve Thackwell-James
Bev Langford
Gus Guthrie
Julie Purcell
Margaret Walsh
Maria Woodruff
Julie Purcell

Costume Designer

Mike Bridges
Jennifer Carseldine

Set Designer

Mike Bridges

Lighting Designer

David Bell

Total Theatre - They Shoot Horses Don’t They?

Programmed by Rick Billinghurst, this production coincided with Malcolm Blaylock’s arrival in 1979 as the new Artistic Director. They Shoot Horses Don’t They? was directed by David Bell and designed by Mike Bridges with a cast of 36.

It could not have been a better introduction for Blaylock to the creative possibilities inherent in La Boite’s seemingly small performance space. A sell-out season, it attracted wide media coverage and positive critical reception. Reviewer Jeremy Ridgman in Theatre Australia (December 1979 p.34) described “David Bell’s magnificent production” as “total theatre” and Bridges’ set as "transforming La Boite’s cockpit into a mighty ballroom, complete with varnished dance floor” – overall “a promising start to a challenging season under new Artistic Director Malcolm Blaylock”.

For the 1979 Telegraph Queensland theatre awards, theatre critic, David Tickell awarded Best Director and Best Actor to David Bell and Errol O’Neill respectively for They Shoot Horses Don’t They? Tickell wrote[i], “Brisbane Repertory at its exciting venue … is the undoubted success of 1979. The company consistently came up with stimulating, exciting and entertaining theatre”.

Writer: Christine Comans

[i] The Telegraph, Nov.15, 1979.


Tell us your story