produced by La Boite Theatre Company Brisbane 2011, National Institute of Dramatic Art student production 2011, Griffin Theatre May 2008, forty-five downstairs Melbourne 2006. Reading at ACT San Francisco, 2014. Published by PlayLab 2010.

Winner R.E. Ross Trust Award, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2006

quote from play

‘How is he really? They ask across the dinner table. How is David, really? What do you mean how is he really? He’s fine. He’s a thirty three year old man and he’s….
I stand outside and tap a spoon on a tin for the cat, stare straight ahead at the shadow of a tree dancing on a wall. I haven’t really noticed how he is. I have no idea at all. When I look at him I don’t see him. Not him. Just something hidden I can’t find. He’s fading to black and white. No colour. Warm, cold, cold…


A young boy is separated from his mother and goes missing in Disneyland. Adrift in the artificial world of giant mice and noisy parades, nobody can account for what happened in the seven frantic hours before he’s found.
Years later his life seems normal; stable; happy. But something about that day haunts him. Something about that day remains unresolved. And then, he disappears again …
Colder explores the infinite unknowns surrounding missing persons and the fog of purgatory that engulfs those left behind. How do you grieve someone’s loss when your only hope is their return

Production history

Katrina Douglas in 2008. It has had seasons at La Boite Theatre Brisbane and The National Institute of Dramatic Art Sydney.

Published alongside Bison by PlayLab


‘The structure and form of this story of a missing person was refreshing and challenging to experience and solve. The writing continually poetic. I was moved to silence and stillness on the night I attended. This is the best new Australian play I have witnessed this year. THE SEED; MEN LOVE AND THE MONKEYBOY; RUBEN GUTHERIE are conventional in almost every way alongside this work. COLDER is brave and rewarding in ways that these other texts have not even begun to investigate.’ Kevin Jackson’s Theatre reviews

★★★★ Critic’s Choice. ‘The playwright Lachlan Philpott writes with poetic attention to alliteration and rhythm in verbal sequences that interlink divergent times and places… COLDER demands but rewards close attention for its 80 minutes, and is likely to linger long in thought.’ Mark Hopkins, Sydney Morning Herald

‘It’s an inventive and complex script that requires a high level of focus from its actors, and indeed its audience, as the characters morph between lyrical narrative devices, who speak elegantly written and poetic prose, and flesh-and-blood people who interact on the stage. And for the most part it works. When the play hits its stride we are transported to a world rich in imagery and atmosphere, which is much like watching a novel – if you can imagine such a thing.’ Helen Barry Australian Stage Online