April 26, 2023

A Story of Survival, Brought to Life – Driftwood the Musical

News & Insights
Driftwood The Musical is the inspirational true story of the renowned Austrian/Australian sculptor, Karl Duldig, and his artist/inventor wife, Slawa Horowitz-Duldig. A powerful new Australian musical about art and creativity, family, love, and the endurance of the human spirit, Driftwood is also a remarkable tale of freedom, celebrating the Australian migrant experience of hope, intelligence, tenacity, and survival.

Adapted for the stage based on the memoir of Karl and Slawa’s daughter, Eva de Jong-Duldig, and the original stage play by Jane Bodie, Driftwood features music, lyrics, and arrangements by Anthony Barnhill with additional lyrics by the Duldigs soprano granddaughter, Tanis de Jong AM, and Jane Brodie. Acclaimed director, Gary Abrahams has brought this story of survival to the stage with a stellar cast. West End star (Phantom of the Opera), Bridget Costello, returns home in the title role of memoir author Eva de Jong-Duldig.

The audience follows Karl and Slawa’s lives in pre-war Vienna, Slawa’s ingenious invention of the foldable umbrella, their miraculous escape from the Holocaust, and the rebuilding of their careers as artists in Melbourne. While Driftwood captures the love between husband and wife, it is also the story of one woman’s brilliance and adaptability. The theme of resilience found through creativity in the face of adversity is woven throughout, as is the narrative of seeking safety for yourself and your family, and the lingering effects of intergenerational trauma.

At times tragic, this story is also embodied with a fierce element of hope, tenacity, and survival, sharing the significant contribution one family has made to their adoptive homeland of Australia.

Reflecting the transitory nature of ‘driftwood’, the musical takes the audience on a journey spanning time and continents. As relevant then as it is now, this is one journey not to be missed. Critics described last year’s sell-out world premiere as “mesmerising”, “sublime” and “stunningly crafted”. 

Driftwood the Musical takes you on an inspiring and life-affirming journey through love, loss, laughter, and hope. Be transported by innovative storytelling and the exquisite original score. It is a show not to be missed!

Watch Driftwood the Musical 60 second trailer below:


Presented by Umbrella Foundation, Driftwood is showing at Chapel Off Chapel in Melbourne from May 3 – May 20, 2023.

For more information and to book tickets, please visit driftwoodthemusical.com.au.

Photography Credit: James Terry