Welcome to The Twelfth Night Theatre

The Boutique Twelfth Night Theatre is popularly known as the theatre where every seat is a good seat & where every show is the best

Since 1988, Twelfth Night Theatre is owned by Gail Wiltshire. It has the distinction of being the only privately owned theatre in Australia. Neither the theatre nor its productions receive any form of Government subsidy.

It was built by the community in 1969. Twelfth Night Theatre stands on land donated by Majorie and Brian Johnstone. In 1980, the Queensland Government of the time sold the theatre into private ownership and it is because of the support of the people of Brisbane that it stands today; a gracious and welcoming theatre presenting popular productions, some of which are listed on the ‘Best of British Comedy’ page.

Ilse Aichinger’s The Greater Hope

A Staged Reading

Ilse and sister - The Greater Hope

Thursday 2 February 2017, 7.00pm | Austrian Cultural Forum London
To launch the new translation of Ilse Aichinger’s novel The Greater Hope in the UK, the ACF London hosts a special staged reading directed and produced by Gail Wiltshire. She is joined by her Australian cast to present this remarkable English language translation by Dr Geoff Wilkes of the University of Queensland. He received an Austrian State award for this translation in 2016. The event will be chaired by Professor Rüdiger Görner.

Ilse Aichinger, the celebrated Austrian poet wrote her only novel The Greater Hope in 1948, in which she reflects on her experience as a young woman in wartime Nazi Vienna. Aichinger lost family in the Holocaust and was separated from her twin sister who fled to London. Through her extraordinary use of language the author not only captures the horror and the humanity of that experience, but also transcends it to offer a profound meditation on a greater hope, the metaphysical perspectives of which surpass the physical trajectories of devastation, deportation and death. Aichinger passed away in November last year.

Austrian Cultural Forum London
28 Rutland Gate
London SW7 1PQ
Visitor information

Events at the Austrian Cultural Forum are free, but seating is limited.

What’s On at Twelfth Night Theatre?

Christmas 2016 at Twelfth Night Theatre

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Christmas 2016 at Twelfth Night Theatre

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Join Thousands of Children at Twelfth Night Theatre

21 November – 16 December

An Australian Bush Christmas in Storyland

  • Cinderella
  • Goldilocks & the Three Koalas
  • Three Little Pigs
  • Three Billy Goats Gruff
  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
  • Away in a Manger
  • Jingle Bells
  • Silent Night
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Doris Day Story

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The Doris Day Story

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The Doris Day Story

Opens 1 April 2017

Donna Lee will lead her six piece orchestra in a night of Doris Day’s unforgettable music.

Enjoy such hits as:

  • Sentimental Journey
  • Everybody loves a lover
  • Love me or leave me
  • Tea for two
  • I’ll never stop loving you
  • You made me love you
  • Perhaps perhaps perhaps
  • Whip Crackaway
  • Secret love
  • Que Sera Sera
    (Whatever will be will be)
The Greater Hope - Book Launch

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The Greater Hope - Book Launch

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The Greater Hope

Book Launch

Gail Wiltshire

15 July 2015

A University of Queensland graduate’s thesis has inspired a play destined for the theatres of Europe, with shows scheduled for London and Vienna over the next two years.

German Honours graduate Gail Wiltshire will direct a performance of excerpts from Ilse Aichinger’s Novel ;Die größere Hoffnung (The Greater Hope).

Ms Wiltshire graduated in 2014 after securing a publishing deal for her unmarked thesis.

Originally from Boonah, Ms Wiltshire has worked in the arts all her life, both as a teacher and theatre practitioner, and in 1988 bought the Twelfth Night Theatre in Bowen Hills to stop it from falling into the hands of developers.

Her academic achievements and upcoming play stemmed from an unfortunate turn of fate, after she was diagnosed with a grade four tumour which was quickly spreading to her stomach.

Ms Wiltshire said Australian doctors gave her just six months to live, so she travelled to Germany for specialist treatment.

“Each time I had an injection the doctor would say something to me in German which I didn’t understand,” she said.

“I got a dictionary and discovered he was saying ‘very pleasant’ so I started to look up every word for dreadful and gruesome so I could respond next time.”

The doctor suggested Ms Wiltshire learn German so she could share her story with other patients and explain what was keeping her alive.

The treatment was a success and, upon returning to Australia, Ms Wiltshire continued her German studies at UQ where she had completed a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Arts in the late 1960s and ’70s.

“It saved my life: I found myself with a wonderful group of people, so dynamic and happy, and I thought, this is for me,” she said.

It was during this time that Ms Wiltshire was introduced to the work of Austrian writer Ilse Aichinger by UQ School of Languages and Culture academic Associate Professor Alan Corkhill.

“I had already fallen in love with the German language, now I fell in love with Aichinger’s writing,” Ms Wiltshire said.

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After reading her novel The Greater Hope, Ms Wiltshire decided that was to be her thesis topic.

“I wrote my thesis as though I would never write again — it became a passion,” she said.

“The day I handed it in, I felt drained but I also thought who will ever know about this wonderful writer?

“I went through all the reference books I had used and one publisher’s name came up four times, so I took a chance and emailed the company.”

Within a week, Konigshausen & Neumann — one of the leading scholastic publishers in Germany — replied with an offer to publish.

“I was first introduced to Aichinger’s short stories and thought she was magnificent. She is a difficult writer, very multi-layered, which is maybe why she is rarely translated and little known outside of Germany and Austria,” she said.

“When I look at the publication and production of my thesis I am astounded.

“It is testament to the excellent support of the School and the power of Aichinger.”

Aichinger is the daughter of a Jewish mother and Christian father who lived through the Nazi occupation and saw her maternal grandmother, aunt and uncle deported on cattle trucks to the concentration camp of Minsk in 1942.

Much of her writing focused on the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

Gail Wiltshire’s book, A Spatial Reading of Ilse Aichinger’s Novel ;Die größere Hoffnung, is available from online stores.

For the performance Ms Wiltshire is working with actors from the Vienna Children’s Theatre Company.

Proudly Supporting Deadly Choices

To make a Reservation Give us a call!

Call us on 07 3252 5122


21 November – 16 December


Opens 1 April 2017

Contact us

Cintra Rd

The Twelfth Night Theatre is located at 4 Cintra Road, Bowen Hills, next door to the National Australia Bank and opposite the Bowen Hills Train Station.

4 Cintra Rd
Bowen Hills, QLD 4006

Ph: 07 3252 5122


Offstreet Parking is available on Abbotsford Road, Bowen Hills and ample on street parking is available on and around Cintra Road.


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