Dreamers, thinkers, tinkerers and madmen… the Great Air Race has begun.

Inspired by the amazing true story of the 1919 Air Race from London to Australia, this brand-new adventure explores an extraordinary moment in history when flight was inspiring a whole new way of looking at the world.

Seven teams take to the skies in a thrilling race to victory, chasing an adventure that will take them half way across the planet. Maintaining their flying machines with found objects, random spare parts and the occasional wad of chewing gum, these aviators undertook their extraordinary journey at a time when ‘risk management’ just wasn’t a thing.

Will they survive? Will they make it to Australia? And whose stories matter when you’re making history?

From crash landings to disappearing planes, their stories range from harebrained and hilarious to deeply moving and sometimes tragic. Their incredible resourcefulness and unstoppable determination prove nothing is impossible.

Recommended for ages 8+

Written by award-winning playwright Dan Giovannoni, directed by Arena Artistic Director Christian Leavesley and starring some of Australia’s brightest talent, the world premiere of Air Race was held at Bendigo’s Capital Theatre in December 2018.

“The students thoroughly enjoyed the show and it has prompted us to conduct further aviation research at school.”
Bendigo teacher of Year 6.

Air Race enjoyed a sell-out run at the 2019 Darwin Festival where it was praised for its unique ability to connect history, aviation and music, and deliver it to young audiences in a way that is engaging, modern and clever.

The Fannie Bay Historical Society sent members along to watch each of the Darwin performances, which coincided with 100 year anniversary of the famous Air Race.

A circle shape with the left half yellow and the right half green and blue.
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Director/Designer: Christian Leavesley

Writer: Dan Giovannoni

Dramaturg: Jolyon James

Lighting Designer: Paul Jackson

Script Advisor: Sonya Suarez

Costume Designer: Matilda Woodroofe

Composer/Musical Directors: Ania Reynolds and Kim Baston


Stage Manager: Kyrilee Bodin

Production Manager: Calum McClure and Ben Van Dillen


Simone French

Hamish Irvine

Chi Nguyen

Vidya Makan


Arena gratefully acknowledges the support of the Besen Family Foundation towards the development of Air Race.