New musical celebrates Australian inventiveness

The creation of the black box flight recorder is the focus of a new musical theatre production opening at QPAC in May.
A woman of Asian appearance sits on a stool smiling at the camera. She has long dark hair and wears an orange-brown outfit. The background is indistinct.

A new musical theatre production inspired by Australian research scientist David Warren’s invention of the black box flight recorder, which records both instrument readings and pilots’ voices to aid in understanding the cause of potential plane crashes, will have its world premiere at QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre in May.

Black Box features a book, music and lyrics by Queenslander Paul Hodge (whose Queensland Theatre production Round the Twist the Musical premieres later this year), and will be presented as a binaural musical, with the audience wearing headphones in order to properly experience the work’s immersive 3D soundscape.

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Richard Watts OAM is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, a Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend, and was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize in 2020. In 2021 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Green Room Awards Association. Most recently, Richard received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in June 2024. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts