Set in modern-day Sydney, Burnt explores the timeless and universal subject of gambling and gambling addiction.

Nick is a compulsive gambler destroyed by hope. He is a 32-year-old chef who wants to buy his own restaurant in a trendy part of Sydney. He is intelligent, charming, affectionate and, at times, loyal. He works hard and earns good money but the money he earns is not enough to support his gambling addiction. Everyone knows that they shouldn't lend Nick money but somehow he always manages to talk his friends and relatives around. He knows he is wrong, he knows that it's destroying his life; he knows that he has to give up . . . and he will . . .

He has maxed his credit cards, extorted money from his mother, borrowed large amounts of money from his friends, spent his girlfriend's lifesavings and now he is back home living with his mother.

The play starts seriously: we learn that Nick has swindled his unwitting girlfriend and witness him bullying his sick mother. In the following scenes, however, whilst never losing the serious nature of its subject matter, the play becomes a discomforting comedy of life amongst Nick's dodgy friends with addictive personalities.

The play ends with the revelation that Nick has stolen and gambled the proceeds of a winning ticket worth over $400000.

  • naturalastic drama
  • 90
  • 9 total
  • 3 female identifying, 6 male identifying
  • 16 to 18, 18+
  • young adult, adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Male | 30s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 74

EXTRACT: Theo would've been fifty... fifty-five maybe and all I could think of as he was lying there motionless: "That's me in twenty years." I didn't want it to be me. Life is not just about existing for a time and then dying. Life is about doing something worthwhile. It doesn't have to be something outstanding, just living a decent life will do. So far I've existed, I haven't lived and I'm waiting to die.


Gender Unspecified | Unspecified | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 44

EXTRACT: They stand, starter is holding them, they'll soon go. Racing,Chocolate Ice, The Rower and Hello Boys were a little slow to go and actually The Architect jumped in front but headed immediately by Mamma's Little Boy, Bell Rocker moving to second, The Architect back to third and then Rocketeer, The Minor, Hurricane, Peter The Great, Chocolate Ice and Ted The Flyer, a length and a half to Stardom and then The Rower, followed by Eagle Eye, Hello Boys, Studious and Good Night Dad brings up the rear.

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