Life Without Me


If you don’t know who you are and you don’t know where you’re headed, you might find yourself spiralling in ever-tightening circles until you come to rest in a nondescript part of town in a crummy two-star hotel, where the service is churlish, the lift doesn’t work, the toast is burnt and the pot plants set off your allergies. But keep your expectations low, really low, and, who knows? – you might be pleasantly surprised by how everything works out.

Set in a run down, two star hotel, Life Without Me gathers a series of unlikely characters together. "They meet by accident and the conceit is a little like (The Eagles’ hit) Hotel California. It is difficult to leave and certain things develop because they are stuck together” (Daniel Keene, 2010)

A hotel with reservations. Award-winning playwright Daniel Keene’s play is an eccentric fable about taking up residence and trying to move on.

"Daniel Keene is indisputably one of Australia’s most poetic, thoughtful and probing playwrights." - Sydney Morning Herald

  • absurd, drama, black comedy
  • 0
  • 7 total
  • 3 female identifying, 4 male identifying
  • 18+
  • young adult, adult
  • Currency Press


You can preview the full online text with a Membership


Male | 50s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 49

EXTRACT: Apparently fish have very short memories. It's only a matter of seconds. Every time they swim to this end of the tank [moving to one end of the tank] they've already forgotten [moving to the other end of the tank] this end. So when they turn around and swim back, it's all new to them. That little journey from one end of the tank to the other is always the first journey, into an unknown future.

Mrs. Spence

Female | 60+ | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 53

EXTRACT: I don't feel very cheery. Just the opposite. Perhaps it was that sausage...[Pause]. Nigel's given me money for a taxi home. I'm not supposed to be here. There's some chap, I don't know who he is, who mustn't see me. It's quite exciting. Although I've no idea what's going on. I very seldom do these days. There are moments when I'd like to be more...aware of what's happening around me, but most of what's happening doesn't concerns me, so I can't complain.


Male | 50s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 20

EXTRACT: I've never known it so bad, and I've been selling sheets and pillowcases for thirty years. I can tell you the thread count of a cotton sheet just by touching it. [He holds out his hands and looks down at them]. My hands are old [He smiles briefly at JOHN]. Thirty years ago I was the same man. I was a different man as well, of course. I'm that same different man. I don't really understand that.

Search for details of past productions at

AusStage provides an accessible research facility for investigating live performance in Australia.

Search by play title and/or playwright name
Results will open in a new window

PLEASE NOTE: You will be directed to for search results; Australian Plays Transform is not responsible for their completeness. Refer to our terms of use.

Purchase at Currency Press$23.99
SKU: CP-2141 Category:

We acknowledge that we live and create on unceded lands. We pay our respects to the First Peoples of Australia, and to their elders past, present and future.

© Australian Plays Transform 2024