Iva Davies in Boxes


In this first of two major collaborations with composer and performer Iva Davies (also Berlin in 1995) and the band Icehouse, Graeme Murphy produced a phenomenally successful dance/theatre/rock music extravaganza which quickly filled the Opera Theatre to capacity (every seat, every loge, every balcony box was sold) for 3 whole weeks during November 1985.  Lines of excited fans queued dutifully across the Sydney Opera House box office foyer and down the stairs.  This production did not disappoint with stunning designs by Laurence Eastwood in a first and only collaboration with Graeme Murphy, inspired lighting by John Drummond Montgomery and sexy, compelling performances by Sydney Dance Company’s cast.

Janet Vernon and Iva Davies in BoxesIva Davies’ hit single No Promises was all over the charts (and became a key moment in the work in which Iva danced with Janet Vernon)

Program              Iva Davies interviews

“Boxes reflects on a world where physical and emotional barriers are erected knowingly, and all too often unknowingly; a world where we strive to measure and analyse everything in our physical universe.  It is a view through a window into a new environment – a world of change.”
Graeme Murphy, 1985

The revolving set
At the time, the Sydney Opera House stage featured an enormous hydraulic powered ‘revolve’, a giant Lazy Susan that could raise, lower and rotate the stage. Boxes set designer Laurence Eastwood utilised this to breathtaking effect. “The set itself was a humongous wooden scaffolding cube,” says Davies. “Right at the climax of the piece, the entire 20-tonne thing would start to revolve, with us on it. I can remember looking out on the audience every night, and everybody’s jaws were on the floor.
Boxes would never be performed in any other theatre

Link to FULL SHOW Boxes Logovia Sydney Opera House STREAM (until Nov 18, 2023)

Videos Tab above:
3 x versions of No Promises (Australian, UK and today’s revival)



  • Boxes Logo
  • Janet Vernon and Iva Davies in Boxes (©Branco Gaica photo)
  • SDC dancers in Boxes (@Don McMurdo photo)
  • Kim Walker & Janet Vernon in Boxes
  • Bob Kretschmer & Iva Davies in 'Boxes' rehearsals
  • Boxes (@Don McMurdo photo)
  • Dancer Kim Walker with Iva Davies & Bob Kretschmer - Boxes rehearsals