Tag Archives: Bella Vista Farm

Convict Footprints at the Farm- Through the Years @ Bella Vista Farm

Convict Footprints at the Farm- Through the Years

Keith, still young but obviously beaten, is a Digger just back from the horror of jungle warfare in Borneo. He stands stock still and still in his khakis, as he stares vacantly out of his upper window, his slouch hat loosely at his side. From what we know of him, his palpable sadness might be somewhat soothed by serenity of this view. In the fading daylight, Keith seems to be searching in the northern vista for the Seven Hills of his childhood. We the viewer, stand in silence too among the ghosts of this house. Then, a faint noise. A dragging, almost human sound is ascending the polished mahogany staircase. Keith is a statue and unalarmed. And the echo fills the quiet.

CONVICT FOOTPRINTS @ THE FARM: THROUGH THE YEARS is immersive theatre at its best. Using a large amount of the national treasure of Bella Vista Farm, the niche small-audience production ranges about the whole site from the period mansion and gardens to the out buildings of cow bales and horse walks, slab built and shingled roofed, exploring and explaining the ownership of the farm from 1830-1940. Continue reading Convict Footprints at the Farm- Through the Years @ Bella Vista Farm

CONVICT FOOTPRINTS AT THE FARM

A lovely summer's afternoon was spent enjoying some fascinating historical theatre in the grounds of the Bella Vista Farm.
A lovely summer’s afternoon was spent enjoying some fascinating historical theatre in the grounds of the Bella Vista Farm.

As I was chatting to New South Wales Governor Bourke about the 2 day bullock ride from Parramatta to Bella Vista Farm for the performance to which he was escorting me, I knew I was in for a treat. A history play performed by convicts about and on Bella Vista farm on a Sunday afternoon as the light dies over the Seven Hills. Yep, this is going to be good. An enamel mug of tea and damper with cockie’s joy. Wonderful.

Then one of those bloody female convicts stole my tea and scarpered off into the corner of the shed. Next a wanton strumpet came looking for male companionship asking my friend if she could borrow her husband. The poor urchin looked aghast when she said “you can have him” and scuttled away. A rather handsome male convict then tried to sell me a branch. Just a branch he had broken off a tree. A charming captain in a blood red cloak and holding a cat-o-nine-tails shooed him away to our relief. Continue reading CONVICT FOOTPRINTS AT THE FARM

2014 Sydney Arts Guide Stage & Screen Awards

Bell Shakespeare's WINTERS TALE  2014 winner - Best stage production
Bell Shakespeare’s WINTERS TALE  2014 winner – Best stage production

 

Sydney Arts Guide is a key part of stage and film culture, and exists to celebrate the art of performance, in theatres and cinemas.

2014 was a year of amazing diversity, and our twenty accredited specialist reviewers, were all spoiled for choice in the quality of the live theatre performances to be experienced in the City of Sydney, and the suburbs of Sydney.

As the old adage goes, “live theatre is not dead theatre, as there is a different performance to be experienced every night”. Our team of professional reviewers, have each nominated their personal preferences for both theatre and cinema. A small number of movies were nominated out of the hundreds of cinema films that were seen during the last twelve months.

At the end of another outstanding year for the arts in Sydney, on Wednesday 31st December 2014, Sydney Arts Guide announced its 2014 awards in these Stage and Screen categories:-

Continue reading 2014 Sydney Arts Guide Stage & Screen Awards

A Midsummer Night’s Dream @ Bella Vista Farm

Images from Sport for Jove's revival of Midsummer's Dream. Pics by Seiya Taguchi
Images from Sport for Jove’s revival of Midsummer’s Dream. Pics by Seiya Taguchi

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM is playing as part of the season of Sydney Hills Shakespeare in the Park and Leura Shakespeare Festival and a festival it most definitely is. Families and lovers and friends and cronies, all together under a moonless sky to enjoy the group experience of enjoying a favourite 400 year old play.

A military Athens is initially in store for audiences as the guards in their grey shirts and pants usher people in and then stand on guard before the show starts.

Opening on the open raised stage near the small period home on Bella Vista Farm, we meet Theseus (Christopher Tomkinson) and Hippolyta (Francesca Savige). Never tick off an Amazon … she is cross and not shy about expressing it. Conquering Theseus has a very unwilling bride on his hands. Continue reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream @ Bella Vista Farm

The Crucible @ Bella Vista Farm

Crucible-inset Image
Images from Sport for Jove’s revival of The Crucible. Pics by Seiya Taguchi

It was only as I started my car engine to begin the trip to the performance tonight that I realised I wasn’t carrying any tissues. On my wander back to the house, I wondered … would I really need them? THE CRUCIBLE always makes me cry and it is the Elizabeth Proctor character who is the agency of those tears but Sport for Jove’s production is at Bella Vista Farm. Perhaps the open, less intimate space of a barn wouldn’t really translate into the genuine emotion which Arthur Miller’s text brings out in me. In the event, it was lucky that I did go back. Tissues were required but the agency was unexpected.

In the 1692 Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts, Betty Parris, one of the town’s young women, has been struck down with a strange illness which leaves her unable to speak or move. Her friend, Abigail, confesses that the girls have been dancing in the woods with the West Indian servant woman, Tituba. Dancing combined with nakedness and drinking blood seem to have brought this illness on and its symptoms appear to be spreading among the girls. There is talk of witchcraft in the town and the Reverend John Hale arrives with the Malleus Maleficarum to root out evil. Continue reading The Crucible @ Bella Vista Farm