All posts by Bronwyn Fullerton

Bronwyn Fullerton worked as an actress and singer for over 20 years after training with Hayes Gordon at The Ensemble Theatre Studios in Sydney in the 70s. She has worked for The Ensemble Theatre, Stables Theatre, Griffin Theatre Company, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Festival, Theatre-in-Education touring, Rocks Theatre at The Sailor’s Home, Balmain Loft, North Coast Theatre Co., Giniby Theatre Co., Bondi Pavilion Theatre and two years with the Marionette Theatre of Australia, including a tour from Alice Springs to Arnhem Land. As well as Film and Television (Chopper Squad) and Voice Overs, Bronwyn worked for the Gate Theatre Club in London and studied mime in Paris. She now teaches ESL English to foreign students and completed a Post-Grad in Film & Video at UTS in 2009/10.

SPLINTER : A TENSE DRAMA @ THE STABLES

Undoubtedly, the worst thing that could happen to any parent is to have their 4 year-old-child kidnapped from their bed during the night.

Hilary Bell’s play ‘SPLINTER’ begins with a happy ending, the return by the police of their now five-year-old daughter, Laura, after a nine month disappearance.  They are understandably over-joyed. The kind of elation that is so extreme they seem fragile, over-compensating and emotionally lost.

As they try to re-connect with Laura, not knowing what has happened to her or where she’s been, they both feel they should take her to their happiest place, their holiday beach house.

Unlike the first production of ‘SPLINTER’ at the Sydney Theatre Co. in 2012, where Laura was a puppet, the second production at the Griffin, directed by Lee Lewis, has an invisible Laura, who’s presence is mimed by her mother (Lucy Bell) and father (Simon Gleeson) – known in the program notes as simply ‘woman’ and ‘man’.  Imagining Laura is harder work for the actors and audience, but adds an interesting dynamic which has us focusing more on her parents and their anxiety. Continue reading SPLINTER : A TENSE DRAMA @ THE STABLES

THE LAST WIFE @ THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE

The era of ‘The Tudors’, King Henry VIII and his six wives, has, for centuries, been a fascination for historians and storytellers.

Canadian playwright and actor, Kate Hennig, has produced a fresh, modernist take on the relationship between the King and his sixth wife, Catherine Parr, in her play, ‘THE LAST WIFE’.  The play premiered in 2015 in Ontario, Canada, and has been performed extensively in her country and the United States. Mark Kilmurry has directed the first Australian production with his usual contagious enthusiasm and subtle humour.

The charismatic but dangerous Henry VIII (Ben Wood), famous for his “politically-motivated executions”, his scholarly and artistically innovative court and glamorous excess, finds his match in Catherine Parr (Nikki Shiels).

Set in contemporary times with historical accuracy, he comes across as the grizzly Australian larrikin with dangerous undercurrents.  His new wife, a wealthy widow, is smart enough to know that she has to make her own rules to survive, unlike his ill-fated previous five wives. Continue reading THE LAST WIFE @ THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE

OMAR AND DAWN @ THE KINGS X THEATRE

80 year-old Dawn, (Maggie Blinco), is a remarkable woman, the kind who should be awarded an OA for her services to the homeless and destitute.  She volunteers at St Vincents Hospital by day and shelters and fosters destitute teenagers by night. She gradually convinces the reluctant Omar, (Antony Makhlouf), a street boy alienated by his Lebanese family for being gay, to be placed with her and learn some practical, life-affirming skills from Dawn’s mechanic brother, Darren, (Lex Marinos), who works from a garage at their house.

Omar is hard work, but Maggie is persistent..and tough.  She temporarily holds back her house keys from Omar, who is fond of swearing and far from respectful, and imposes a curfew on him.  Darren is not happy with his sister’s domestic arrangements and, although there is love between them, he keeps suggesting she move into a retirement home.  Of course she refuses and we find out later that Darren has other motives. Continue reading OMAR AND DAWN @ THE KINGS X THEATRE

MURDER ON THE WIRELESS @ THE ENSEMBLE

Having spent my earliest years eagerly absorbing the deep sound of my grandmother’s grand old stand-up radio and those at my family home, I have, along with generations before me, a deep and lasting fondness for its impact on the imagination.

Mark Kilmurry, writer, actor and Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre, has brought to the stage the wondrous magic of a 1959 radio studio with two short plays that he has written.  The first, adapted from an Arthur Conan Doyle story, “The Solitary Cyclist”, and the second, another detective story, “The Dead(ly) Wives Club”. (Kilmurry has also directed the show with his landmark style and humour).

These work beautifully as plays within a radio play.  The three actors at the microphones with scripts in hand are the very talented Mark Kilmurry, Daniel Mitchell and Georgie Parker.  Behind them, as the mesmerising foley artist, responsible for the ambient sound effects delightfully recreated in this production, is actor Katie Fitchett.  Stage Manager, Stephanie Lindwall sits in a control booth at the back of the stage running the show. Continue reading MURDER ON THE WIRELESS @ THE ENSEMBLE

FOLK @ THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE

FOLK by English playwright Tom Wells, is a simple story of faith, loneliness, unlikely friendships and the healing power of music.

Delightfully irreverent and fun-loving Irish nun, Sister Winnie, (Genevieve Lemon), has befriended 50 year old Stephen, (Gerard Carroll), a reclusive, withdrawn guitarist and folk singer who is too shy to sing in public. Winnie loves a Guinness and a good time so each Friday night, she has Stephen over for some raucous slapstick and singing.

Genevieve Lemon as Winnie fills the stage with her excellent delivery of one-liners, compassion and infectious energy. After another Guinness and quick cigarette at the window, she quips to Stephen, “Sing me something holy – something wholly inappropriate”. Continue reading FOLK @ THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE

IF WE GOT SOME MORE COCAINE I COULD SHOW YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU

“I thought a lot about love. About how it can happen out of the blue, about how it can change everything when it does. How it can give direction when you feel lost.”, writes Irish playwright, John O’Donovan, about his first full-length play, ‘IF WE GOT SOME MORE COCAINE I COULD SHOW YOU HOW I LOVE YOU’.  It is set in Ennis, County Clare, where he spent much of his childhood.

This beautifully written, feisty play is rich with humour and pathos. It was written in 2015 as the same sex marriage referendum was happening in Ireland, exploring the personal struggles, duality and insecurity of two men in love. The play defies stereotypes and takes us on a delightful rollercoaster.                             Continue reading IF WE GOT SOME MORE COCAINE I COULD SHOW YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU

LUNA GALE : INTRIGUING DRAMA @ THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE

The Ensemble Theatre’s latest play, the intriguing and powerful LUNA GALE, opens with two meth addicts, Karlie and Peter, who are contained in a waiting room while their baby Luna is receiving medical attention for dehydration. Husband Peter is slumped on a chair, coming down from the drug, whilst Karlie is pacing the room, trying to wake him up by force-feeding him ‘Skittles’. Her bag is full of junk food.

Written in 2014 by American award-winning playwright and author, Rebecca Gilman, this cleverly constructed play can appear at first to be dealing with cliches, but scene by scene, it turns them upside down. Continue reading LUNA GALE : INTRIGUING DRAMA @ THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE

REG LIVERMORE RETURNS TO THE ENSEMBLE WITH THE WIDOW UNPLUGGED

Reg Livermore in THE WIDOW UNPLUGGED                                                                                                           Production photos: Prudence Upton

In 1958, Reg Livermore became a founding member of Hayes Gordon’s Ensemble Theatre, alongside Lorraine Bayly, Don Reid, Jon Ewing and Clarissa Kaye. This year, during the 60th anniversary of the Ensemble, Livermore has returned to the boards with his latest one-man show, THE WIDOW UNPLUGGED (OR AN ACTOR DEPLOYS).  His triumphant entrance on opening night inspired a well-deserved round of applause !

Since his early shows, ‘Hair’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, his amazing Dr Frank’n’furter in ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ and the fabulous ‘Betty Blokk Buster Follies’ one-man show series in the 70s, Livermore has won many distinguished accolades, including the Sydney Critics Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 and an AO in 1996!  Continue reading REG LIVERMORE RETURNS TO THE ENSEMBLE WITH THE WIDOW UNPLUGGED

IMPENDING EVERYONE: INTERNET HISTORIES EXPOSED

This image: Rebecca Burchet
Featured image: Sean Cartwright, Callum McManus, Apsara Lindeman and Alexandra Jensen
Production photography: Tracey Schramm

ATYP (Australian Theatre For Young People) has been operating for decades. It is recognised as one of the most innovative youth theatre programs in the world. They have been residing underneath the Sydney Theatre Company for many years, but as the wharves are under reconstruction, they are performing at the Stables Theatre alongside the Griffin Theatre Company. Soon they will have a brand new 200-seat theatre at Pier 2/3 in Walsh Bay.

Apart from performance seasons, they offer playwriting programs, holiday workshops, weekly workshops, schools’ programs, live-streamed shows, teachers’ resources, scholarships and they also provide opportunities for our future artists all over Australia. Continue reading IMPENDING EVERYONE: INTERNET HISTORIES EXPOSED

MARJORIE PRIME AT ENSEMBLE: HOW WE COPE WITH FEAR AND LOSS

This image: Lucy Bell, Richard Sydenham.
Featured image: Maggie Dence, Jake Speer and Lucy Bell.                                                                                  Production photos by Lisa Tomasetti

Today, as we look into the future, we are sharing the increasingly sophisticated technologies involving artificial intelligence and robots.  Could they be therapeutic?  Are they truly capable of equaling or out-smarting human intelligence?  Will they ever comprehend human emotion?

Talented American playwright, Jordan Harrison, wrote his play MARJORIE PRIME to question these ideas of artificial intelligence.  First produced in LA in 2014, it was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  The film adaptation premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, starring John Hamm, Geena Davis and Tim Robbins.  Harrison also wrote three seasons of the Netflix drama, ‘Orange Is The New Black’. Continue reading MARJORIE PRIME AT ENSEMBLE: HOW WE COPE WITH FEAR AND LOSS

JOSEPHINE WANTS TO DANCE – JOYOUS FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT

This image: Rebecca Hetherington                                                                                                                    Featured image: Hayden Rodgers, Chloe Dallimore, Amanda Laing, Rebecca Hetherington Photos by Heidrun Lohr

Monkey Baa Theatre Company was established in 1997 by its Creative Directors, Eva Di Cesare, Sandra Eldridge and Tim McGarry.  Their first tour was an adaptation of Tim Winton’s ‘The Bugalugs Bum Thief’.  In 2017, at the Sydney Theatre Awards, they won a Special Award for 20 years of Outstanding Achievement.

Now the resident company at Darling Harbour’s  ‘Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre’, their latest production, JOSEPHINE WANTS TO DANCE, has opened for a school holiday season, to be followed by a six month national tour. Continue reading JOSEPHINE WANTS TO DANCE – JOYOUS FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT