Tag Archives: Belvoir Street Theatre


”Stop Girl’ Pic by Daniel Boud

Belvoir is pleased to announce the productions making up the first part of their 2021 season. In recognition of the unpredictable times at hand, the first  announcement reveals the shows that will take to the stage from February to September  2021, with the second announcement to be shared in early 2021. 

Comprising of four brand new shows and the welcome return of two ‘all-time best’ shows,  Belvoir’s 2021 season continues to celebrate outstanding established and emerging voices and great Australian storytelling, as we all optimistically turn to a new kind of normal. 



Back after an overwhelming sell-out debut season is thrilling new musical Fangirls. Written by the superb young talent, Yve Blake, the fun is bolstered by a vibrant and eclectic cast who perfectly embody the frenzy of the digital spaces young fangirls inhabit. It returns as an award-winning show, as Winner of Best Production of a Mainstage Musical at the Sydney  Theatre Awards and Best Musical or Cabaret at the Queensland Matilda Awards. 

Book, music and lyrics by Yve Blake 

Director Paige Rattray 

Associate Director Carissa Licciardello

With a cast including Aydan, Chika Ikogwe, Shubshri Kandiah, Ayesha Madon and James  Majoos, Karis Oka 


The premiere of a new play from Walkley Award-winning ABC foreign correspondent Sally  Sara. A fictional drama that asks how we get back to ‘normal’ life after being ripped away from it, Stop Girl is a ratbaggy, wise play told through the unerring eye of one of the country’s great journos. 

Written by Sally Sara 

Directed by Anne-Louise Sarks 

With a cast including Sheridan Harbridge 


Back by popular demand, the magnetic Anita Hegh will reprise her role in this return season of 2020’s production A Room of One’s Own. Rippling with passion, Virginia Woolf’s A Room of  One’s Own is arguably one of the finest pieces of writing in the last hundred years. Woolf’s essay has been painstakingly adapted by Carissa Licciardello and Tom Wright, and stars Anita  Hegh and Ella Prince. 

Written by Virginia Woolf 

Adapted for the stage by Carissa Licciardello and Tom Wright 

Directed by Carissa Licciardello 

With a cast including Anita Hegh, Ella Prince 


It’s an uncertain time. Change is coming, you can sniff it in the air. Chekhov’s great, last play needs no embellishment to describe our times. A richly talented cast from today’s Australia,  including Pamela Rabe and Keith Robinson, in a classic as funny as it is profound. This promises to be one of the highlights of 2021. 

Written by Anton Chekhov 

Directed by Eamon Flack 

With a cast including Nadie Kammallaweera, Pamela Rabe and Keith Robinson 


A brand-new comedy from the writer of the nationwide smash hit Single Asian Female.  Michelle Law’s (SBS’s Homecoming Queens) Miss Peony is a glitzy, glamorous and slightly unhinged comedy about a Chinese-Australian beauty pageant, the competitive advice of a  ghostly grandmother and being caught between two generations and two cultures. 

Written by Michelle Law 

Directed by Courtney Stewart 

With a cast including Michelle Law, Mabel Li, Shirong Wu 


A brilliant new play from a brilliant Palawa voice, Nathan Maynard, the 2019 Balnaves Fellow.  A robust, clear-eyed story set in Tasmania, now – Dan’s got enough on his plate between keeping a young family together and his responsibilities to land and people. But every year  more and more folk are claiming to be Palawa too. Folk no-one’s heard of until now, who haven’t been ‘round before. Are they legit? Or are they ‘tick-a-box’? Who decides? And how?  A trip for old mob and new back into a knotty past. 

Written by Nathan Maynard 

Directed by Isaac Drandic 

Indigenous Theatre is supported by the Balnaves Foundation. 

Belvoir Artistic Director, Eamon Flack said: “We’re always talking about change here at  Belvoir, but no-one could have foreseen a year like the one we’ve had! It’s particularly rocked our community of artists. But we’re responding to some pretty massive challenges the way a  theatre should – on our stage. We’re packing all the energy of the moment into Part one – some reminders of what we’ve always done well, and some bold, contemporary voices too.  Onwards!” 


Belvoir is pleased to announce Yuin woman Jorjia Gillis as the 2020 Balnaves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellow.

 A $25,000 paid residency, the Balnaves Foundation Fellowship gives the Fellow the opportunity to work at Belvoir as a resident artist to create a work for the stage. It seeks to be deeply collaborative, offering an invitation to have a voice in Belvoir’s artistic decision-making processes and the opportunity to support other Indigenous artists through Belvoir’s creative development and programming.

 The Fellowship (previously the Balnaves Award) has long been recognised as one of the most prestigious playwriting awards in Australia, attracting entrants of the highest calibre. Previous recipients (including Leah Purcell, Nakkiah Lui, Ursula Yovich and Nathan Maynard) have submitted exceptional works that consistently affirm the depth of talent amongst our nation’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theatre-makers. Continue reading BELVOIR AWARDS 2020 BALNAVES FELLOWSHIP TO YUIN WOMAN JORJIA GILLIS


‘Shepherd’. Pic by Matt Predny

SHEPHERD is an absurdist play written and directed by Liam Maguire. The cast of 6 very talented actors (Grace Victoria, Rose Riley, Jacob Warner, Mark Paguio, Cece Peters, Adam Sollis) each play their role in a brilliant and thoroughly believable way. 

This dark satire looks at the age old concern of trying to find yourself when you have so many insecurities and are unsure of yourself,  or your place in this crazy world. Continue reading SHEPHERD : DOWNSTAIRS @ BELVOIR STREET



TUESDAY is funny, wry and insightful. Its astute observations of four slightly malfunctioning characters make this a worthwhile reason to visit Belvoir’s Downstairs Theatre.

There are four characters delivering a series of brief monologues. They reveal their thoughts and make observations about their lives and occurrences on this reasonably mundane Tuesday. All the characters have a fascinating discord between their view of themselves and their actual behaviours that they reveal as they go about their day. It is the classic inconsistency between the view from within and the view from without and it is brilliantly observed by playwright Louris van de Geer. Continue reading TUESDAY : FUNNY, WRY AND INSIGHTFUL


Currently playing at Belvoir Street Theatre AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE (SAG Review) has struck a chord with audiences.  Ibsen’s 1882 masterpiece shocks and surprises in a timely new version by Melissa Reeves, with the superb Kate Mulvany as the insider who finds herself out in the cold.

Katherine Stockman lives in a tight-knit community – she’s woven into the fabric. One day she makes a disturbing discovery: the spa water for which the town is famed is toxic. The community has been built on poison, and the truth must be told. But to her horror, people refuse to believe there’s a problem. What does she do? Does she fight for the truth if it means the loss of income, family, community, identity?

AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE is currently playing at Belvoir Street Theatre [Facebook] until November 4.

With thanks to Belvoir, Sydney Arts Guide has a double pass giveaway to the  performance on either October  25, 26 or 30.

To be in the running to win a double pass , email (editorialstaff.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com) with IBSEN  as the subject, along with your full name AND the 
date you would like to attend.

Competition closes Midnight Monday October 22, 2018 when the winner will be drawn. Only the winner will be notified and the pass will be available at the Box Office on the night.


Kris McQuade as June MacReadie. Photo Daniel Boud.

Belvoir is set to continue its commitment to new Australian writing with the world premiere season of THE SUGAR HOUSE, by critically-acclaimed playwright, Alana Valentine from 5th May to 3rd June.

Starring the inimitable Kris McQuade (TV’s Wentworth, Rosehaven and Belvoir’s Cloudstreet) alongside Sheridan Harbridge (The Dog, The Cat), Sacha Horler (The ABC’s Sando), Lex Marinos, Josh McConville and Nikki Shiels (The Rover), The Sugar House is directed by MTC Associate Director Sarah Goodes (MTC’s Helpmann Award nominated John and Belvoir’s The Sweetest Thing). Continue reading THE SUGAR HOUSE : A PLAY EVERY SYDNEY-SIDER SHOULD SEE


For many years now Belvoir Street Theatre has been in the forefront of championing diversity in theatrical performance. In particular, it has been the case with indigenous performers and playwrights, culminating in the multi-award winning The Drover’s Wife written by and starring Leah Purcell.

Perhaps to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year Belvoir has cast its gaze towards Asian stories and performance in a major way. The play is SINGLE ASIAN FEMALE a full-length work  written by Michelle Law, and starring three fellow Asian protagonists. 

The story tells of Pearl, the almost stereotypical Chinese ‘tiger’ mother who runs a Chinese restaurant, the Golden Phoenix, trying to juggle the business and family as a divorcee. Continue reading SINGLE ASIAN FEMALE @ BELVOIR STREET THEATRE


Noni Hazlehurst in MOTHER. Photo above : Brett Boardman.

A half lit, twilight world of smoke, seagull squawk, dried leaves and garbage bags, the audience is bidden to a modern day midden by set designer Kat Chan. This is the habitat of Christie, a woman top of the heap in the garbage tip of human refuse.

Destitute, disenfranchised, derelict, Christie is made “feel like a criminal” because of her poverty and homelessness. Vulnerable and vilified, she is a victim, somewhat of her own making, but ignominiously ignored by the system and the community at large.
For most, the word ‘mother’ conjures comfort and affection, but in Daniel Keene’s play, MOTHER, the character, Christie, conjures discomfit and affliction. Continue reading MOTHER: THE PRIDE STRIPPED BARE.


Photos: Daniel Boud

By chance, my companion to the show last night was friend and Indigenous educator, Natalie.  Larrakia woman, Saltwater woman.  Which was handy because myself, 6 generations here, and the British woman and the Nigerian woman in front of us needed some help during the pop quiz!    Yep, there’s a few audience tests in MY NAME IS JIMI! House lights up and a chance to enjoy the reactions of the people near me.  It’s just part of a gift from the Bani Family to me and I accept with open heart and joy in the receiving.  After experiencing this brilliant theatrical event how could I not?  Continue reading MY NAME IS JIMI: A GIFT OF CULTURE


Inset pic-Tom Conroy and Colin Friels. Featured pic- Tom Conroy and David Valencia in Angela Betzian’s MORTIDO currently playing upstairs at Belvoir Street theatre. Production photography by Brett Boardman.

We saw this play the other night.

Quite a bit of Sydney theatre is basically elegant pap. Or noisy chaotic pap presented as high drama. Or where actor and director are in an embrace of mutual congratulation and admiration, the audience almost irrelevant….mere observers.

One often goes to the theatre like a prospector hoping that at the end of the day there, at the bottom of the pan will be a speck or two of gold or even a nugget. Continue reading ANGELA BETZIAN’S MORTIDO @ BELVOIR STREET THEATRE


During October and November, The Actors College Of Theatre and Television (ACTT) is presenting six unique student productions, to elegantly showcase the talents of its graduating Advanced Diploma acting students.

Currently playing, and the second in time, is American playwright Katie Cappiello’s SLUT THE PLAY. Cappiello’s play premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival in August 2013, produced by The Arts Effects Theatre Company.

Maeliosa Stafford expertly directs ten actresses playing eleven roles.  Student productions always makes it so much easier to fulfill large cast requirements.

We see Cappiello’s world through the eyes of a  group of  New York City teenage girls. The production zooms along for 110 minutes with one interval. Continue reading ACTT PRESENTS SLUT THE PLAY DOWNSTAIRS @ BELVOIR STREET


During October and November, The Actors College Of Theatre and Television (ACTT) is presenting six unique student productions, to elegantly showcase the talents of their graduating Advanced Diploma acting students.

Their first  production in time, American playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis’ THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISACRIOT, has already taken place. JUDAS, expertly directed by John O’Hare, played the Belvoir Street Theatre between the 6th and 10th October

Giurgis’ play goes back some time. The play debuted Off-Broadway in 2005 directed by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and had its first West End production was in 2008.  Continue reading THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISACRIOT @ BELVOIR STREET, DOWNSTAIRS

The Dog/The Cat @ Belvoir Street Downstairs

Production photography by Brett Boardman

This is a comic play and it is excellent.

It  is in two parts: one written by Brendan Cowell (Dog Part) and the other by Lally Katz (Cat Part)

They are both prominent in Australian theatre. Cowell lives in downtown Newtown and Katz is one of Melbourne’s great comedic playwrights. She is also a great actress, though she doesn’t appear in her play.

The play has  three actors and the performance by the two men, Xavier Samuel and Benedict Hardie, deserve the highest superlatives. Andrea Demetriades is also darn good.     Continue reading The Dog/The Cat @ Belvoir Street Downstairs

The Glass Menagerie at Belvoir

Rose Riley and Harry Greenwood in THE GLASS MENAGERIE. Pic Brett Boardman

For any student with a passion for drama, be it for the stage or for the screen, Tennessee Williams’ THE GLASS MENAGERIE makes for highly recommended viewing.

Great drama is about deep connection and this is what one gets with this play Williams wrote in the key of sorrow as he looks back on his life growing up in his struggling Southern family.

First performed in Chicago in 1944, THE GLASS MENAGERIE is the play that established Williams brilliant career.

Continue reading The Glass Menagerie at Belvoir


The stress of family life beautifully captured in Brett Boardman’s photograph

Setting:  The setting for Act 1 was a domestic home suggested by an open house frame which clearly delineated rooms without walls.  The cast were on stage reading a bedtime story to the children and working at the table when the audience entered.

The stage was stripped to black brick and cement and black floor, the thin steel rods of the structure cleverly placed to maximise the use of the playing space.  One audience member in the front row with long legs clearly had his feet in the living room. The doors had a steel lintel at 2m high which made the frame even easier to accept.  There was no fussy miming of doors even when a character came from the bathroom so the action flowed freely.  Having the children run around the space made the domesticity even more present and the disregard for the traditional facing of the audience by performers also reinforced this.

The audience seating is in 3 wedges at Belvoir.  The hallway of the house faced the Audience left wedge.  On the OP side were kitchen down (benchtop, sink, cupboards, stool), dining room mid (table and chairs) and bedroom up (bed and side tables).  At the US of the hallway was the bathroom with toilet and double sink.  On the P side of the hallway was the lounge room down (sofa, toys, tub style chair facing US) and the kids room up (bunk bed).

 Act 2: presented a much more claustrophobic scene, delineating a small flat with a galley kitchen (sink, benchtops and a free standing fridge) and living room with a fold out bed and extra chair facing US and coffee table.  This time the set was aligned to the centre wedge of audience.   The ten minutes unfolding and making up of the bed was enjoyed by the audience and many people around the audience had a little chat about it.  The lady next to me was asleep by then and the couple behind me had been talking loudly about being bored.  So this piece of business gave them a new topic.

I think the uprights, even though they were thin, would have affected the view of most audience at some time.  Unfortunately for me, it was the scene in the bedroom when Nora is about to slam the door of the doll’s house.

Lighting:   The final lines of the play referred to darkness and for mine, that certainly was a theme.  It was very dim.  I thought it was just me but when there were important events in Act 1, I could see people leaning forward to peer into the action.  There were very few lanterns front of house and when cast moved DS the bottom of their face disappeared.  I didn’t actually recognise Damien Ryan until he threw his head up to say “God”.  It was only time his face was lit clearly.  Additionally, the emotional hit of the girl’s little black shoes was completely lost.  Moody might have been the imperative but it didn’t work for me or my companions.  One of our party thought it might have been to avoid possible shadows from the set struts.

Barndoored fresnels and par cans provided the back lighting in the house but even so the Audience R front rows were lit up in Act 1.  The conventional lanterns were on low intensity and very yellow especially for the night scenes.  There were no colour changes, no blues for night etc just different intensity levels.  There were a couple of white LEDs for extra depth.  And some silk or frost on the perch pars.

There was well timed area lighting for the home.  Well timed also, was the DBO just before Act 1 Sc2.  It served to inform the audience that something had changed, even though lights up revealed the same scene.  Also well operated, was the gradual fade up of intensity leading to the denouement of Act 2.

There were practical lamps for bedroom, practical reading lights for the bunks and a living room lamp in the flat.

Audio:  In Act 1 there was a tinkling, glockenspiel sound which was so close to my family’s Grandfather clock that I knew it was about time passing.  It was echoed in an alarm sound and the landline ring and a mobile message tone in Act 2.

 This light sound was supplement by an occasional bassy, reverbed, thumping which was more pronounced at the end of the Act and did not reoccur in Act 2. At one stage, the children were both using earphones so that the child cast were not exposed to the porn discussion, then, as a neat segue into the next scene, the daughter began dancing.  At this time, the sound effect changed to thump in time to the child’s moves.  The sound designer also resisted letting the audience in on what Nora was dancing to, but the kids knew. The sparse SFX were really well placed and deeply evocative.

It’s not often I get into a philosophical debate at interval about a Sound Effect.  I thought it was the sound of Nora being metaphorically stomped and beaten down by Torvald. My companion believed it was a rumbling precursor to the shaking of the marriage foundations.  But he’s a therapist!

NORA plays upstairs at Belvoir Street until the 14th September.

This review was first published in Judith Greenaway’s blog-http://www.sydneylivetheatretechnicalnotes.blogspot.com.au


FOOD is a magnificent collaboration between Force Majeure and Belvoir St and was originally seen downstairs at Belvoir in 2012. The script has been devised by co director actor/playwright Steve Rodgers.(Warning there are at times lots of strong language) .The result is a glorious fusion of physical theatre, straight drama and dance.

Champion’s choreography includes everyday movement, and fragile, tender, intimate gestures incorporating orchestrated incidental movement in slow-mo: imagined vignettes; thoughts expressed, physically, aloud; gestures of tender, gentle touch the characters wish they could lavish on each other, if only it felt safe, permissible and possible to do so. Champion has gone for intense nuance rather than a theatrical-choreographic combination , yet she also features a small solo or interactive sequence in which the characters express their innermost authentic feelings, as they transcend the roles that they have been cast in.

Continue reading FOOD