Tag Archives: Heather Mitchell

CAUSE CELEB : 75TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

ACTORS BENEVOLENT FUND’S most popular fundraiser event – the INDOOR PICNIC AND CABARET is back.  This year marks 75 years that The Actors Benevolent Fund has provided assistance to performing arts professionals in times of need.

This fabulous event will be held on Sunday 18 August in the Joan Sutherland Rehearsal Room of Opera Australia.   Award winning director Luke Joslin, and legendary Musical Director Michael Tyack have brought together Sydney’s best-known performers for this glittering industry event including:-

Nancye Hayes, Jonathan Biggins, Chloe Dallimore, Paul Capsis, Sheridan Harbridge, Sandy Gore, Maggie Blinco, Natalie Abbott, James Hadwin, Scott Irwin, Margi de Ferranti, Olivia Vasquez, Peter Cousens, Brittanie Shipway, Dan Belle, Wayne Scott Kermond, Garry Scale, Robert McDougall, Daniel Belle, Jay Laga’aia, Courtney Bell, Meredith O’Reilly, Siobhan Clifford, Laura Murphy, Stephanie Caccamo, Heather Mitchell and many more. 

ACTORS BENEVOLENT FUND is the entertainment industry’s charity that provides help when it’s needed most. Founded in 1944 to assist the many members of the acting profession who were caught up in the devastation that World War II. It was recognised that action was required to look after the families of lost servicemen and women. It is in this spirit that the Actors Benevolent Fund has continued for 75 years, in supporting professional members of the performing arts community across theatre, film and television.

The Actors Benevolent Fund also umbrellas the STA Fund which was established with the Sydney Theatre Awards to assist members of the theatre community suffering from mental health issues. It also administers the Victoria Longley Cancer Appeal which offers financial assistance to help with the costs of cancer treatment. Donations to these funds and the Actors Benevolent Fund can be made on the ABF website.

Gather your friends, pack your picnic and head out for a night to remember!

VENUE:          Joan Sutherland Rehearsal Room

Opera Centre, 480 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills

WHEN:            Sunday 18th August

TIME:              Doors open 6pm / Showtime 7pm

TICKETS:       $85.00

BOOKINGS:   www.actorsbenevolentfund.org.au

WORLD PREMIERE OF AUSTRALIAN DRAMA/COMEDY ‘PALM BEACH’ TO OPEN SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019

The 66th Sydney Film Festival (5 – 16 June) has announced the World Premiere of Palm Beach, an uplifting drama/comedy from Australian director Rachel Ward, as the Opening Night Film at the State Theatre on Wednesday 5 June.

Sydney Film Festival’s Opening Night Gala is proudly presented by Lexus Australia. Tickets are on sale now via sff.org.au.

Palm Beach features an all-star cast of Australian screen legends including Golden Globe-nominated icons Bryan Brown (Australia Day, SFF 2017),Sam Neill (The Daughter, SFF 2015), Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant (Gosford Park), Greta Scacchi (The Player, SFF 1992), Jacqueline McKenzie (Romper Stomper) and Heather Mitchell (Rogue), as well as Brown and Ward’s daughter Matilda Brown, playing Ella – the daughter of Brown’s character Frank.

Set at Sydney’s spectacular Palm Beach, the film follows lifelong friends who gather to celebrate a milestone birthday, only for tension to mount when new and old resentments arise, along with the threat of an old secret coming to light.

With a filmmaking team comprising over 50% female crew, the film is Ward’s second feature film following Beautiful Kate, which will also screen at this year’s Festival as part of Essential Australian Women Directors – 10 Trailblazers Selected by David Stratton.

“Film festival time in Sydney is my favourite time of year. To be kicking it off is a really special treat,” said Rachel Ward.  “’The inspiration for the film came over a Christmas in Wales with friends …  It was a funny and warm occasion, but also one where we realised no one is untouched.”

“Set in one of Sydney’s most beautiful locations, it’s great to think Palm Beach will open this year’s Festival,” she said.

http://www,sff.org.au

 

THE ILIAD – OUT LOUD…PARTS ONE, TWO AND THREE

This adaptation by William Zappa after Homer, has been 7 years in the making. Zappa has researched 17 translations, travelled far and wide, testing the work. He always knew Homer came from a tradition of professional guilds of storytelling, the words were meant to be heard. So now with the start originally a commissioned radio drama, the four actors devote themselves to the storytelling with their voice their primary instrument but delivered as if a staged reading with script in hand, moving in and out of the central sand circle.

I must immediately acknowledge only a limited visit to Homer as a student of literature. It is the oldest western writing surviving, attributed to Homer (mostly – but that is the debate around many very old writers Shakespeare included). 3000 years old. Written in the mid eighth century BCE. Earlier than the festivals of Greek Tragedy with which we might be a little more familiar. So it sits, Epic, it is after all still 24 books told in 3 parts and 9 hours. But Zappa has allowed intentionally in his direction (supported by Sport for Jove and specifically Damian Ryan) to become a resonance of our very modern world. Attempting to make the world of Homer’s Iliad, at once, an Australian Soap Opera, an HBO series with recaps and reminders, and I thought inconsistently, a colloquialism that ‘played’ with his characters; be they kings, princes or indeed gods. Continue reading THE ILIAD – OUT LOUD…PARTS ONE, TWO AND THREE

SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY LAUNCHES ITS 2017 SEASON WITH SOME SURPRISES

It has been the season for launches and Sydney’s flagship theatre company, the Sydney Theatre Company,  has now chimed in with the announcement of its 2017 season.

Sydney Theatre Company’s Executive Director Patrick McIntyre started proceedings and then handed over to interim Artistic Director Kip Williams announced next years’ program to a packed gathering at the Bar at the End of the Wharf on Thursday night.

Williams has  curated  an intriguing program which is bound to attract a healthy cross-section of theatregoers. There are some exciting and bold choices.

There have not been enough stories coming from our Asian communities that have made it our stages. This makes the STC’s decision to program Disapol Savetsila’s play AUSTRALIAN GRAFFITI  cause for much celebration as indeed was witnessed by the delighted reactions of Lee Lin Chin and her friends when Williams made the announcement.

The  Sydney Theatre Company developed Savetsila’s play in conjunction with Asian Australian arts company Performance 4a and Playwriting Australia and will be directed by Paige Rattray. The play, commissioned by the STC, has been described as exploring ‘the migrant experience from the inside out.” A Thai family who open up a Thai restaurant in a small country town face a  crisis when their place of business is vandalised by graffiti. How cam they survive such a personal and cultural insult?!

Internationally acclaimed filmmaker PJ Hogan, along with his wife Jocelyn Moorehouse were on hand to hear the announcement that Hogan’s breakthrough film is coming back as a stage play, what’s more a musical.  Hogan has come up with a new book for the musical  and brings Muriel and her friends up to the present day. Simon Phillips will direct  and the music and lyrics come via award winning singer-songwriters Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall.

Williams will direct three productions during the year including a Caryl Churchill play CLOUD NINE which will star one of our finest young actors, Harry Greenwood. A big fan of Churchill’s work, Williams believes audiences will engage deeply with this work which explores how our need as human beings need to give ourselves specific  identities limits our ability to achieve true authenticity.

There will be a fresh revival of Michael Gow’s classic AWAY, directed by brilliant young director Matthew Lutton and starring Heather Mitchell, and a new adaptation by Andrew Upton  of Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece THREE SISTERS, again directed by Williams, starring one of Australia’s brightest young actresses, Eryn Jean Norvill.

The years’ international production  will be the Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse and Almeida Theatre production of George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 with a stage adaptation by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan. Sydney audiences will see the original production as directed by Icke and Macmillan but with a new Australian cast.

At the gathering Williams also announced that Imara Savage has been appointed as the STC’s new Resident Director taking over from Sarah Goodes who has moved across to the Melbourne Theatre Company. Savage will direct two plays in 2017, Colm Toibin’s THE TESTAMENT OF MARY starring Alison Whyte and Moira Bufini’s DINNER with a cast including Bruce Spence and Brandon Burke.

For the full details about STC’s 2017 season visit http://www.sydneytheatre.com.au.

For your enjoyment, here are some pics  taken by Guide photographer Ben Apfelbaum at a very well attended launch.