Tag Archives: Martin Portus


This was a very difficult play to watch.  Because there was just so much suffering in it.

Mr Shepherd is a  lonely old man living in a  Council hovel. He’s not able to look after himself and sometimes calls out for people on the street to help him.  His cries for help have an extra ‘ring’ to them. Mr Shepherd is blind.

The play starts with Mr Shepherd managing to coral a young man off the street for a chat and to make soup for him.  His name is Jude.

Jude doesn’t really want to  get involved with  him but Mr Shepherd is very persuasive. He literally begs him to visit him the same time tomorrow. Jude doesn’t make any promises. He’ll just see how he goes.. Continue reading NONE SO BLIND : A VERY DARK PLAY FOR THE FRINGE


Nigel Levings: The Lighting Designer

Currency House has been producing their quarterly ‘Platform Papers’ since 2004. These essays seek “new directions in music, theatre, dance, arts and entertainment, film, television, cultural policy, advocacy, copyright and defamation, arts training and innovation, the creative economy, race relations, young people’s theatre, digital arts” according to their website.

At the launch of the latest paper, Board Member, Martin Portus suggested that they have pretty good form in matching the right writer to the right contemporary topic but twice now Currency House has handed over the essay task to practitioners who use their personal story to enrich the art. Last year Stephen Curtis used his life and work to argue for the place of the designer in the creation of theatre.

Platform Paper 49 is by Nigel Levings. Launched by Director Lindy Hume (Director of Opera Queensland) at Belvoir Street Theatre last night, THE LIGHTING DESIGNER is an exploration of a life lived and shared in what Hume called “the dark intimacy of lighting sessions”. Continue reading THE LIGHTING DESIGNER : PLATFORM PAPER 49 BY NIGEL LEVINGS


Inset pic  - Martin Portus will chair the event. Martin is having a bit of it at the moment, from this Friday he will be appearing as Harry Wotten in the Genesian Theatre Company's latest production THE PORTRAIT OF DORIAN GRAY. Featured pic - Leading Australian Stephen Curtis.
Inset pic – Martin Portus will chair the event. Martin is having a bit of it at the moment, from this Friday he will be appearing as Harry Wotten in the Genesian Theatre Company’s latest production, a stage adaptation by Nathan Farrow of Oscar Wilde’s classic, THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. Featured pic – Leading Australian stage designer Stephen Curtis whose talk should lead to some stimulating debate.

Sydney theatregoers might like to put this exciting event in their diaries.

One of Australia’s leading designers Stephen Curtis, and already of one classic book on design, Staging Ideas: Set and costume design for theatre ( Currency Press 2013), will be talking to his new Platform Paper entitled THE DESIGNER: Decorator or Dramaturg?, published by Currency Press, in a free launch event that will take place at the Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst on 6pm Monday 15th February.

Internationally acclaimed director Neil Armfield will launch the Paper and Sydney arts writer  and performer Martin Portus will chair the event and lead any discussion/debate that ensues.

In  his paper Curtis charts the changing history of Australia’s set and costume designers, from the craft traditions within JC Williamson’s to the designer/artists like Loudon Sainthill and Kenneth Rowell, and through his own long career, as resident designer from 1981 in Jim Sharman’s ensemble with the State Theatre Company of South Australia, to his towering image of early colonisation for the Sydney Theatre Company’s classic production of Secret River which reopens at the Roslyn Packer Theatre this Friday night.

Curtis argues strongly that the designer is a uniquely agile contributor to the dramaturgical process making meaning visually for the audience taking in a performance. Curtis writes,

“We diminish theatre when we undervalue its visual component. And we diminish the potential of a production when we diminish the designer’s contribution.”

The Platform Paper illuminates how design has shifted from artful scene painting to mastering the latest in audio, screen and lighting technologies.

Curtis expresses his concern about the continuing lack of recognition and support that designers and  how many are still struggling to be given appropriate remuneration- equity rates- for their work.

Currency Press has extended an open invitation for anyone to attend this free event. Bookings are essential on info@currencyhouse.org.au.

The Diary Of Anne Frank @ The New Theatre

Anne Frank- inset
Inset plc- father- James Bean and daughter- Justina Ward try to get through the hell of Nazi Germany in The Diary Of Anne Frank . Featured pic- A cast shot. Production photos by Matthias Engesser

This is Anne Frank’s story, told through her diaries. It makes for tough reading, or more to the point tough viewing, in the current New Theatre production of the 1955 stage adaptation by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett.

Sam Thomas’ eloquent revival brings her painful and sad story to life. Tragically, Anne lived her last few years with her family in hiding, never knowing if, in the next moment, they will be discovered and transferred to a death camp.

Continue reading The Diary Of Anne Frank @ The New Theatre

SITCO’s memorable finale

Inset Pic- Martin Portus as    Les Robinson. Featured Pic- Gertraud Ingeborg as Belle of the Cross
Inset Pic- Martin Portus as Les Robinson. Featured Pic- Gertraud Ingeborg as Belle of the Cross     Pics Katy Green Loughrey

SITCO’s swan song as stewards of The Old Fitzroy theatre space is an apt one.

The end of an era is marked by a double bill of one act plays about colourful characters from the Kings Cross area that are from another era, THE LES ROBINSON STORY and BELLE OF THE CROSS.

THE LES ROBINSON STORY is a palimpsest of a personality, Les Robinson, a slacker before the term was coined, whose stories, Kenneth Slessor is attributed as saying, would be better understood and appreciated in 1993 than 1933.

Brought up on readings of Robinson Crusoe and the Swiss Family Robinson, these literary namesakes seem to have foreshadowed Les’ literary ambitions which foundered and shipwrecked on the shores of Bohemia. Continue reading SITCO’s memorable finale