Tag Archives: Nancye Hayes


A most exciting exhibition will be coming to the National Library of Australia in March for theatre lovers .

A performance is fleeting and no two are exactly the same.

What does a performance tell us ? It can be challenging and ask difficult questions , extremely moving , enthrall and delight or terrify or disgust us.

The exhibition opens with an acknowledgement of all the backstage staff that help make the theatrical magic happen – a photo of Ange Sullivan , head of lighting at the Sydney Opera House , preparing a ‘ghost’ light at the Joan Sutherland theatre in 2020.

On STAGE combines items that have never before been on display with the earliest surviving Australian printed document,(a playbill),selections from the extensive JC Williamson theatre archives, and other contemporary live music and theatre posters.
We see how ballets, musicals , plays , operas, circus , magic and concerts have been produced : all the business of production behind the scenes .The library’s collection includes the papers of designers Kenneth Rowell , Desmond Digby and Kristian Frederickson , Dame Nellie Melba and the towering talent of Sir Robert Helpmann.

The library also holds the papers of Bobby and Gracie Le Brun , Jim Sharman, Patrick White ,the papers of Rose Quong and the massive PROMPT collection ( the Australian performing arts and ephemera collection – tickets , posters , programs etc ) as well as musical score , books, plays and manuscripts and a 153cm lagerphone with its ‘whacker’, associated with the 1950s musical group, The Bushwhackers.

In her introduction to the ‘’exhibition companion’, the curator of the exhibition Dr Susannah Helman takes us through the history of Australian theatre from 1796 to now and the impact of Covid. There were eminent visitors such as Lola Montez in the 1850’s and Sarah Bernhardt in 1891 and highly rewarding opera tours during the 1860’s and 1870’s.
We then follow the rise of actor-manager entrepreneurs , such as George Selth Coppin and Bland Holt but the dominant name was J.C. Williamson , who arrived in 1874 and his fortune took off with his presentation of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas . His company, affectionately known as ‘The Firm ‘ also fostered Australian talent such as actress Nellie Stewart. JC Williamson’s company operated in some fashion from 1874-1976 and the Library has a stack of documents , cables, designs, photos etc as wellas what was left after a show closed such as scripts , scores , stage manager’s notes etc . for a multitude of productions.

The exhibition also documents the life and times of for instance Dame Nellie Melba, Oscar Asche (who produced Kismet and Chu Chin Chow for example) , the dancer Saharet and Melbourne based Rose Quong.

Then there was the enormously successful Tivoli vaudeville and variety touring circuit with “ Stiffy and Mo’ for example. It is also interesting to note that famous pianist Winifred Atwell toured the Tivoli circuit too , settling in Australia in the 1970’s. Mention must also be made of the Sorlie’s productions that captured the travelling tent show scene for decades.

For ballet lovers The Firm – by then under the direction of the Tait brothers – brought out on tour Anna Pavlova and then later the Ballets Russes , both of which greatly influenced Australian ballet history.

That is not forgetting opera tours and musicals that toured after World War 11 , in particular Annie Get Your Gun with Evie Hayes and then the rise of home grown Australian talent with the great Toni Lamond , Jill Perryman and Nancye Hayes.

A segment of the exhibition is devoted to the history of the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust as well as ‘classic’ Australian plays such as On Our Selection , Summer of the Seventeenth Doll , and One Day of the Year .This then leads to a look at the ‘little theatre’ companies possibly more independent and experimental such as La Mama, The Pram Factory and the Nimrod . In 1973 came the opening of the Sydney Opera House. The stories told by Bangarra and other Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander companies are also mentioned. Outdoor performances , festivals and rock concerts are also included in the exhibition.

On Stage runs at the National Library of Australia 4 March – 7 August 2022




Effervescent entertainer  is back on the casting couch for a night of frivolity and this time he’s joined by musical theatre legend Nancye Hayes.

After performing side-by-side in two sold-out seasons of Richard Alfieri’s SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS, these two multi-talented performers and close friends reunite to belt out big songs, dish exclusive stories and more.

This will be an evening of show-stopping tunes and tales with two of Australia’s theatre greats. Continue reading THE CASTING COUCH COMING SOON TO ENSEMBLE THEATRE


Music theatre legend Nancye Hayes

Every Tuesday from 11.00am during the month of September 2019, media personality Susie Smither will be presenting a ‘chat show’ RED CARPET WOMEN at Chatswood Chase Shopping Centre.  The lineup of actresses is impressive. On September 3 it will be Nancye Hayes, on September 10 , Rachael Beck, on September 17,  Doctor Doctor’s Tina Bursill and Amanda Muggleton on September 24.

Susie is producing the show herself after getting the green light from Chatswood Chase’s Marketing Manager John Klein. The presentations will last between thirty to forty five minutes, finishing with the actress taking questions from the audience. Then there will be the opportunity of a pic with the actress in front of Chatswood Chase’s Media Wall.

Audiences can expect a special treat with Nancy Hayes appearance as she will be singing a number or two for them, accompanied on electric piano by Michael Tyack on electric piano. Hayes is excited about her upcoming one woman show which opens at the theatre named after her in early October.

Each actress will use the opportunity of showing favourite photos from their careers with a powerpoint presentation on a multimedia screen set up for the occasion.

Susie’s  approach to interviewing is to be well researched and to use a relaxed style. Over her career she has hosted many book launches and fashion events.  She is keen to question the actresses about the things in their lives that people may not know about, their little quirks and hobbies.

When asked who her favourite interviewer is she choose our very own Andrew Denton. ‘I like the way that he has such a natural, calm approach and he manages the interview well and doesn’t have his nose glued to his notes.”

Susie is expecting between eighty to one hundred people to attend the Tuesday chat sessions. If you are interested in  attending you will need to book. There is a $10 fee with the ticketing agency being Event Brite. Everyone who attends will receive a free gift pack with lots of goodies.

The presentations will take place on Level 1 of Chatswood Chase, with a stage area and seating set up next to the Williams Sonoma shop.

Bookings through     https://www.chatswoodchasesydney.com.au/whats-on/red-carpet-women/      

or by calling the Centre on  (02) 9419-6255 

Red Carpet Women host Susie Smither

Featured image – Tina Bursill as Meryl Knight in the tv series Doctor Doctor. Photo by John Platt.




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

Bye Bye Birdie @ The Reginald

Nancye Hayes and Jay James Moody in BYE BYE BIRDIE @ the Hayes
Nancye Hayes and Jay James Moody in BYE BYE BIRDIE @ the Hayes. Pics by Amelia Burns.

Squabbalogic’s inaugural presentation of  MYSTERY .MUSICAL – a one-of-a-kind venture within Sydney’s music theatre scene,  where audiences are treated to a staged reading and singing of a top secret musical theatre classic, played for just two sold out performances on Saturday 25th January 2015 at Squabbalogic’s home, the Reginald Theatre at the Seymour Centre.

A very talented cast of the inaugural Mystery Musical, all jumped on board, without knowing the show or the role that they would be offered. Squabbalogic’s MYSTERY MUSICAL starred JOHANNA ALLEN (Wicked), BLAKE ERICKSON (Forbidden Broadway), JESSICA JAMES-MOODY (Reefer Madness!), JOSIE LANE (Miracle City), MICHELE LANSDOWN (Drowsy Chaperone), GARRY SCALE (Carrie), ROWAN WITT (South Pacific), and the one and only NANCYE HAYES.

Continue reading Bye Bye Birdie @ The Reginald

Beyond Desire @ The Hayes

Nancye Hayes and Chloe Dallimore in Beyond Desire
Nancye Hayes and Chloe Dallimore in Beyond Desire. Pic by Oliver Toth

The program for BEYOND DESIRE at the Hayes Theatre is styled as an Edwardian newspaper and what I have to report about the show is both good and bad. Firstly the bad news: I really did not take to this show … for me it was ‘Beyond Dire’. The good news: it’s highly possible that I am wrong. And why is this good news? Because I love the Hayes Theatre. They give new musicals a go, they encourage talent, and they never short-change their loyal audiences. They have longevity and resilience and I have seen some great stuff there this year. Plus … the wonderful Nancye Hayes is on the boards again.

BEYOND DESIRE is the name of booklet of poems written by the dead patriarch of the Pemberton family (Phillip Lowe), father to Anthony (Blake Bowden) and husband to Louise (Chloe Dallimore). Reporting of his demise is the headline story of the broadsheet program. “Man found Dead in London Hotel.” His sudden popping off is ruled a suicide but Anthony and his Oxford roommate, James (Ross Hannaford) believe that there is dirty work afoot.

Continue reading Beyond Desire @ The Hayes

The Importance Of Being Earnest

Nathan O'Keefe and Nancye Hayes in the State Theatre Company of South Australia's production of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. Pics Shane Reid
Nathan O’Keefe and Nancye Hayes in the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s production of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. Pics Shane Reid

Oscar Wilde is a comedic pioneer and genius, whose plays sport eloquence of tremendous proportions.

“How you can sit there, calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble, I can’t make out.”

“Well, I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them.”

While his plays are many things, earnest is not one of them. Saturated in satire and scandalously silly, Wilde’s beloved comedy THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST has hit the Merrigong theatre this month to reanimate the classic play in a hilarious, true-to-form production. Critiquing the prudishness and prestige that festered within the class-driven society of Victorian England, the play makes light of the era’s repressive conventions through the conundrums and mishaps of two young bachelors who take to “Bunburying” to spice up their lives.  Continue reading The Importance Of Being Earnest


Lucy Maunder and James Millar shine in NOEL AND GERTIE

Sheridan Morley’s hit 1983 play NOEL AND GERTIE, that ran in London continuously for nine years. has come back to life with a very polished and classy production helmed by Aussie music theatre legend Nancye Hayes.

NOEL AND GERTIE t recounts a kind of a love story, though of-course not in the conventional sense.

The couple knew each other from when they shared acting classes when they were  mere fourteen years olds and remained in close contact all their lives until Gertrude Lawrence’s untimely death from cancer. The world of theatre benefited greatly from their wonderful creative partnership, as they supported each other through difficult times and spurred one another on to greater artistic achievements.

There is no doubting the authenticity of the relationship that is presented on stage through song and dance and the couple playing out some of the most memorable scenes from the Master’s works including BRIEF ENCOUNTER. The late writer’s credentials were second to none. Morley wrote the first and definitive biography of Coward, his 1969 publication, A TALENT TO AMUSE. Coward famously gave Morley his full blessing to tell his story, providing him with a full list of his friends, and another of his enemies, telling him to start with the second list first- which he advised would make for a much better book!

The shining talent that has come out of WAAPA is on show in this two-hander. James Millar and Lucy Maunder, with flawless diction and in perfect period attire, together capture the warmth and playfulness that this formidable duo shared.

A special night at the theatre,NOEL AND GERTIE is playing the Glen Street Theatre until June 1, followed by Penrith’s Q Theatre between the 5th and 8th June, Parramatta’s Riverside between the 11th and 15th June, 2013.