Tag Archives: Richard Hilliar


ASYLUM is ‘big picture’ theatrical thinking.

Use the word refugees at an end of year office party and you may well have a host intervene to warn you off. “No politics, it’s Christmas!” Stick to something safer.  Family perhaps?  Some people fail to see the danger in the domestic. Continue reading ASYLUM: PERSONAL RESPONSES/ POLITICAL POWER

Asylum: World premiere from Brave New Word

ASYLUM: Brave New Word Theatre Company by Ruth

Following their acclaimed production of Big Crow in February this year, Asylum is a contemporary work that deals with the human side of our present immigration process. The story explores how we can fall into considering refugees as “other”, despite the fact that we are all seeking asylum from varying problems in our own lives. It is a timely and powerful story of a family torn apart by hypocrisy their struggle to connect with each other while they are all hiding from the uglier elements of themselves.

The play centres around Craig, an unstable immigration officer, whose wife left years ago because of their nightmare child, Jason. Left to do daily battle with Jason’s tendency for petty crime, Craig has retreated into a rigid sense of responsibility and morality that is unmoved by pleas from either his family or desperate applicants.

This begins to be tested when Craig meets Hajir, a Lebanese man applying for a protection visa to remain in Australia on the same day his ex-wife returns and Jason is arrested. Now beset on all sides, Craig is forced to confront the chasm between who he is to himself, to his family and to those who depend on him for their safety. Is
he willing to violate his morality and lie in the name of a greater good? And if so, for whom?

Presented in-the-round, in an intimate found space in Paddington, this production is immediate, voyeuristic, intense and deeply personal. Brave New Word is thrilled to share this story with audiences in such a fitting and intimate way.

Directed by Richard Hilliar,  this is a never before staged work has gone though an in-company script development process with the cast (Dave Woodland, Josh McElroy, Katherine Shearer, Eli Saad, Hannah Raven).

Playing Comber Street Studios from the 15th till 25th of November

For more information about ASYLUM … http://bnwtheatre.com.au/

The Ishmael Club @ The Old Fitz

The Ishmael Club-inset
Inset pic- Amy Scott-Smith and Richard Hilliar. Featured pic- Katrina Rautenberg, Jasper Garner Gore and Richard Hilliar in THE ISHMAEL CLUB.

Call them Ishmael.

Ishmael is a club made up of, among others, Norman Lindsay, Will Dyson, Ruby Lind and Mrs. Maggia.

Norman Lindsay, famous artist, sex addict and major misogynist, Dyson, staunch socialist and satirist, Lind, Norman’s sister and an accomplished artist in her own right, and Maggia, licensee and chief cook and bottle washer of this Melbourne based Bohemian alliance.

Lindsay wanted it to be an all bloke affair, claiming women incapable of high art, but Dyson was head over heels with Ruby and Maggia had a stove, so the sheilas were admitted much to Norman’s annoyance. Continue reading The Ishmael Club @ The Old Fitz


Lana Kershaw as the Eternal Feminine and Alexander Butt as Hamlet in WITTENBERG. Pic Katy Green Loughrey
Lana Kershaw as the Eternal Feminine and Alexander Butt as Hamlet in WITTENBERG.
Pic Katy Green Loughrey

This production of David Davalos’s WITTENBERG is a fast-paced, witty triumph of a play in which the views of an unformed young Hamlet (Alexander Butt) are bounced around between the worldly John Faustus (David Woodland) and the earnest Martin Luther (Nick Curnow). No surprise then that Hamlet spends much of the play in his tennis togs and in one high-energy scene imaginary tennis balls are volleyed at him thick and fast.

Continue reading WITTENBERG


Dominic McDonald, Cat Martin, Naomi Livingstone and Amy Scott in ELECTRA
Dominic McDonald, Nicole Wineberg, Naomi Livingstone and Amy Scott in ELECTRA

There is no let-up in Richard Hillier’s dark , intense revival of Sophocles’ ELECTRA. As we walk down the narrow hallway to the theatre we are confronted, on either side, with women  dressed in black robes moaning against the walls. After the late arrivals have finally taken their seats, the show begins with a fully combustible Electra (Amy Scott) vowing to take revenge on her mother Clytemnestra (Cat Martin) for having slain her father. Electra’s main hope is that her baby brother Orestes (Nathaniel Scotcher), now a grown man, will return from far away, where she has hidden him, to help her to exact a bloody, merciless revenge.

ELECTRA is a challenging experience to  sit through as the action steadily escalates to its bloody climax…especially in what is essentially a very tiny theatre space. The set is bare, apart from the walls and floor marked with black and grey flecks. Deft stage lighting saw the actors cast long shadows against the walls. The play’s most gruesome actions took place off stage, a choice that worked well.

Rose Maher, Naomi Livingstone and Emily Elise played the three Women of Argos. Sympathetic to Electra’s cause, they also commentated on the action, giving very physical performances and even sometimes supplying a bit of a soundtrack- such as when they flailed their arms against the walls to mimic the sound of galloping horses.

The main performances were strong. Amy Scott is a fierce, explosive Electra, Cat Martin is a spiteful and vindictive Clytemnestra, Nicole Wineberg is Electra’s more hesitant sister, Chrysothemis, and Orestes is a very virile Orestes. Dominic McDonald played the dual roles of Aegisthus, a little understated, and the Messenger.

This take no prisoners revenge drama hurtled straight through for an unrelenting hour and twenty minutes.

No White Elephant’s production of Sophocles’ ELECTRA opened at the Tap Gallery, 278 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst  on Wednesday 5th June and runs until  Saturday June 15, 2013.