Tag Archives: Sean O’Shea


This year’s Bell Shakespeare Company season began with the ribald farce THE MISER marking its 29th year. At the opening night after party Gill Perkins, Executive Director of Bell Shakespeare, outlined an ambitious program for this year and the next.

The most exciting project to celebrate the 30th year is a proposed move to Pier 2-3  in Sydney’s Walsh BayEarlier this year the John Bell Scholarships were awarded to winners from Hamilton, New South Wales, South Yunderup, Western Australia and Darwin, Northern Territory. It involved a week of intensive performance training and mentorship in Sydney. Bell Shakespeare will train 30 teachers from all over Australia to receive specialist training in exciting and involving ways to teach Shakespeare with ongoing support throughout the year.

There will also be a tour of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING visiting 28 venues nationwide as well as  master classes, workshops and seminars across the country which reach more than 140,000 people annually.

There were a number of influential supporters at the after party and she urged both them and their friends to get behind these ventures. Continue reading THE MISER : OPENING NIGHT CELEBRATIONS

Sharpen your knives for ‘Dinner’ @ Sydney Theatre Company

Production images by Brett Boardman

What setting is best to poke fun at other’s misfortunes? Why, a three course dinner party, of course!

Moira Buffini’s contemporary play, Dinner, is wickedly comedic as it is tragic. Centring around host Paige Janssen, the night is to celebrate her husband’s successful new pop-philosophy book being published, entitled Beyond Belief. Guests include an artist, a scientist, a journalist, a politician who cannot attend, and one uninvited stranger. The party is lead by Paige through a series of strange meals, with conversations turning uncomfortably personal. There seems to be no pleasant way this night can end. Continue reading Sharpen your knives for ‘Dinner’ @ Sydney Theatre Company



Nina Raine
Playwright Nina Raine
Ana Maria Belo and Genevieve Lemon. Pic Clare Hawley
Amber McMahon
Amber McMahon. Photo- Clare Hawley

Featured photo- The cast- left to right- Amber McMahon, Luke Watts, Sean O’Shea, Genevieve Lemon (obscured) and Garth Holcombe. Pic by Clare Hawley.

Fellow theatre lovers, try  your best to get to see this show. With her play  Nina Raine has come up with something special.

TRIBES tells an old story…A person who has been repressed, and lived under the thumb, comes out from under, and stands up and asserts themselves, much to the disbelief, and then the admiration of those around them.

Billy is deaf and has grown up in an all hearing, middle class,  well established family.  Parents Christopher (Sean O’Shea) and Beth (Genevieve Lemon) choose to raise Billy  by treating him like any other child- and having as little attention drawn to his disability as possible.

Then, one day,  as a young adult, at a party, Billy meets a young woman, Sylvia, who he falls in love with. Syvia, who is also hearing impaired, offers to teach Billy sign language which Billy accepts.

Billy’s parents are enraged- their beloved, youngest ‘baby’ suddenly using sign  language and being identified as one with a disability. The battle lines are drawn, and to the surprise of everybody, including Billy’s older sister Ruth (Amber McMahon) and brother Daniel (Garth Holcombe), Billy is ready to fight for his right to live his life his way.

Director Susanna Dowling guides the action assuredly, and wins strong performances from an impressive cast. The stand-outs are Ana Maria Belo as Sylvia, Luke Watts as Billy and Sean O’Shea as Billy’s dad, Christopher.

Rita Carmody’s set and costumes are spot on. Benjamin  Brookman, perhaps Sydney’s busiest lighting designers, lights the stage with his usual flair. Jeremy Silver’s soundscape underscores the action well. I enjoyed the use of ‘cuts’ of Janis Joplin music.

Particularly, when we left the theatre to the sounds of Joplin’s classic, rasping recording of Piece of My Heart. TRIBES sure took a good piece of my heart!

The Ensemble Theatre Company’s production of  Nina Raine’s play TRIBES is playing the Ensemble theatre, 78 McDougall Street, Kirribilli until Saturday 2 July.



Leon Ford as Tartuffe tries to to seduce Orgon's wife Elmire, played by Helen Dallimore. Pic Lisa Tomasetti
Leon Ford as Tartuffe tries to to seduce Orgon’s wife Elmire, played by Helen Dallimore. Pic Lisa Tomasetti

In a witty, fresh translation – yes in rhyming couplets – by Justin Fleming, Bell Shakespeare brings us a wickedly delightful new version of Moliere’s TARTUFFE. It has been updated to Sydney now, with Australian slang and accents and works wonderfully. Fleming’s translation remains faithful to Moliere’s text while rearranging the 12-syllable lines of rhyming couplets to suit the English language. The younger audience especially loved it and were in stitches.

The play is still extremely relevant to today. Above all it examines the fake hype and religious fervour, the search for religious meaning in late middle age, that the pious swindler Tartuffe shams, Rasputin like, – a veritable Napoleon of a TV evangelist con man. Continue reading Tartuffe