Their lives could have been written so differently: the story of Henry Lawson and Mary Gilmore’s lost love.
Still revered across Australia, Henry Lawson is one of the nation’s favourite writers and poets. His contemporary, Mary Gilmore, was a literary icon and radical socialist. Both were heroes of literature that had enormous influence over each other.
Both were later the face of Australia’s currency.
Both were secretly betrothed to each other.
At the end of the 19th Century, Mary Gilmore was introduced to the young Henry Lawson. As their friendship developed, Mary found herself caught in the midst of an intense relationship between Henry and his formidable mother, the suffragette Louise Lawson.
What followed was the beginning of a love affair, soon thwarted by a devastating deception.
After researching Mary Gilmore’s memoirs, writer Anne Brooksbank first uncovered the tale of loving promises between two of Australia’s most famous writers. Taken from excerpts from the couple’s surviving letters, this is the first time Henry and Mary’s forbidden relationship has been brought to the professional stage.
A musical tribute to great Australian songs and artists including The Seekers, Peter Dawson, Johnny O’Keefe, Lucky Starr, Chad Morgan, Slim Dusty, and The Beggars. You can heave away and haul your way round Cape Horn Bound for South Australia or sail the Southern Ocean hunting The Whale, go Waltzing Matilda down to the billabong and find out what really happened to that jolly swagman, do your noble duty at Suvla Bay in the Great War, go back home on the Road to Gundagai, and be a guest at the at the Fatal Wedding. The Beggars round out this musical journey with the tongue twisting I’ve Been Everywhere as we all sing-along with the songs from our Australian Songbook.
The Beggars are three brilliant singer / songwriters with a crystal clear Australian sound. Their version So I’ve Been Everywhere, Kangaroo and The Whale from the 2011 Australian Songbook CD frequently appear on the iTunes world music charts. The Banjo Song from the 2009 Desert Flower CD was number 1 # on the European country music association charts in Jan 2010.
“So good was the experience overall I immediately booked this 4 piece band from Adelaide for a return season” Greg Hordacre Director Drum Theatre Dandenong 2011
“The show was of a very high standard and most of our feedback included " bring them back again next year " Rod McKenzie Director Ararat Performing Arts Centre 2011
“It was a pleasure to have Australian Songbook at Darebin” Rod Wilson Arts & Cultural Venues Manager Darebin 2011
“The best Australian vocal band since the seekers” Normie Rowe
“World-class musicians” rock times [Germany] 2010
“Super Australian band: Renee Donaghey is a genius.” Bote der urschweiz Lucerne. Feb 2008. [Switzerland]
"Her (Renee's) voice leaves no doubt, perfect." HAZ Hanover Feb 2008 [Germany]
“10/10 I have always said that there's some great music coming from down under and this is a fine example!!” Metrocountry May 2007 [UK]
Hello, Beautiful! is a funny, big-hearted, one-woman show performed by one of Australia's best-loved playwrights, Hannie Rayson. Based on her best-selling memoir, Hello, Beautiful! brings you a 60-minute piece of sublime comic storytelling - true stories from an adventurous life, spiced with wit, tenderness, social observation, and intimacy.
Rayson takes you from the East Brighton of her childhood to the treacheries of Hollywood, from share-houses in Fitzroy to the beauties of rural Australia. Rayson's life and writing has always been driven by her deep curiosity about contemporary Australian life: how we live and what matters to us - the political and ethical challenges we face.
Both as a playwright and columnist for magazines and newspapers, she has an ear for the ways we speak and a knack for understanding how our inner lives affect our public selves. You'll be struck with many "OMG that happened to me" moments, and feel as if you've been listening to stories told by your new best friend.
DOWNTOWN to BROADWAY - A Tribute
Petula Clarke… so much more than the sixties pop princess who sang Downtown!
A career spanning more than six decades has seen her evolve from a child star bringing songs and messages (sometimes encoded!) to soldiers during World War Two to sixties sensation… star of stage and screen… to concert performer who still delivers with as much passion and skill as ever. A superstar around the world, she is as much at home performing in French as in English and is said to be as loved in France, where she lived for many years, as the great Piaf!
Hilary Henshaw and Will Conyers grew up tapping their toes to Petula’s hits of the sixties… and continue to follow her career with fascination and admiration as she keeps abreast of the “sign of the times”, continuing to perform and record ever new and different genres, including her own compositions. This labour of love and respect features many of her timeless hits including Sign of the Times, The Other Man’s Grass, This Is My Song and…Downtown. Petula’s contribution to movies such as Finian’s Rainbow and Goodbye Mr. Chips is also celebrated, as well as her musical theatre achievements. Did you know that she was the longest running ever Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard? And… as a beautiful bonus… a taste of her timeless French and European repertoire.
And this is not your standard tribute show! Great care has been taken to make the presentation of this piece as interesting as her story and her varied repertoire. Hilary Henshaw plays Petula throughout… Will Conyers plays various roles including Leon Cabat from Vogue Records, Claude Wolf (Petula’s husband), Andy Williams and… Elvis Presley!
To date she has recorded more than 1000 songs and sold over 68 million recordings... and still loving every moment! Come and revel in the nostalgia, the surprises and the beautiful compositions that have been recently created by a legend who continues to sing the song of her life!
Praised by The Australian for its "rare warmth and timbral richness," Greta Bradman's luminous soprano is the ideal vehicle for lush songs by Debussy. It’s also the inspiration for new songs by Australia’s leading composer of music for voice, Calvin Bowman.
The second half of the nineteenth century saw an extraordinary flowering in French music. Composers including Chausson, Debussy and Fauré transported audiences to previously unimagined worlds of sound, mysterious in their beauty and subtle charm. For this concert, we bring to life exquisite new arrangements of this iconic music, including Debussy’s Clair de lune and Chausson’s Poème.
DEBUSSY Clair de lune
FAURÉ Dolly Suite
DEBUSSY La soirée dans Grenade
Children's Corner (selections)
CALVIN BOWMAN Ophélie*
*world premiere season supported by Robert Salzer Foundation.
Poème arr Keith Crellin for violin and string orchestra
Other works arr Nicholas Buc for string orchestra
A young man sits alone on stage. He looks like us. He sounds like us. Yet he asks us to join him on an unimaginably alien journey into his recent past.
Both an intimate character study and an edge-of-your-seat thriller, Elegy fuses precision performance, an affecting soundscape and visual poetry to lure us into a playful, theatrical, humorous and personal world to reveal a story as powerful… as it is true.
Elegy was the Australian premiere of an innovative piece from the UK exploring the unimaginable homophobia still occurring in “post-liberation” Iraq, and the horrific realities imposed on any minority group faced with no choice but to flee.
The play at first appears to be an intimate account of one man’s impossible love for his best friend but, gradually, our young man pieces together a deeper story: of love and flight, of empty train stations and bomb-blasted towns, of a world where local militia “disappear” his friends one by one.
It slowly builds to the shocking revelation that these stories are, in fact, true.
Based on verbatim interviews with refugee survivors of brutal regimes and inspired by images from photojournalist Bradley Secker, Elegy is a lyrical, searing exploration of loss, displacement and a longing for home.
Starring Nick Simpson-Deeks (The Play That Goes Wrong, Winners & Losers) and directed by John Kachoyan (Bell Shakespeare), it is a lament for lives in exile and more importantly for the dead that they have left behind.
At a time when elected leaders maintain their commitment to “turning back the boats”, and show resistance to marriage equality, this award-winning work lays bare the human cost of these vote-seeking headlines.
A story about dreams, believing in yourself... and a dancing kangaroo.
From the award-winning team behind Pete The Sheep comes another hilarious tale of a bush animal you'll never forget.
Josephine is a kangaroo – who loves to dance. Her little brother, Joey, tells her that kangaroos don't dance, they hop – but Josephine continues to point her toes and leap through the air.
When a ballet troupe comes to the sleepy town of Shaggy Gully Josephine learns that there is another way to dance – ballet. As the ballet company prepares to perform, Josephine sneaks into town to peer through the window as the dancers rehearse, watching for hours and hours as they perfect their routine. Then Josephine goes home and practices all night, all alone, until she knows the dance by heart. She spun, she swirled and pirouetted dreams… and at the end she always curtsied. She desperately wanted to dance like the ballerinas in pink tutus and silk ballet shoes!
On the day of the first performance the ballet company was in trouble: the prima ballerina twisted her ankle and the understudy had a splinter in her toe!
Who could dance the lead role? Who else could leap that high? Josephine's talents are called upon to help save the day. Can she do it, and more importantly, does it matter that she's a kangaroo?
A delightfully funny tale that looks at the importance of believing in yourself and realising your dreams.
Brutus is suspicious. Cassius is conspiring. Caesar’s days are numbered.
Loved by the people, Caesar’s power is growing – which is dangerous if you live in a world driven by ego and idealism.
Those that rise too fast must be dealt with. For the good of the country. For the good of those who wish to be rulers themselves.
Julius Caesar is Shakespeare’s political thriller, a masterpiece of intrigue and treachery. Stand witness to the assassination that leads to a life and death struggle for power in the Republic. Citizens mutiny, Mark Antony schemes, and the fate of Rome hangs in the balance.
Bell Shakespeare’s Associate Director, James Evans, will direct a production that’s seething with rage, leaving audiences breathless at how quickly violence reveals the fragility of democracy.
Starring Kenneth Ransom (Gods of Egypt, Belvoir’s Prize Fighter) as Caesar, and featuring an ensemble cast including Ivan Donato (Richard 3), Emily Havea, Louisa Mignone, Nick Simpson-Deeks and Russell Smith, this production will tour to 27 venues around Australia.
Experience the tension between aspiration and ambition, the triumphal entrances and brutal exits, as it is all laid on the line for Rome.
Recommended age 13+
Award winning and highly acclaimed Australian country singer Daniel Thompson and Golden Guitar winning, Telecaster picking, Australian country music legend Stuie French, along with their powerhouse backing band, The Tennessee Express are excited to bring you Johnny Cash The Concert - Revisits Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison.
Australia’s premier tribute to the Man In Black, Johnny Cash The Concert, hits the road once more in 2018 bringing you this iconic album in it’s entirety. Since 2009, more than 50 thousand ecstatic Johnny Cash fans Australia wide have witnessed the magic of Johnny Cash and his music through Daniel Thompson and Stuie French’s authentic tribute to this iconic and beloved superstar.
In 2018, Johnny Cash The Concert gives Australian Cash fans the opportunity to relive the magic of the legendary “Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison” album. The show will also feature a set of The Man in Black’s greatest hits from throughout his entire career.
Off The Leash Theatre Company is proud to present RENT running from 24 August to 1 September 2018 at West Gippsland Arts Centre.
Directed by Todd Miller, Musically Directed by Esther White, Choreographed by Rachel O’Dwyer and Production Managed by Leane Gooding.
Set in the East Village of New York City, RENT is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, RENT has become a pop cultural phenomenon with songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages.
Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, RENT follows a year in the life of a group of friends struggling to make it in the big city. They include Mark, a filmmaker and the narrator of the story; his former girlfriend, Maureen, a performance artist; Maureen’s lover, Joanne, a public interest lawyer; Mark’s roommate Roger, a musician; Mimi, an exotic dancer, with whom Roger falls in love; Tom Collins, a computer genius; Collins’ lover, Angel, a street musician and drag queen; and Benny, a former member of the group who, after marrying into a wealthy family, has become their landlord. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loved and conflicts, against a backdrop of the 1990s AIDSs epidemic, provides the narrative thread for this ground-breaking musical.