STAGES with Peter Eyers

Peter Eyers

STAGES is the podcast that accesses a variety of people whose professional life is about connecting with an audience. A host of creative artists and practitioners reflect on their career, their process and what matters – to them. Some have made the arts a lifetime pursuit, some explain how their career became a happy accident … but all describe the challenges and demands – and ultimately celebrate why there’s no business like show business! STAGES talks to talent from front of house and backstage - directors, designers, drag artists and doormen … performers, producers and publicists ... teachers, technicians and talent! Whatever stages it takes to engage and affect an audience – or whatever it takes to carve out a career in the arts – we’ll examine it in STAGES. STAGES is the recipient of the Best New Podcaster Award at The Australian Podcast Awards in 2019.

Start Here
‘Angel of Music’ - Soprano and The Phantom of the Opera’s ‘Christine Daaé’; Amy Manford
4d ago
‘Angel of Music’ - Soprano and The Phantom of the Opera’s ‘Christine Daaé’; Amy Manford
Australian/American soprano, Amy Manford most recently performed the role of ‘Christine Daaé’ in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original production of The Phantom of the Opera on the West End before a short stint in Greece in the same role. Prior to her West End debut, Amy had performed internationally as a soloist with the London Handel, London Cello and the Perth Symphony Orchestra’s. She had also sung at iconic venues such as the Seoul Arts Center in South Korea and at Buckingham Palace for the Prince of Wales. She was especially honoured to sing the Australian Anthem for HRH Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle for the 2018 Anzac Day Memorial Service in London. In 2017, Amy graduated with a Master of Performance from the prestigious Royal College of Music where she was lucky enough to perform numerous title roles with their International Opera School. Before moving to London, Amy had graduated with a Bachelor of Music at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in her hometown, Perth. A diverse performer, Amy also has a unique history in rhythmic gymnastics and pole vaulting, winning gold medals at the Australian National Championships in both fields. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
‘Angel of Music’ - Soprano and The Phantom of the Opera’s ‘Christine Daaé’; Amy Manford
4d ago
‘Angel of Music’ - Soprano and The Phantom of the Opera’s ‘Christine Daaé’; Amy Manford
Australian/American soprano, Amy Manford most recently performed the role of ‘Christine Daaé’ in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original production of The Phantom of the Opera on the West End before a short stint in Greece in the same role. Prior to her West End debut, Amy had performed internationally as a soloist with the London Handel, London Cello and the Perth Symphony Orchestra’s. She had also sung at iconic venues such as the Seoul Arts Center in South Korea and at Buckingham Palace for the Prince of Wales. She was especially honoured to sing the Australian Anthem for HRH Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle for the 2018 Anzac Day Memorial Service in London. In 2017, Amy graduated with a Master of Performance from the prestigious Royal College of Music where she was lucky enough to perform numerous title roles with their International Opera School. Before moving to London, Amy had graduated with a Bachelor of Music at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in her hometown, Perth. A diverse performer, Amy also has a unique history in rhythmic gymnastics and pole vaulting, winning gold medals at the Australian National Championships in both fields. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
‘Look Who’s Here!’ - Stage and Television Legend; Hazel Phillips
1w ago
‘Look Who’s Here!’ - Stage and Television Legend; Hazel Phillips
Hazel Phillips is an authentic entertainment legend in the Australian landscape. At the age of 92, she has achieved tremendous longevity in a career that is notoriously precarious. She has conquered screens and stages, as an actor and singer. She has hosted and presented; painted, written and composed. All delivered with inspirational resilience and immense personality. She has appeared on television since its inception. Her many credits include the original Beauty and the Beast and The Mavis Bramston Show. Her own talk show, Girl Talk, was the first midday show on television and ran daily for four years. The program took her to Hollywood for a series of celebrity interviews that included Bing Crosby, Paul Newman, Omar Shariff and Fess Parker. Girl Talk made Hazel the most popular female personality on Australian television and in 1967 she was awarded the gold and bronze Logies. Since then, she has appeared in every branch of the media - TV, films, theatre, cabaret, radio and journalism. Hazel has written, starred and appeared in three musicals of her own, as well as thirty other musicals and several movies. She has appeared in plays for Queensland Theatre Company, including leads in The Circle, Pride and Prejudice, Shakespeare's Henry V and The Merry Wives of Windsor. For J.C. Williamsons, Hazel played Adriana in the Rodgers and Hart musical, The Boys from Syracuse. Hazel has recently completed movie and television projects and declares that the word ‘retirement’ is not in her vocabulary. She was awarded the OAM in the 2005 Queen's Birthday Honours for her contribution to television and the entertainment industry. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
‘Got the Time and the Place and I got Rhythm’ - Song and Dance Man; Jack Webster - Part 2
Aug 6 2022
‘Got the Time and the Place and I got Rhythm’ - Song and Dance Man; Jack Webster - Part 2
Jack Webster figures prominently in the history of Musical Theatre in Australia. His cheeky charm and undoubted ability as a song & dance man have endeared him to audiences over several decades, in an impressive list of celebrated productions. Each has demonstrated an artist possessed of seductive powers and an innate sense of theatre. Any wonder he is considered one of our first triple-threat performers. Jack was born in Yorkshire, England. He has danced in many British television shows with such people as Tom Jones, Cilla Black and Cliff Richard. He has danced all over Europe and appeared in television specials for Eurovision in Berlin and Amsterdam. Jack has worked with Jack Benny and Val Doonican at the London Palladium. His West End stage experience extends to the musicals Mr & Mrs and Promises, Promises; in which he shared the stage with Betty Buckley and Donna McKechnie. Jack can also be seen in the in the film versions of Oliver! (an Oscar winner for Best Film) and Scrooge. In 1970 he came to Australia and appeared with Jill Perryman and Johnny Lockwood in When We Are Married and with Toni Lamond in Anything Goes. Joining J.C. Williamson’s he was in the cast of No, No, Nanette and Irene. Jack has danced with Ronne Arnold’s Dance Company and worked with Carol Channing during her Australian visit in 1972. Jack achieved considerable success with the role of Tulsa in the original Australian production of Gypsy. A role he owes to JC Williamson’s Matriarch, Betty Pounder who recognised and nurtured a talent in Jack to embrace the spotlight. Jack forged forth completing a grand list of character roles in A Chorus Line, Chicago, Annie, Dames at Sea, The Pirates of Penzance, Jolson, Funny Girl, Follies, Mary Poppins - and a show that would take him back to the West End - Hot Shoe Shuffle. Other stage credits include; The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Run For Your Wife, Black Comedy, When We Are Married, Oh Coward! and Stepping Out. In 2003 Jack was honoured to be a guest artist with the Sydney Dance Co. in Graham Murphy's Tivoli. Jack is a well established choreographer and his credits include The Venetian Twins, Nunsense, Annie and Jesus Christ Superstar. It is an impressive career that Jack has navigated with style and class. He is respected, reliable and always brilliant! The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify, Apple podcasts and from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
‘Wish Me Luck, the Same to You’ - Song and Dance Man; Jack Webster - Part 1
Aug 3 2022
‘Wish Me Luck, the Same to You’ - Song and Dance Man; Jack Webster - Part 1
Jack Webster figures prominently in the history of Musical Theatre in Australia. His cheeky charm and undoubted ability as a song & dance man have endeared him to audiences over several decades, in an impressive list of celebrated productions. Each has demonstrated an artist possessed of seductive powers and an innate sense of theatre. Any wonder he is considered one of our first triple-threat performers. Jack was born in Yorkshire, England. He has danced in many British television shows with such people as Tom Jones, Cilla Black and Cliff Richard. He has danced all over Europe and appeared in television specials for Eurovision in Berlin and Amsterdam. Jack has worked with Jack Benny and Val Doonican at the London Palladium. His West End stage experience extends to the musicals Mr & Mrs and Promises, Promises; in which he shared the stage with Betty Buckley and Donna McKechnie. Jack can also be seen in the in the film versions of Oliver! (an Oscar winner for Best Film) and Scrooge. In 1970 he came to Australia and appeared with Jill Perryman and Johnny Lockwood in When We Are Married and with Toni Lamond in Anything Goes. Joining J.C. Williamson’s he was in the cast of No, No, Nanette and Irene. Jack has danced with Ronne Arnold’s Dance Company and worked with Carol Channing during her Australian visit in 1972. Jack achieved considerable success with the role of Tulsa in the original Australian production of Gypsy. A role he owes to JC Williamson’s Matriarch, Betty Pounder who recognised and nurtured a talent in Jack to embrace the spotlight. Jack forged forth completing a grand list of character roles in A Chorus Line, Chicago, Annie, Dames at Sea, The Pirates of Penzance, Jolson, Funny Girl, Follies, Mary Poppins - and a show that would take him back to the West End - Hot Shoe Shuffle. Other stage credits include; The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Run For Your Wife, Black Comedy, When We Are Married, Oh Coward! and Stepping Out. In 2003 Jack was honoured to be a guest artist with the Sydney Dance Co. in Graham Murphy's Tivoli. Jack is a well established choreographer and his credits include The Venetian Twins, Nunsense, Annie and Jesus Christ Superstar. It is an impressive career that Jack has navigated with style and class. He is respected, reliable and always brilliant! The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify, Apple podcasts and from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
’From Blitz to Glitz’ - Writer, Actor, Producer and Television Pioneer; David Sale
Jul 27 2022
’From Blitz to Glitz’ - Writer, Actor, Producer and Television Pioneer; David Sale
David Sale’s contributions to Australian television are supreme. Satirical comedy and episodic drama received the nation’s attention and obsession under David’s guidance. As executive producer of The Mavis Bramston Show or as creator of Number 96, David’s work was guaranteed to be controversial, outrageous,  ground-breaking and classic. Both of these series rated highly in their day and still rank amongst the most famous and influential programs to have appeared on Australian television. Born in Manchester, England, David Sale was brought to Australia by his migrant parents and has had a lengthy career as an actor, scriptwriter, producer and author. Commencing his career as a journalist with the ABC, he simultaneously took on performing roles with Kew Repertory Theatre and with the Melbourne Little Theatre. A Garnet H. Carroll tour of The King & I quickly followed. He then returned to the UK to become an actor, in several plays and films. This adventure also saw him lead the first company of The Mousetrap to tour outside the UK. He has provided special material for some of Australia’s legendary entertainers on stage, television and cabaret; including writing for Toni Lamond’s guest hosting on In Melbourne Tonight. David produced the last of Sydney’s notoriously naughty Phillip Street Theatre Revues, Lie Back and Enjoy It, starring Carol Raye and Hazel Phillips. David Sale has authored six novels, two of which were bought for the movies. Extending his genre writing, he has also collaborated on a Musical Theatre adaptation of Sumner Locke Elliott’s Careful He Might Hear You, with composer Ron Creager; providing the book and lyrics. David is a font of knowledge, reflecting on the development of television and theatre in Australia. The craft of writing is also examined insightfully. David shares many anecdotes and much joy in this compelling episode of the STAGES podcast. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
‘Said I to Myself - Said I’ - Opera Impresario and Godfather; Moffatt Oxenbould
Jul 20 2022
‘Said I to Myself - Said I’ - Opera Impresario and Godfather; Moffatt Oxenbould
Moffatt Oxenbould’s contribution to the development of opera in Australia and Opera Australia (OA) spans a period of more than fifty years. He was Artistic Director of Opera Australia from 1984 – 1999, during which time he also directed a number of milestone productions for the company including Il trittico, Madama Butterfly, La bohème, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Rossini’s Semiramide, Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito based on the production of the late Göran Järvefelt and Idomeneo . In 2000 he directed a new production of Simon Boccanegra for OA in the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival. Having retired from the position of Artistic Director of the Australian Opera at the end of 1999, he continued an active role as an Opera Director and Broadcaster. He has remounted and directed a number of highly regarded productions including Idomeneo at Houston Grand Opera, La Clemenza di Tito and Il trittico for Opera Australia, and Madama Butterfly for Opera Queensland. Moffatt Oxenbould was awarded an AM for his services to Opera in 1985 and was the recipient of the inaugural Dame Joan Hammond Award, in recognition of his contribution to opera. To honour his dedication to developing the talents of young Australian artists, Opera Australia named its Young Artists Development Program – The Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Program. He is a blessed artist and administrator, who navigated every stage of his career, with tremendous joy, education and passion. And through this investment, Moffatt has enabled legions of performers to embrace their craft …. and audiences to embrace the most mysterious and magnetic of all art forms - the Opera! The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
‘Curtain Up!’ - Stage Director/Designer and Theatre Polymath; John Senczuk
Jul 13 2022
‘Curtain Up!’ - Stage Director/Designer and Theatre Polymath; John Senczuk
A theatre polymath, NIDA graduate John Senczuk’s multi-award winning career spans forty years with his work seen nationally and internationally in commissions for opera, dance and drama. He worked concurrently as an academic, with fifteen years at the Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong (creating and teaching courses in Scenography, Directing and Dramaturgy) before taking senior positions at Toi Whakaari, New Zealand Drama School, and WAAPA (Program Director—Production, Design and Arts Management; Head of Design). He was Chairman of Griffin Theatre Company in 1985, appointing the Company’s first artistic director; founding Chair of Paul Mercurio’s Australian Choreographic Ensemble; and sat on the Boards of Theatre South, Currency House, Dramaturgical Services Inc., The Seymour Group and Matt Lutton’s Thin Ice. For ten years, from 1989, John was associate director of Wollongong’s Theatre South where his credits on over thirty productions as director/designer included Hamlet, After Dinner, Twelfth Night, Christian Brothers and The Time is Not Yet Ripe. He has also directed drama, opera and musicals: Bony Anderson (Seymour Group); Flesh and Blood (Festival of Sydney); Irene (with Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds,) and the premieres of David Williamson’s When Dad Married Fury, Justin Fleming’s Kangaroo and John Aitken’s The Enchanters. John collaborated with Gale Edwards on the book & lyrics for the musical Eureka!, and wrote the Opera libretto for African Queen. Highlights of his career as a designer include L’Orfeo (Oslo Summer Festival) and Sons of Cain (West End). He collaborated on over twenty productions for the Sydney Theatre Company, including David Williamson’s Dead White Males and Heretic, and the Australian premiere of Into the Woods; and has worked extensively in both the subsidised and commercial theatre nationally. John submits his PhD Theses (Flinders University) in 2022. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
A Class Act’ - Director, Conductor, Musician and Co-Founder of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Choir; Paul Dyer
Jul 9 2022
A Class Act’ - Director, Conductor, Musician and Co-Founder of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Choir; Paul Dyer
As Artistic Director of the Brandenburg Orchestra, Paul Dyer leads a dedicated team of musicians and support staff who bring passion and excellence to every performance. In 2013 Paul was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his ‘distinguished service to the performing arts, particularly orchestral music as a director, conductor and musician, through the promotion of educational programs and support for emerging artists’. Under Paul’s direction, the Brandenburg has become one of the most outstanding period instrument ensembles in the world. Paul Dyer founded the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra with Managing Director Bruce Applebaum in 1989. The Brandenburg's first official concert was at the Sydney Opera House, a moment Paul readily recalls with fondness and disbelief at his own naivete with such an ambitious project. It is however this ambition and passion that Paul has brought to the organisation every day, and which has led the orchestra from strength to strength. Paul's dedication and enthusiasm continue to inspire the musicians and support team, as the orchestra grows and innovates, challenges and inspires, both audience and performer alike. Paul completed postgraduate studies in solo performance with Bob van Asperen at the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague, and has appeared as soloist, continuo player and conductor with many major Australian and European orchestras - the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, Australian Youth Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Vancouver, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London. Paul is an inspiring teacher and has been a staff member at various Conservatories throughout the world. In 1995 he received a Churchill Fellowship and Paul is also Patron of St Gabriel’s School for Hearing Impaired Children. In 2003 Paul was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal for his services to Australian society and the advancement of music and in 2010 the Sydney University Alumni Medal for Professional Achievement. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
'Dancing through Life' -Actor, Creative Artist, Director, Choreographer; Leah Howard
Jul 2 2022
'Dancing through Life' -Actor, Creative Artist, Director, Choreographer; Leah Howard
Leah Howard has worked extensively across the entertainment industry both as an actor and creative artist. She is a unique triple threat performer and a versatile director and choreographer. Theatre performance credits include: Rosie in Mamma Mia,Chief Berry in Nice Work If You Can Get It, Disney's Aladdin, Aretha Thomas in Legends! starring Hayley Mills and Juliet Mills, Mrs Corry in Mary Poppins, Avenue Q, Hair the Musical, Fame the Musical, Dein Perry's Steel City (Australia and Radio City Music Hall NYC), UK tour of Tap Dogs Rebooted and Tap Dogs USA. Leah recently appeared in the new ABC drama series Wakefield and has choreographed Australia's first live streamed musical Who's Your Baghdaddy, or How I Started the Iraq War during the Covid-19 restrictions on live theatre. Currently Leah is The Australian Associate Director of Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill. Leah was the Resident Director for the Australian tour of School of Rock and was the Resident Director/Choreographer for The Rocky Horror Show. She toured to Korea as the Resident Director for the UK Production of Avenue Q and worked creatively for; Rocky Horror Live (UK) Other creative credits include: Bridges of Madison County, Xanadu The Musical, Australia's Got Talent, Sydney Mardi Gras. Leah has choreographed for Hi-5, A Gurls Wurld, Blue Water High, and So You Think You Can Dance Australia and worked with artists including Wafia, G Flip, Baker Boy, Macy Gray, Olivia Newton John, Cyndi Lauper, Peking Duck, Sam Sparro. Danced alongside and behind Kylie Minogue, Vanessa Amorosi, Deborah Cox, Meatloaf Music videos: Sloane Peterson, Olympia, The Vines, Rogue Traders,Young Divas and Natalie Bassingthwaighte. Leah was the guest vocalist with KD Lang and Jimmy Somerville for the Sydney 2002 Gay Games and performed in the 2000 Olympics ceremonies. She was the face of Disney Juniors theme song, singing Heads, Shoulders, Ears and Bows and the Host of Disney Channel's My High School Musical. Leah appears in the feature film Happy Feet. Leah is a sought after choreographer across all mediums and has been a massive part of Tik Toks Mardi Gras Campaign for the last two years. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Whooshkaa, Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
You'll Never Get away From Me' - Remembering Gloria Dawn
Jun 29 2022
You'll Never Get away From Me' - Remembering Gloria Dawn
Gloria Dawn Evans was born in Port Melbourne on 26 February, 1929. Her father was William Evans, a ventriloquist, magician and paper-tearer known as Billy Andross, and her mother was Zilla Weatherly, a contortionist and singer who toured for many years with her sisters Zaida and Queenie. Gloria made her stage debut with them when she was only 14 days old. Three years later she was singing and dancing, billed as 'Baby Dawn'. In 1939 she toured with other talented youngsters in the Tivoli Gang. In 1941, when she was 12, her mother launched her at the Tivoli as an adult soubrette. She appeared there with George Wallace, Jim Gerald, Queenie Paul and Roy Rene ('Mo'), though she had a golden rule: 'I never work blue or nude.' In 1946 Dawn appeared in revue for Harry Wren at the Cremorne in Brisbane. The following year she married a juggler, Frank Cleary, and together they toured with Sorlie's tent show in pantomime and revue. In 1949 Dawn made her musical comedy debut in Little Nellie Kelly and Sunny for Will Mahoney at the Cremorne. In 1952 she had the title role in the starry production of Cinderella at the Melbourne Tivoli. Tommy Trinder, who played Buttons, was impressed: 'She was a great artist. Had she gone to England or America she would have been a world star.' In 1959 Garnet H. Carroll gave Gloria Dawn the coveted Carol Burnett role in his production of the musical Once Upon a Mattress at the Princess in Melbourne. In 1961-2 she toured for J.C. Williamson's in the comedy The Amorous Prawn and as the ebullient Rose in the Australian musical The Sentimental Bloke. From 1965 until 1967 Gloria Dawn featured in a string of sparkling Phillip Theatre revues for William Orr: A Cup of Tea, a Bex and a Good Lie Down, Hail, Gloria Fitzpatrick (a 'revuesical' designed to showcase her versatility), There Will be an Interval of 15 Minutes and But I Wouldn't Want to Live There. Following this, she played the title role in Annie Get Your Gun, first, in 1967, 'in the round' in a large tent at Warringah Mall on Sydney's North Shore, and, a couple of years later, at David H. McIlwraith's resplendent Lido Theatre Restaurant in Russell Street, Melbourne. In 1972 Dawn and comedian Johnny Lockwood conducted workshops in vaudeville tradition for the cast of the Old Tote's How Could You Believe Me When I Said I'd be Your Valet When You Know I've Been a Liar All My Life?, and John Bell's free-wheeling interpretation of Goldoni's A Servant of Two Masters. It was Dawn's great friend, playwright Peter Kenna, who persuaded her to take the greatest gamble of her life. At the Community Theatre in Sydney in 1972 she played her first major dramatic role, Oola Maguire, in a revival of The Slaughter of St Teresa's Day, which Kenna had written expressly for her. Her remarkable performance won her the Sydney Critics' Circle Best Actress Award. This triumph led to three more challenges the following year: she was Anna Fierling in Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children for the Melbourne Theatre Company, Aggie in Kenna's A Hard God for Nimrod in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, and Mrs Peachum in The Threepenny Opera for the Old Tote at the Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre. A Hard God was televised by the ABC in 1974. At Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne, in 1972 she delivered a powerhouse performance as Mama Rose in Gypsy. It was Dawn's greatest success; tragically, it was to be her last as she became gravely ill. Toni Lamond was called in to substitute when required. Lamond took over for the Adelaide run, but Dawn was well enough to appear on the opening night in Sydney. Lamond remembered: 'Gloria was extraordinary that Saturday night. She reached down to her very depths and gave all she had. By the following Thursday, she was faltering. On the Friday...
STAGES LIVE @ VIVID - 'All kinds of weather, we stick together, the same in the Rain or Sun' - Drag Royalty; Cindy Pastel (Ritchie Finger) and Miss 3D (Glenn R. Lewis)
Jun 25 2022
STAGES LIVE @ VIVID - 'All kinds of weather, we stick together, the same in the Rain or Sun' - Drag Royalty; Cindy Pastel (Ritchie Finger) and Miss 3D (Glenn R. Lewis)
In the bohemian world that is drag, few artists can lay claim to the exulted and ebullient eccentricity that is Cindy Pastel. The alter ego of performer Ritchie Finger, Cindy has been delighting, thrilling and astonishing audiences for close to 45 years. A unique talent, Finger has inspired generations of drag performers who have followed in his fabulous footsteps - whether they be in stilettos or on skates. Ritchie Finger arrived in Sydney from Melbourne in 1979 and became one of the many young drag addicts to work at 'Patch's' Nightclub on Sydney's celebrated Oxford street. In the early part of the A.I.D.S. crisis Pastel was a tireless worker for HIV/AIDS organisations and charities. The decimation of community was enormous and Pastel, alongside many drag artists, kept everyone smiling. Cindy Pastel has been recognised by the DIVAs - The Drag Industry Variety Awards - twice in her illustrious career. A career that has reached incredible peaks and challenged with occasional obstacles. But through it all Ritchie Finger and Cindy Pastel have danced, paraded, twirled and taken centre stage, to ensure that 'Everybody's happy!" Recently celebrating a 72nd birthday, Miss 3D is still going strong, embracing every opportunity to perform and entertain an adoring fanbase. The alter ego of Glenn R. Lewis, Miss 3D has been at the pinnacle of Drag performance for over 40 years. Recognised as a matriarch of Sydney Drag performers, she has entranced with a vibrant and unique style; and incredible artistry, eternally mesmerising with opulent and eccentric costume. Growing up in a rural Victorian town, a diet of community theatre and ballet classes shaped a desire to command a stage. Study at the Australian Ballet school followed, before a quick visit to Sydney seduced Glenn and he met his drag tribe through performers such as Doris Fish, Teresa Green and Danny Aboud. Miss 3D quickly established herself on the scene as an artist of superior talent and invention. A holiday to New York City landed a permanent gig at the iconic Anvil Club where 3D performed for two years, wowing the American crowd. Returning to Australia Miss 3D continued to navigate the stages of venues such as Stranded and Patchs, eventually taking up residence at the iconic Albury Hotel with a trio called The Showbags, alongside Drag Legends, Cindy Pastel and Pat Gently. It was a privilege and a delight to feature these two iconic performers in the STAGES 'Live' series at The Powerhouse Up late for VIVID Sydney. They are an essential part of Sydney's Gay heritage and elders of the community who must be celebrated and applauded for an immense contribution. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Whooshkaa, Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
STAGES LIVE @ VIVID  'Hi Darling!' - Actor, Director, Producer; Trevor Ashley
Jun 22 2022
STAGES LIVE @ VIVID 'Hi Darling!' - Actor, Director, Producer; Trevor Ashley
Trevor Ashley follows in a long line of Australian stage larrikins that include Roy Rene, Barry Humphries, Gary McDonald and Reg Livermore. These performers have created characters who have celebrated the outrageous, and all that is particular about our culture. Trevor Ashley continues this biting and hysterical piss-take, serving it up in flamboyant and finely realised entertainments such Fat Swan, Little Orphan Trashley, Bodybag and The Lyin' Queen. Alongside these 'naughty' pantos, Ashley has also enjoyed worldwide success with his one-man shows Liza on an E, Liza's Back! - is Broken, and Diamonds Are For Trevor. He's also proved himself on the musical theatre stage with acclaimed performances in Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Miss Understanding), Jesus Christ Superstar (King Herod), Hairspray (Edna Turnblad) and Les Miserables (Thenadier). Trevor can also be seen conquering television in RFDS on channel 7 and in the new Australian film, Seriously Red. Intent on embracing many roles, Ashley also wears the titles of producer, writer, musician and director. It is in the role of Director that Trevor is presently executing his craft. He has returned to Priscilla - the musical, staging it for a season at The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach, Queensland from July16th to August 7th. The production is presented by Matt Ward Entertainment. It's bound to be flamboyant, fabulous, loud, lewd, colourful and camp - just like our Trev, who was the perfect guest for STAGES 'Live' @ VIVID. The Stages podcast is available from Apple podcasts, Spotify, Whooshkaa and where you find your favourite podcasts. www.stagespodcast.com.au
STAGES LIVE @ VIVID  'Designing Women' - Theatre and Film Costume Designers; Jennifer Irwin and Julie Lynch
Jun 18 2022
STAGES LIVE @ VIVID 'Designing Women' - Theatre and Film Costume Designers; Jennifer Irwin and Julie Lynch
The Art of Costume Design is a key element in the evolution of a production. The work of the Designer helps to establish the 'world of the play', the definition and resonance of character, and a 'skin' in which the performer can execute their best work. Australian Costume Designers, Jennifer Irwin and Julie Lynch have decades of experience helming the aesthetic of attire in a vast repertoire of entertainments across many genres and disciplines. Jennifer Irwin's commissions include over 90 ballets as well as some of the largest scale spectacular productions ever staged in Australia; including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and Francesca Zambello's 'West Side Story' staged on Sydney Harbour. Jennifer designed the costumes for the International Box office sensation 'Dirty Dancing' the musical, breaking all pre box office pre sales of any show ever staged in the history of London's West End. Her costume design for the feature film 'SPEAR' was nominated for an AACTA award in 2017. She was recognized for her contribution to Dance at the Australian Dance Awards 'Service to Dance' in 2015. Jennifer has designed for Bangarra Dance Theatre since the company's inception. Jennifer's work can currently be seen on the stages of the Sydney Opera House in 3 seperate productions with Bangarra and Opera Australia. Julie Lynch enjoys a successful costume design career spanning 35 years, working with many of Australia's leading directors, including: Neil Armfield, John Bell, Jonathan Biggins, Richard Cottrell, Gale Edwards, Lee Lewis, Elke Neidhardt and Richard Wherrett. She has designed for Australia's leading theatre companies, including: The Sydney Theatre Company, Opera Australia, Belvoir St, Bell Shakespeare, Victoria State Opera, The State Theatre Company of South Australia and Opera South Australia. After a year of teaching young students online during the first wave of COVID-19, Lynch decided to leave her leadership position as Director for Design Practices at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) to pursue her passion for Visual Art and has loved every minute. A great discussion ensued at STAGES 'Live' dissecting the process of the designer and exploring the immense possibilities presented with Costume Design. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Whooshkaa, Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
"Gone Fishin'" - From Inspector Javert to Benjamin Stone; Phillip Quast - Part 2
Jun 13 2022
"Gone Fishin'" - From Inspector Javert to Benjamin Stone; Phillip Quast - Part 2
Philip Quast graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1979 and began his career with State Theatre Company of South Australia debuting as Adam in The Mystery Plays of Wakefield. He went on to appear in numerous productions with the company including On The Wallaby, A Hard God, No End of Blame and The Threepenny Opera. His first musical was in the title role of Nimrod Theatre Company's Candide. Philip also began appearing as a presenter on the Australian children's show Play School, a program he would continue to present for 17 years. He shot to prominence in 1987 when he appeared as Javert in the original Australian production of Les Misérables. This performance won him a Sydney Critic Award and in 1989, he travelled to London to play Javert on the West End and eventually in Les Misérables: The Dream Cast at The Royal Albert Hall. Philip's stage success continued as he won the coveted role of Georges Seurat in the original London production of Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George at the National Theatre where he also performed in David Hare's Stuff Happens, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum, South Pacific and most recently the award winning Follies (which screened live around the world.) He has won three Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Actor in a Musical; Sunday in the Park with George, South Pacific and The Fix. He has appeared with the Sydney Theatre Company in Coriolanus, Sondheim's Into the Woods,The Cherry Orchard, Democracy and the much-lauded production of Waiting For Godot. Most recently with Death of a Salesman. Philip has been a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company's seasons in London and Stratford Upon Avon with The White Devil, Macbeth, Troilus and Cressida and The Secret Garden. His other innumerable roles include Juan Peron in Andrew Lloyd Webber's 2006 production of Evita at the Adelphi Theatre, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd at London's Royal Festival Hall, The Lincoln Centre in New York and for The English National Opera. He played Georges in the Menier Chocolate Factory's production of Jerry Herman's La Cage aux Folles in the West End. His many film and television appearances include; Midsomer Murders, Morse, UltraViolet, Brides of Christ, The Damnation of Harvey McCue,Truth, Hacksaw Ridge,The Devil's Double and Picnic At Hanging Rock. Philip can be heard in over 15 cast recordings. He now devotes much of his time to directing, writing and teaching. Philip will be performing at this year's Adelaide Cabaret Festival with Moments In The Woods - Songs & Stories of Sondheim, directed by Mitchell Butel. Moments In The Woods also features Geraldine Turner, Queenie van de Zandt, Josie Lane and Mitchell Butel. The show plays June 23rd at Her Majesty's Theatre, Adelaide. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Whooshkaa, Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
'Getting to Know You' - Theatre Titan and Teacher; Phillip Quast - Part 1
Jun 12 2022
'Getting to Know You' - Theatre Titan and Teacher; Phillip Quast - Part 1
Philip Quast graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1979 and began his career with State Theatre Company of South Australia debuting as Adam in The Mystery Plays of Wakefield. He went on to appear in numerous productions with the company including On The Wallaby, A Hard God, No End of Blame and The Threepenny Opera. His first musical was in the title role of Nimrod Theatre Company's Candide. Philip also began appearing as a presenter on the Australian children's show Play School, a program he would continue to present for 17 years. He shot to prominence in 1987 when he appeared as Javert in the original Australian production of Les Misérables. He travelled to London to play Javert on the West End and eventually in Les Misérables: The Dream Cast at The Royal Albert Hall. Philip's stage success continued as he won the coveted role of Georges Seurat in the original London production of Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George at the National Theatre where he also performed in David Hare's Stuff Happens, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum, South Pacific and most recently the award winning Follies (which screened live around the world.) He has won three Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Actor in a Musical; Sunday in the Park with George, South Pacific and The Fix. He has appeared with the Sydney Theatre Company in Coriolanus, Sondheim's Into the Woods,The Cherry Orchard, Democracy and the much-lauded production of Waiting For Godot. Most recently with Death of a Salesman. Philip has been a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company's seasons in London and Stratford Upon Avon with The White Devil, Macbeth, Troilus and Cressida and The Secret Garden. His other innumerable roles include Juan Peron in Andrew Lloyd Webber's 2006 production of Evita at the Adelphi Theatre, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd at London's Royal Festival Hall, The Lincoln Centre in New York and for The English National Opera. He played Georges in the Menier Chocolate Factory's production of Jerry Herman's La Cage aux Folles in the West End. His many film and television appearances include; Midsomer Murders, Morse, UltraViolet, Brides of Christ, The Damnation of Harvey McCue,Truth, Hacksaw Ridge,The Devil's Double and Picnic At Hanging Rock. Philip can be heard in over 15 cast recordings. He now devotes much of his time to directing, writing and teaching. Philip will be performing at this year's Adelaide Cabaret Festival with Moments In The Woods - Songs & Stories of Sondheim, directed by Mitchell Butel. Moments In The Woods also features Geraldine Turner, Queenie van de Zandt, Josie Lane and Mitchell Butel. The show plays June 23rd at Her Majesty's Theatre, Adelaide. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Whooshkaa, Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
STAGES SPOTLIGHT - Conversations Revisited; 'It's TONY Time!' -  Tony Sheldon from November 29th, 2018
Jun 11 2022
STAGES SPOTLIGHT - Conversations Revisited; 'It's TONY Time!' - Tony Sheldon from November 29th, 2018
With episodes nearing 300 in the STAGES archive, it's time to revisit conversations featured in our previous seasons. STAGES spotlights such episodes, in case you missed them the first time 'round - or so you can simply savour, a second listen. Either way, you'll accessing precious oral histories from the people who were there, on and around our stages. Born into a family dynasty of performers it would appear that Tony Sheldon's destiny was pre-ordained. Recognition as a talented youth saw him perform on In Melbourne Tonight with Graham Kennedy and join the workhouse in the Sydney season of the musical Oliver. As a young man his career as an actor in plays saw him embrace a fast-growing repertoire in roles as a sensitive young man - Equus, The Glass Menagerie and Peter Kenna's seminal Australian work, A Hard God. His break-out performance as Arnold Becker in Torch Song Trilogy quickly followed. It wasn't long before he extended his playing into the Musical Theatre; a form that has been a life-long passion. Sheldon's engaging style, colossal charm and extensive appreciation of the form have provided us with perfect portrayals in shows that include The Venetian Twins, Into The Woods, The Producers, The Witches of Eastwick, Dames At Sea, Man of La Mancha, My Fair Lady, Hello Dolly!, Victor/Victoria, and a show that has taken him around the world, given him Olivier and Tony award nominations - and a portrait in Sardi's - the role of transsexual Bernadette, the glamorous and resilient showgirl in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - The Musical. This interview was recorded during the Sydney run of anniversary production of PRISCILLA in 2018. Sheldy was negotiating a back-injury and doubted he would reach 2000 performances in the role of Bernadette. The show goes on and of course, Sheldon continued on to Adelaide and Brisbane seasons of the musical. Not deterred by a back-injury, he completed 2006 performances in a role that commenced his global journey in 2006. Tony Sheldon has retired from the stage. His legacy is a host of glorious turns on stage, as well as being a cherished mentor, accomplished teacher, director and writer, and professional colleague to a legion of performers. The Broadway TONY Awards are on this weekend in New York. What better way to mark the occasion than revisiting this wonderful conversation with the brilliant Tony Sheldon. The Stages podcast is available from Apple podcasts, Spotify, Whooshkaa and where you find your favourite podcasts. www.stagespodcast.com.au
'What's New Pussycat?' - Chanteuse, Actor and Post-post- modern Diva; Meow Meow
Jun 10 2022
'What's New Pussycat?' - Chanteuse, Actor and Post-post- modern Diva; Meow Meow
Post-post-modern diva Meow Meow has hypnotised, inspired, and terrified audiences globally with unique creations and sell-out seasons from New York's Lincoln Centre and Berlin's Bar Jeder Vernunft to London's West End and the Sydney Opera House. As well as being a prolific original music, theatre and dance-theatre creator for such commissioners as Pina Bausch, David Bowie and Mikhail Baryshnikov, Meow Meow specialises in the Weimar repertoire and French chanson. She has played Jenny in Brecht/Weill's Threepenny Opera in Paris and London with the London Philharmonic and Anna 1and 2 in Brecht/Weill's Seven Deadly Sins with Orchestra Victoria, and with United Ensemble at the Konzerthaus Berlin. Meow Meow's original works include Vamp, Beyond Glamour, Feline Intimate, Meow Meow's Little Match Girl, Meow Meow's Little Mermaid, His Master's Choice, Apocalypse Meow, and An Audience with Meow Meow. Concert work includes Meow Meow's Pandemonium with the London Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. She recently appeared in Barry Humphries's critically acclaimed Weimar Cabaret season at the Barbican and at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC. In other works, Meow has played Titania in Emma Rice's A Midsummer Night's Dream at Shakespeare's Globe and appeared on the West End in Kneehigh and Michel Legrand's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg in a role created especially for her - La Maîtresse. She played Pegleg in Tom Waits' musical fable The Black Rider with Victorian Opera and Malthouse Theatre; Édith Piaf in Cocteau's Le Bel Indifferent, for the Greenwich Music Festival and an acclaimed Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls with the Royal Philharmonic at Royal Albert Hall. Meow Meow has performed as guest artist with iconic orchestra Pink Martini at the Berlin Philharmonie, Royal Albert Hall, Opera Garnier Monte Carlo, the Hollywood Bowl, and across the concert stages of Europe, Canada, and the United States. Their album Hotel Amour: Meow Meow with Thomas M. Lauderdale includes duets with Rufus Wainwright, Barry Humphries, the Von Trapps and the late Michel Legrand. It was released in 2019 and named one of The Times' top 100 albums of the year. Meow Meow is a favourite performer at Adelaide Cabaret Festival and returns this year performing with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Meow Meow's Pandemonium plays at Her Majesty's Theatre on June 18th. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Whooshkaa, Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
STAGES SPOTLIGHT - Conversations Revisited; Broadway and West End Star, Ruthie Henshall - from June, 2019
Jun 9 2022
STAGES SPOTLIGHT - Conversations Revisited; Broadway and West End Star, Ruthie Henshall - from June, 2019
With episodes nearing 300 in the STAGES archive, it's time to revisit conversations featured in our previous seasons. STAGES spotlights such episodes, in case you missed them the first time 'round - or so you can simply savour, a second listen. Either way, you'll accessing precious oral histories from the people who were there, on and around our stages. West End and Broadway star Ruthie Henshall was STAGES guest in 2019 during the podcast's second season. Ruthie Henshall made her West End debut in 1987 in Cats, navigating several of the feline family before assuming the pivotal role of Grizabella. The supremely gifted 19 year old would go on to become a five time Olivier Award nominee for a succession of roles in Crazy For You, Chicago, Peggy Sue Got Married and Marguerite; winning for the role of Amalia in the London revival of She Loves Me. Her list of theatre credits is extensive and in an extraordinary accomplishment, audiences have seen her play the three female principal roles in the musical Chicago; originating the role of Roxie in the West End, giving her Velma on Broadway and returning recently to the London production in the role of Matron Mama Morton. When we spoke with Ruthie she was in the middle of an Australian tour leading to a season at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Ruthie's tour was produced by Enda Markey. The Adelaide cabaret Festival for 2022 kicks off today and runs until June 25th. Ruthie generously shared her story and provided terrific insight into the rewards and challenges of navigating a career as one of the world's most consummate musical theatre performers. The Stages podcast is available from Apple podcasts, Spotify, Whooshkaa and where you find your favourite podcasts. www.stagespodcast.com.au
'The Main Event' - Event and Festival Pioneer; Johnny Allen
Jun 8 2022
'The Main Event' - Event and Festival Pioneer; Johnny Allen
Johnny Allen is a seminal figure in alternative arts and culture in Australia, and a recognised pioneer of the event industry, often referred to as the 'Father of Events' in Australia. He published and edited Masque national magazine of the performing arts from 1965 to 1968, and wrote The Entertainment Arts in Australia published by Paul Hamlyn Sydney in 1968. In the early 1970s he ran the indy music venue The Arts Factory in Surry Hills. In 1972, as Cultural Director of the Australian Union of Students, he established a national touring circuit including activists such as Ralph Nader, Spike Milligan, Phil Ochs, Ron Cobb and Richard Neville. In 1973 he produced the Nimbin Aquarius Festival with Festival Director Graeme Dunstan. After spending time in the US in the mid-1970s, he returned to Sydney and ran the Paris Theatre opposite Hyde Park, producing the first gay film festival, Images of Gays in 1978. He went on to start the radical performance collective Cabaret Conspiracy, the Gay Theatre Company, and Palms Cabaret in Oxford Street. In 1985, he directed the 25th Anniversary Mattara Festival of Newcastle, and went on to direct that city's celebrations of Australia's Bicentenary in 1988, including the State Music Festival, the Royal Visit of the Queen and Prince Phillip, and The Longest Birthday Party on the Newcastle Foreshore, awarded Best Australia Day Event of the Bicentennial year. He returned to Sydney in 1989 as Event Manager for the Darling Harbour Authority, positioning it as 'where Sydney celebrates' with an annual program including major celebrations of Australia Day and New Year's Eve. Now semi-retired, Johnny continues to practise event management, coordinating the cabaret program for the Sedition Festival in 2019, the Golden Mile Gallery exhibition of gay history in 20 shopfronts in Oxford Street as a feature event of the Oxtravaganza program for Mardi Gras in 2020, and gay cultural history exhibitions for Mardi Gras in 2021 and 2022. He is a board member of the proposed queer museum project Qtopia Sydney, a consultant to the State Library queer exhibition in 2023, and is currently preparing a major gay cultural program for Sydney WorldPride in 2023. Next Thursday June 16th he is presenting a Queer themed evening of events at the Powerhouse Museum - up late! The evening is part of the IDEAS program for the VIVID festival - now enthralling patrons across Sydney. Johnny joined STAGES to discuss this event - and a life-time creating memories. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Whooshkaa, Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au