Stuffed by Warwick Young
February, 18 2018        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on Stuffed by Warwick Young

Opening night of The Father in Melbourne
November, 14 2017        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on Opening night of The Father in Melbourne

Last week Anita attended the Opening night of The Father in Melbourne. Click on the photos to see them full size:

The Harp in the South cast photo
September, 22 2017        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on The Harp in the South cast photo

Here’s another new photo from The Harp in the South cast and director taken by Louie Douvis. Click on the photo to see it full size:

Sydney Theatre Company’s Kip Williams makes his mark
September, 21 2017        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on Sydney Theatre Company’s Kip Williams makes his mark

The Harp in the South cast members Contessa Treffone, Rose Riley, Helen Thomson, Tara Morice, Guy Simon and Anita Hegh with Kip Williams (centre). Photo: Louie Douvis

Next year’s Sydney Theatre Company season will all be the work of Kip Williams and he couldn’t be more delighted to put his stamp on the company’s program.

“It feels fantastic. I was able to take what was already cooking away and then add a whole host of ideas that I had myself to create this season,” says Williams, who last year became STC’s youngest-ever artistic director following the shock resignation of British import Jonathan Church.

“It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work and a lot of collaboration. I’m very excited to finally be able to share it with everybody.”

The centrepiece of Williams’ 16-play season is a new adaptation by Kate Mulvany of Ruth Park’s classic The Harp in the South trilogy.

The sprawling tale of the Darcy family’s lives in Surry Hills will be told over the course of two standalone plays, which can be seen separately, however, audiences are “encouraged” to see both together.

“It’ll be an epic theatre event and a chance for audiences to sit with the characters and watch them grow up over five-and-a-half hours of theatre,” Williams says.

“I read Ruth Park a lot as a kid and fell in love with her writing. She mythologises Sydney and the people of Sydney in a way similar to what Dickens did with London. She provides a real insight into the culture of Sydney and Australia at large.”

The Harp in the South is one of 11 Australian shows in the line-up that has a deliberate “Australian focus”, Williams says.

Earlier in the year, Bertolt Brecht’s classic The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, starring Hugo Weaving, takes a timely look at demagogy and democracy.

“Trump had just been elected when Hugo and I were talking about Arturo Ui,” Williams says. “It’s a play that has been on both our lists for some time and if anything the serendipity of the political movements around the world of the past 18 months gave us pause of thought, thinking ‘is this too relevant?’

“The real hook for us with Arturo Ui is that Tom Wright has done an adaption that probes the psychology of that individual – why does that person hunger for that sort of power and attention?”

Williams says Arturo Ui also neatly illustrates one of the key motifs of his new season.

“Leadership is a big theme,” he says. “In Arturo Ui we are examining the construction of a political identity and how certain types of leaders rise to power.”

June’s production of George Bernard Shaw’s St Joan, starring Yael Stone, also illustrates the theme, while the season opener, Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls, addresses leadership in a radically different context as lead character Marlene (Helen Thomson) “grapples with her sense of responsibility”.

Williams says he has tried to present a broad selection of works, taking his cue from former artistic directors Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett.

“I’ve found in my time at STC that audiences like a great balance of entertainment and meaty political discussion in the works they come to see,” he says.

“I’ve taken all the lessons I have learned from watching Cate and Andrew put together their seasons.”


STC’s 2018 Season Video
September, 21 2017        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on STC’s 2018 Season Video

Anita will be in Sydney Theatre Company’s The Harp in the South: Part 2 next year. To find out more about the play (and part 1 as well), go to

Here’s a promotional photo (taken by Rene Vaile) and two screencaps from the video. Click on the photos to see them full size:

Anita at marriage equality rally in Sydney
September, 18 2017        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on Anita at marriage equality rally in Sydney

I know that these photos were posted a week ago, on 10 September, but I’m on vacation in Canada and been too busy to post this update sooner.
Anita and Zoe at a marriage equality rally last week in Sydney.

The Father Interview on ABC Radio National (29 Aug. 2017)
September, 03 2017        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on The Father Interview on ABC Radio National (29 Aug. 2017)

Anita Hegh draws on family memories for The Father at Sydney Theatre Company
August, 20 2017        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on Anita Hegh draws on family memories for The Father at Sydney Theatre Company

Family has been on actor Anita Hegh’s mind a lot lately. It’s unavoidable, she says, when you are working on a play like Florian Zeller’s The Father.

“My own father passed away after being very ill in his last few years, so there are issues in the play that are very present for me,” says Hegh, who plays Anne, daughter of Andre (played by John Bell), an elderly, increasingly frail man who is losing his grip on reality.

“I’ve been reflecting a lot about how extraordinary my brother was when my father was in hospital. My father was feeling very afraid in hospital and he was lonely. So my brother asked the nurses to teach him how to look after him, how to make him comfortable and care for him. Then he took my father home and he spent his last few months with my brother and my Mum.”

Hegh’s father died at home, surrounded by family. “We were all there when it happened and that is a quite an unusual thing these days,” Hegh says. “Not a lot of us get the chance to do that. It’s a very difficult process to negotiate. At what point do you hand over a loved one to the health care system? At what point do you say ‘I can’t do this anymore’ ?”

Zeller’s play depicts a confusing world for its title character, whose increasing uncertainty about his place in the world is reflected in a slippery script. Andre, 80, a former tap dancer, lives with Anne and her husband Antoine. Or is Andre an ex-engineer and does Anne live in London with her lover Pierre?

“It’s deliberately unclear,” Hegh says. “There is a kind of mystery element to everything so that the audience gets a taste of what confusion might be like in old age.”

Bell describes the play as “one that presses every single button”.

“There is comedy and there is tragedy,” he says. “It might be disturbing or emotional for some people but because there is so much warmth and deep emotion it won’t be a negative experience at all. I think the audience will find it puzzling, they have to figure out who is who, but it is deeply moving and very funny at times.”

The Father marks a return to the dramatic stage for Bell, 76, who has spent recent months recovering from a serious fall, when he slipped on the stairs at his home and fractured his neck. The role of Andre isn’t a physically demanding one, he says – not compared with his most recent King Lear for Bell Shakespeare in 2010 – but it isn’t easy, either.

“Florian is a brilliant writer but he has this fractured style with a lot of ellipses and spaces. You have to get all that absolutely right. And the father and daughter relationship is a complex one, too. It isn’t like the relationships I have with my own daughters but I can see the truth in it, it is very familiar and somewhat painful. But Anita is lovely to work with. She is so immediate and spontaneous. Nothing is too hard for her.”

While Hegh has worked with Bell Shakespeare – the company Bell founded and ran for 25 years – it is her first time working on stage with him. “He’s a proper grown up!” she laughs. “He’s very polite but he’s also quite naughty and very funny to work with. This is quite a dark play but we’ve had a lot of fun.”

The Father plays until October 21 at Sydney Theatre Company Wharf 1, $79-$101,


Anita Hegh is best known as a stage actor but has also drawn a strong following for her work in the television series, Janet King. She plays Australian federal police sergeant Bianca Grieve, girlfriend to Marta Dusseldorp’s Janet King, one of Australia’s most prominent and much-loved television lesbians.

“Playing a gay character is no different to approaching any other character,” Hegh says. “You have to reach into yourself and find some qualities that you have in common. Marta is pretty easy to fall in love with. She is brilliant and she’s a formidable actress. We are both bringing authentic love to this relationship.”

​Hegh and Dusseldorp also worked together on stage in Like a Fishbone at the Sydney Theatre Company. “It was great that we already had that working relationship.”

Fans have set up a Twitter account (@bianking4life) for all things Hegh and Dusseldorp, including videos and photos from the show. “That is really fun,” Hegh says. “I’m glad people are enjoying it.”

​Hegh won’t reveal if Bianca will return to Janet King in a further series. In the final episode, Bianca broke off the relationship. Instead, she says she has “a lot” of theatre locked in, and maybe some more television. Audiences will have to wait and see.


National Play Festival 2012 Trailer
August, 10 2017        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on National Play Festival 2012 Trailer

The Father rehearsal photos
August, 08 2017        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on The Father rehearsal photos

Photography by Christine Messinesi: