Myth. Ritual. Ceremony.

Australian director of stage and screen

Around campfires with travelling shows I realised the true origin of Australian theatre is Corroboree.

This merged with my enthusiasm for Ancient Greek, Elizabethan and Japanese Nō theatre.

A sense of timeless ceremony often informs my work.

It’s happened before.

It’s happening now.

It will happen again.

SIDESHOWS

From sideshow alley through early indie productions to sophisticated musicals that played across the globe.

Each extended the possibilities of musical theatre and had a social, cultural and even political impact.

They captured the zeitgeist and played for decades.

1969/70 – HAIR

A Tribal Rock Musical by Rado, Ragni & McDermott
Produced by Harry M Miller

Peace, war, conscription, race, drugs, rock music, mysticism, homosexuality, feminism, tribalism. The playing cards of the youth revolt were dealt fast and hard in this Dionysian rebel yell of a musical, accompanied by the throb of danceable anthems.

This show helped change things. Wars ended, governments fell, liberation movements bloomed. Hair provided the soundtrack and its appeal to ‘Let the sunshine in’ opened a small crack in the Cold War world. As Leonard Cohen sings: ‘That’s how the light gets in’.

METRO THEATRE SYDNEY (PREMIERE), SHIBUYA THEATRE TOKYO (PREMIERE), WILBUR THEATRE BOSTON, OZ TOUR

1972 – JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

Rock Opera by Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber
Produced by Harry M Miller (Australia)
Produced by Robert Stigwood (UK)

Opera audiences wore tuxedos and gowns. Rock opera audiences, jeans and T-shirts. Superstar had a fresh take on the biblical narrative. Tim’s sharpest lyrics combusted with one of Andrew’s best scores and ensured it outlived its era.

We first staged Superstar in Oz, as a rock concert, then as a spectacular sci-fi opera to re-open Sydney’s Capitol Theatre, then as Brecht-style music-theatre in London, where it ran nine years. Dramatist Strindberg once described theatre as ‘bible stories with pictures’. Tim and Andrew must have been listening.

CAPITOL THEATRE SYDNEY, PALACE THEATRE LONDON

1973 – ROCKY HORROR SHOW

Musical by Richard O’Brien

It was a night out they would remember for a very long time.” The melodramatic words that introduced this homage to late-nite sci-fi movies, gender confusion, and other delights, proved prophetic.

Neither we, the creators, nor the celebrity audience packed into the tiny, sweaty Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court in 1975, knew that a three-week season would become a seven year run, spawn a cult movie and emerge as a classic musical. The ultimate sideshow.

PREMIERE: ROYAL COURT THEATRE LONDON, ROXY THEATRE LOS ANGELES, NEW ARTS THEATRE SYDNEY, BELASCO THEATRE NEW YORK & VARIOUS TOURS

SARSAPARILLA

International success was rewarding but sick of suitcases, and hungry for artistic challenges, I returned to Australia.

Two important collaborations informed my work. The first was with designer Brian Thomson, the other with Australian writer, Patrick White.

The successful revival of White’s great plays led to operas, an Arts Festival, a few ups and downs, and the LIGHTHOUSE ensemble theatre company.

1979 – A CHEERY SOUL (MAJOR REVIVAL)

A play by Patrick White

A CHEERY SOUL is an epic battle of good and evil played out across the wasteland of White’s mythical Sarsaparilla by a ‘scourge of suburbia’ – the terrifyingly comic-tragic figure of Miss Docker.

It was always a joy to stage Patrick White’s work but there was some special magic at play in revealing this overlooked masterpiece as a true classic of the Australian stage.

INAUGURAL SEASON OF THE SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE SYDNEY.

1980 – DEATH IN VENICE

Opera by Benjamin Britten
Libretto by Myfanwy Piper
Based on the novella by Thomas Mann

If only Ben had lived to see this!” It was Britten’s biographer, Donald Mitchell’s verdict. Brian and I were now working with Luciana Arrighi on costumes while Rory Dempster conjured chiaroscuro light. To the stage minimalism invented for A Cheery Soul, we added sophisticated polish for the AFA premiere of Britten’s last opera.

Venice as a sombre dreamscape disrupted by pale silken seas. All half-lived, half-imagined by the writer Aschenbach, wonderfully realised by Robert Gard and later, Philip Langridge. His demise was charted in loving detail from holiday obsession, through plague, to death. Figures stranded in silhouette on a black and white stage have rarely seemed so sensual, so musical, yet so lost to the world – nor has their outcome seemed so achingly inevitable.

AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE – ADELAIDE FESTIVAL THEATRE ADELAIDE, OPERA AUSTRALIA REVIVALS (1991 & 2005): SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE SYDNEY, STATE THEATRE MELBOURNE.

1982 – ADELAIDE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

The 1982 AFA was bursting with new work and premieres, including Pina Bausch and her Wuppertaler Tanztheater. It was initially a hard sell but ultimately embraced by the public. A great relief for the first practising artist to direct an AFA since Robert Helpmann.

The ’82 AFA is described in WRITING, so I’ll simply note the progression, which went from White plays, to Britten, to the Festival, then an offer to remain in Adelaide as artistic director of the State Theatre, which I ran for two years, renaming it LIGHTHOUSE.

LIGHTHOUSE met with some success at the time and a great deal more in retrospect.

THE QUEST CONTINUES

After LIGHTHOUSE I returned to freelance directing and shared my curiosity with emerging generations of Oz theatre artists. I continued with challenging plays, revisiting musicals, some Shakespeare and Mozart.

My memoir, Blood & Tinsel, followed, along with award winning work, online explorations, and an increased interest in writing, which continues to this day.

1986 – VOSS (PREMIERE)

Opera by Richard Meale
Libretto by David Malouf
Adapted from the novel by Patrick White

Voss is a foundation myth of Australian literature. David Malouf’s libretto traversed the mystical distance between the bombastic explorer Voss and the thoughtful settler Laura Trevelyan. Their mystical contact across time and space only needed a few bars of music and a stroll across the stage.

Laura’s perspective is central to Voss. I staged it as a dreamlike psychological drama, rather than as an outback epic. The audience were hungry for a work that spoke to their own mythology and once Richard had found a musical language, the elements aligned to create the first Australian opera to play successive seasons. Voss also ushered in a brief but golden era of opera as musical-theatre.

PREMIERE – ADELAIDE FESTIVAL THEATRE ADELAIDE, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE SYDNEY, STATE THEATRE MELBOURNE.

2005 – THREE FURIES: SCENES FROM THE LIFE OF FRANCIS BACON

Play by Stephen Sewell
Music by Basil Hogios

The painter Francis Bacon loved Euripides. He loved Greek tragedy. He might even have enjoyed Three Furies, which was Greek tragedy laced with Weimar cabaret. It won a Helpmann award for best director.

Three Furies was visceral – fire and ice. After playing it, the cast claimed they found it hard to return to more conventional fare. I had staged a Strindberg cycle and Genet’s The Screens, and was attracted by the intensity of the writing, It required actors of courage and bravura. They delivered. In spades.

PREMIERE – SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE SYDNEY. AUCKLAND, PERTH & ADELAIDE FESTIVALS

2009/12 – COSI FAN TUTTE

Opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
Translated by Jeremy Sams

Shakespeare and Mozart. They’re the best! I’ve had the good fortune to direct both. My approach was to stage them as I would new work. An early Don Giovanni was balanced by a late Cosi fan tutte. We played it as a comedy of manners. Until the end, when the party was over. It had a sexy, almost cartoonish, hellzapoppin’ glee.

Young audiences embraced the modern approach. The opera company used online for the first time to encourage this audience. This, in turn, led to my increasing interest in online as an art form, which resulted in a 45 min online movie musical – Andy X.

For glimpses of COSI, VOSS and ANDY X, see ONLINE.

SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE SYDNEY, STATE THEATRE MELBOURNE.

SIDESHOWS

1965

A TASTE OF HONEY

A play by Shelagh Delaney. CAST: Helen Morse (Jo), Helmut Bakaitis, (Geoffrey), Roberta Grant (Helen), Anthony Thurbon (Peter), Martin Harris (Jimmy). DESIGN: Sets & Costumes: Ron Reid. Lighting & Sound: Jim Sharman. Director: Jim Sharman. (Group Theatre – Cell Block Theatre). (Subsequent touring production staged for the Q Theatre in 1966.)

1966

ON STAGE OZ (PREMIERE)

Satirical Revue by Martin Sharp, Dean Letcher, Richard Neville, Richard Walsh, Jim Sharman. CAST: Gaye Anderson, Jennie Cullen, John Krummel, Janie Stewart, Ross Thompson, Colin Turner. Designer & Director: Jim Sharman. (Group Theatre – PACT Theatre & various transfer venues).

THE SPORT OF MY MAD MOTHER (AUS PREMIERE)

Play by Ann Jellicoe. CAST: Jennie Cullen, Ross Thompson, Alan Hardy, Janie Stewart, Charles Little. Designer: Ron Reid. Director: Jim Sharman. (Group Theatre – Wayside Theatre, Kings X)

THE MAIDS (AUS PREMIERE)

Play by Jean Genet. CAST: Chris Winzar (Solange), Barry Underwood (Claire), Pat Bishop (Madame). Set & Costume Design: Michael Ramsden. Music: Richard Meale. Director: Jim Sharman. (Group Theatre – Wayside Theatre, Kings X)

THE GENTS (PREMIERE)

One act play by Harold Martin. CAST: Ben Gabriel, Don Pascoe, Doreen Warburton. DESIGN. Set and Costume: Martin Sharp. Lighting: Jim Sharman. Choreographer: Mrs Dembitzka. Director: Jim Sharman. (Q Theatre – AMP Lunchtime Theatre)

THE LOVER (AUS PREMIERE)

One act play by Harold Pinter. CAST: Anne Haddy & Max Meldrum. DESIGN. Set & Costume: Michelle. Lighting: Jim Sharman. Director: Jim Sharman. (Q Theatre – AMP Lunchtime Theatre)

CHIPS WITH EVERYTHING (AUS PREMIERE)

Play by Arnold Wesker. CAST: Martin Magee, Dan O’Sullivan, John Gregg, Peter Fisk, John Clayton, Sean Scully. DESIGN. Set & Costume: Michelle. Lighting: Jim Sharman. Director: Jim Sharman. (Producer: Peter Summerton – Independent Theatre.)

1967

ABORIGINAL DANCE THEATRE

A celebration of traditional indigenous tribal dance. Various tribes from Arnhem Land represented. Conceived and directed by Stefan Haag. Assistant director and lighting: Jim Sharman. (Presented by The Australian Elizabethan Trust & Perth Festival at King’s Park Tennis Courts].

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY (AUS PREMIERE)

Play by Harold Pinter. CAST: Martin Magee (Stanley), Sheila Florence (Meg), Syd Conabere (Petey), Peter Adams (Goldberg), Derek Lord (McCann), Frances McDonald (Lulu). DESIGN: Set & Costume: Paul Kathner. Lighting: Jim Sharman. Director: Jim Sharman. (St Martin’s Theatre, Melbourne)

AND SO TO BED

Musical by JB Fagan and Vivian Ellis. CAST: Neville Teede, Jennifer West, Chris Winzar, Kerry Gotto, Barry Underwood & Co. DESIGN. Set & Costume: Edward Dembowski. Lighting: Jim Sharman. Director: Jim Sharman. (National Theatre, Perth)

DON GIOVANNI

Opera by Mozart. Libretto: da Ponte. CAST: Neil Warren-Smith (Don G), Marcella Reale (Anna), Ronald MacConnaghie (Leporello), Rosemary Gordon (Elvira), Donald Shanks (Commendatore), Robert Gard (Ottavio), Maureen Howard (Zerlina), John Germain (Masetto). DESIGN. Set & Lighting: Jim Sharman. Costume: Ron Reid. Director: Jim Sharman. Elizabethan Trust Orch & Chorus. Conductor: Thomas Mayer. (Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust Opera Company, Her Majesty’s Theatre Melbourne, Canberra Theatre, Tivoli Theatre Sydney.)

1968

TERROR AUSTRALIS (PREMIERE)

Revue devised by Jim Sharman. Written by Dean Letcher. CAST: Helen Morse, Garry McDonald, Ross Thompson, Jennifer West. Dramaturg: Judith Gemes. Set & Costume design: Ric Billinghurst. Director: Jim Sharman. (Jane Street Theatre, UNSW Campus, Randwick.)

NORM & AHMED (PREMIERE)

Play by Alexander Buzo. CAST: Ron Graham (Norm), Edwin Hodgeman (Ahmed). DESIGN: Set & Costumes: Allan Lees. Lighting: Jim Sharman. Director: Jim Sharman. (Old Tote Theatre, UNSW Kensington)

YOU NEVER CAN TELL

Play by George Bernard Shaw. CAST: Jacki Weaver, Ross Thompson, Ron Haddock, Doreen Warburton, Ken Shorter, Rona Coleman, Michael Boddy, Alan Edwards, Dan O’Sullivan, Peter McPhie, Kirsty Child. DESIGN: Set & Costume: Yoshi Tosa. Lighting: Jim Sharman. Director: Jim Sharman. (Old Tote Theatre, UNSW Campus, Kensington)

1969

HAIR (AUS PREMIERE)

Musical by James Rado, Jerome Ragni (Book & Lyrics) & Galt MacDermot (Music). CAST: Wayne Matthews, John Waters, Berys Marsh, Paula Maxwell, Keith Glass, Sharon Redd, David Roddick, Audrey Keyes, Terry O’Brien, Graham Matters, Denni Hines, Ted Williams, Helen Livermore, Gillian Jones, Charlene Collins, Geoffrey Gilmour, Creena St Clair, Tony Gordon, Margaret Goldie, Clive Doak, Colin Setches, Wayne Cull, Jennie Cullen, Russell Carson & The Tribe. (Later: Reg Livermore, Marcia Hines, etc). DESIGN: Sydney: Jim Sharman (Melbourne & tour: Brian Thomson.) Choreographer: Jack Manuel. Musical Director: Patrick Flynn & Tully. Director: Jim Sharman (Producer: Harry M. Miller: Metro Theatre, Kings Cross, Sydney – 2 year season. (1971: Metro, Melbourne. National tour, incl. New Zealand)

1970

AS YOU LIKE IT

Play by William Shakespeare. Music: Sandra McKenzie. CAST: Darlene Johnson (Rosalind), Ken Shorter (Orlando), Helen Morse (Celia), Tim Elliot (Jacques), Gerry McDonald, Terry Badger, James Bowles, Diane Craig, Reg Gillam, Robyn Gurney, Peter Rowley, Serge Lazareff, Brendon Lunney, Martin Vaughan. DESIGN. Set & costume: Brian Thomson. Lighting: Jim Sharman. Director: Jim Sharman. (Old Tote Theatre Company, Parade Theatre)

CHURCHILL STUDY FELLOWSHIP (JAPAN, ITALY)

Theatre studies in Tokyo (Japanese No Theatre) and Cinema and opera studies in Milan (with Luchino Visconti). Interrupted and prematurely terminated by agreeing to direct the Tokyo production of HAIR.

HAIR (JAPAN PREMIERE – TOKYO)

Musical by James Rado, Jerome Ragni (Book & Lyrics) & Galt MacDermot (Music). CAST: Tokyo Cast. DESIGN: Director & Designer: Jim Sharman. (Producers: Bertrand Castelli & Shotaro Kawazoe. Shibuya, Tokyo)

HAIR (Boston US)

Musical by James Rado, Jerome Ragni (Book & Lyrics) & Galt MacDermot (Music). CAST: Boston Cast. DESIGN: Set: Robin Wagner. Costume: Nancy Potts. Lighting: Jules Fischer. Sound: Abe Jacobs. Choreographer: Julie Arenal. Director: Jim Sharman. (Producers: Michael Butler & Bertrand Castelli – Wilbur Theatre, Boston)

1971

KING LEAR

Play by William Shakespeare. CAST: Tim Elliott (Lear), Brian James (Gloucester), Jennifer Claire (Goneril), Marion Edward (Regan), Diana Greentree (Cordelia), Simon Chilvers (Kent), Helmut Bakaitis (Fool), David Cameron, (Edmund) John Allen (Edgar). DESIGN. Set & costume: Richard Prins. Lighting: Nigel Levings. Music: Ralph Tyrell. Director: Jim Sharman. (Melbourne Theatre Company, Russell Street Theatre)

LASSETER (PREMIERE)

Musical by Reg Livermore. Score: Patrick Flynn & Sandra McKenzie. CAST: Reg Livermore, Helen Morse, Drew Forsyth, Darlene Johnson, Ken Shorter, Melissa Jaffer, Garry McDonald, Jennifer Claire, David Cameron, Jean Lewis, John Hargreaves, Anne Haddy, Ron Falk. DESIGN: Brian Thomson. Choreographer: Keith Bain. Musical directors: Patrick Flynn & Sandra McKenzie. Director: Jim Sharman (Old Tote Theatre: Company, Parade Theatre)

1972

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (AUS PREMIERE)

Musical by Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber. CAST: Trevor White (Jesus), Michelle Fawdon, later Marcia Hines (Mary), Jon English (Judas), Robin Ramsay (Pilate), Joseph Dicker (Herod), Stevie Wright (Simon), John Paul Young (Peter), Thomas Dysart (Caiaphas) & Co. DESIGN: Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Rex Cramphorn. Choreographer: Keith Bain. Musical director: Patrick Flynn. Director: Jim Sharman.

Producer: Harry M. Miller. Concert staging premiered 1972 Adelaide Festival then toured nationally playing rock concert stadium venues. Fully staged production premiered at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre 1972 then toured nationally.)

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (UK PREMIERE)

Musical by Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber. Musical director: Patrick Flynn. CAST: Paul Nicholas (Jesus), Dana Gillespie (Mary),Stephen Tate (Judas), John Parker (Pilate), Paul Jabarra (Herod), Derek James (Simon), Richard Barnes (Peter), George Harris (Caiaphas) & Co. DESIGN: Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Gabriella Falk. Lighting: Jules Fischer. Choreographer: Rufus Collins. Musical Director: Anthony Bowles. Director: Jim Sharman. Producer: Robert Stigwood. Palace Theatre, London – 9 year season.

THE TRIALS OF OZ (US PREMIERE)

Documentary play by Geoffrey Robertson. Songs by Buzzy Linehart, Mick Jagger, John Lennon etc. CAST: Cliff de Young, Graham Jarvis, William Roderick, Leata Galloway, Harry Hold, Richard Clark. DESIGN: Set & costume: Mark Ravitz. Lighting: Jules Fisher. Director: Jim Sharman (Friends of Van Wolf production, Anderson Theatre, New York)

1973

THE UNSEEN HAND (UK PREMIERE)

Play by Sam Shepard. Musical director: Richard Hartley. CAST: Warren Clarke (Blue Morphan), Richard O’Brien (Willie), Christopher Malcolm (Sycamore), Tony Sibbalt (Cisco), Clive Endersby (Kid). DESIGN: Brian Thomson. Director: Jim Sharman. (Royal Court)

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (UK PREMIERE)

Musical by Richard O’Brien. Musical director/arranger: Richard Hartley. ORIGINAL CAST: Tim Curry, (Frank) Julie Covington (Janet, later Belinda Sinclair), Christopher Malcolm (Brad), Richard O’Brien (Riff- Raff), Patricia Quinn (Magenta), Nell Campbell (Columbia) Paddy O’Hagan (Eddie/Dr. Scott), Raynor Bourton (Rocky), Jonathan Adams (narrator). DESIGN: Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Sue Blane. Lighting: Gerry Jenkinson. Director: Jim Sharman. Producer: Michael White, assisted by Robert Fox. (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, then Chelsea Classic, then Chelsea Essoldo, then Comedy Theatre – 7 year season)

THE REMOVALISTS (UK PREMIERE)

Play by David Williamson. CAST: Ed Devereaux (Simmonds), Mark McManus (Kenny) Darlene Johnson (Kate), Shaun Rodger (Ross), Carol Mowlan (Fiona), Brian Croucher (The Removalist). DESIGN: Set & costume: Brian Thomson. Lighting: Rory Dempster. Choreographer: B. H. Barry. Director: Jim Sharman. (Royal Court, in association with Harry M Miller)

THE THREEPENNY OPERA

Opera by Bertolt Brecht & Kurt Weill. Translator: Hugh MacDiarmid. CAST: Robin Ramsay (Macheath), Pamela Stephenson (Polly Peachum), Arthur Dignam (Streetsinger), Kate Fitzpatrick (Jenny), Colin Croft (Peachum), Gloria Dawn (Mrs Peachum), Drew Forsythe, Jane Harders, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Ray Gurney, Ivar Kants, Paula Maxwell, Kirrily Nolan. DESIGN: Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Wendy Dickson. Director: Jim Sharman. (Old Tote Theatre; Drama Theatre, opening season of Sydney Opera House)

1974

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (AUS PREMIERE)

Musical by Richard O’Brien. CAST: Reg Livermore (Frank), Jane Harders (Janet), Jon Paramor (Brad), Sal Sharah (Riff-Raff), Kate Fitzpatrick (Magenta), Maureen Erkner (Columbia), David Cameron (Eddie, Dr Scott), Graham Matters (Rocky), Arthur Dignam (Narrator). DESIGN. Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Sue Blane. Lighting: John Saltzer. Musical Director: Roy Ritchie. Director: Jim Sharman. Producer: Harry M Miller. (New Arts Cinema, Glebe)

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (US PREMIERE)

Musical by Richard O’Brien. CAST: Tim Curry (Frank), Abigail Haness (Janet), Bill Miller (Brad), Bruce Scott (Riff-Raff), Jamie Donnelly (Magenta), Boni Eten (Columbia), Meatloaf (Eddie, Dr Scott), Kim Milford (Rocky), Graham Jarvis (Narrator). DESIGN. Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Sue Blane. Lighting: Chip Monck. Musical Director: Richard Hartley. Director: Jim Sharman. Producer: Lou Adler. (Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles. (1975: Belasco Theatre NYC – same cast)

THE TOOTH OF CRIME (UK)

Play by Sam Shepard. Musical director: Richard Hartley. CAST: Mike Pratt (Hoss), Diane Langton (Becky), Richard O’Brien (Crow), Jonathan Adams, Ken Cranham, Paul Freeman, Christopher Malcolm. DESIGN: Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Sue Blane. Directed by Jim Sharman (Royal Court Theatre)

SARSAPARILLA

1976

THE SEASON AT SARSAPARILLA (MAJOR REVIVAL)

Play by Patrick White. CAST: Kate Fitzpatrick (Nola), Max Cullen (Ernie), Bill Hunter (Digger), Robyn Nevin (Girlie), Peter Whitford (Clive), Andrew Sharp (Roy). Michele Fawdon, Paul Bertram, John Jarratt, Julianne Newbould, Elizabeth Alexander, Nick Farr. DESIGN. Set & costume: Wendy Dickson. Lighting: Jerry Luke. Director: Jim Sharman. (Old Tote Company, Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre)

1977

BIG TOYS (PREMIERE)

Play by Patrick White. CAST: Kate Fitzpatrick (Meg), Arthur Dignam (Ritchie), Max Cullen (Terry). DESIGN. Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Victoria Alexandria. Asst Director: Mark Gould. Director: Jim Sharman. (Old Tote Theatre, Parade Theatre)

1978

PANDORA’S CROSS (PREMIERE)

Play by Dorothy Hewett. Songs by Dorothy Hewett & Ralph Tyrell. Musical director: Roy Ritchie. CAST: Jennifer Claire, Robyn Nevin, Arthur Dignam, Geraldine Turner, John Gaden, Steve J. Spears, Neil Redfern, Julie McGregor, John Paramor. DESIGN: Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Luciana Arrighi. Lighting: Bill Walker. Director: Jim Sharman. (Paris Theatre)

1979

A CHEERY SOUL (MAJOR REVIVAL)

Play by Patrick White. CAST: Robyn Nevin (Miss Docker), Peter Carroll (Mr Custance), Pat Bishop (Mrs Custance), Maggie Kirpatrick (Mrs Lillie), John Paramour, Sharon Calcroft & Co. DESIGN: Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Anna Senior. Lighting: John Hoenig. Composer: Cameron Allan. Director: Jim Sharman (Paris Theatre for Sydney Theatre Company Inaugural Season, Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre)

1980

DEATH IN VENICE (AUS PREMIERE)

Opera by Benjamin Britten & Myfanwy Piper, after Thomas Mann’s novella. CAST: Robert Gard (Aschenbach), Tom McDonnell (Traveller), Ian Wilkinson (Tadzio), & Co. DESIGN. Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Luciana Arrighi. Lighting: Rory Dempster. Choreographer: Ian Spink. Director: Jim Sharman. Adelaide Symphony Orch & Chorus. Conductor: Myer Freedman. (Adelaide Festival: State Opera of SA)

1981

LULU

Adaptation by Louis Nowra, from the Lulu plays of Frank Wedekind. Composer: Sarah de Jong. CAST: Judy Davis (Lulu), Malcolm Robertson (Dr Schon), Kerry Walker (Countess Geschwitz), Brandon Burke (Alwa), Ralph Cotterill (Schigolch), John Wood (Wrestler), Juliet Taylor, Robert Grubb & Co. DESIGN. Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Luciana Arrighi. Lighting: Nigel Levings. Director: Jim Sharman. (State Theatre Company of SA: Playhouse. STC: Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre)

1982

ADELAIDE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Jim Sharman. GENERAL MANAGER: Mary Vallentine. PROGRAM INCLUDED: Pina Bausch’s Wuppertaler Tanztheater (Blaubart, 1980,: A piece by Pina Bausch. Kontakthoff), Whitney Museum Edward Hopper Retrospective, Nuova Compagnia de Canto Populare, Grimethorpe Colliery Band, The Comic Strip Alexei Sayle. Rik Mayall, Ade Edmonston, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, etc. Janacek opera: The Makropolis Affair. Premieres of many new works, including Patrick White (Signal Driver), David Hare (A Map of the World), Graeme Koehne (Rainforest Symphony), Richard Meale and David Malouf (Opera preview: Voss)

1982-3

LIGHTHOUSE (STATE THEATRE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA, 1982–1983)

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Jim Sharman. GENERAL MANAGER: Mary Vallentine. ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS: Neil Armfield & Louis Nowra. WRITERS: Patrick White, Louis Nowra, Stephen Sewell, Bill Harding, Nick Enright. LIGHTHOUSE ACTING COMPANY: Robyn Bourne, Peter Cummings, Robert Grubb (1983), Melissa Jaffer (1982), Gillian Jones, Melita Jurisic, Alan John, Russell Kiefel, Belinda McClory (guest: Sunrise), Robert Menzies (1982), Stuart McCreery, Jacqy Phillips, Geoffrey Rush, Juliet Taylor (guest: Dream), Kerry Walker, John Wood. DESIGN. Set & Costume: Sue Blane, Stephen Curtis, Ken Wilby, Mary Moore, Geoffrey Gifford, Norma Moriceau. Lighting Design: Nigel Levings. GRAPHICS: Geoffrey Gifford. COMPOSERS: Alan John & Sarah de Jong.

1982

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

Play by William Shakespeare. CAST: Lighthouse Company. DESIGN. Set & Costume: Sue Blane. Lighting: Nigel Levings. Directed by Jim Sharman. (Lighthouse)

MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN

Play by Bertolt Brecht with music by Paul Dessau. CAST: Lighthouse Company. DESIGN: Set & Costume: Sue Blane. Musical Director: Alan John. Directed by Jim Sharman (Lighthouse)

SILVER LINING (PREMIERE)

Play by Bill Harding. CAST: Lighthouse Company. DESIGN. Set & Costume: Stephen Curtis. Lighting: Nigel Levings. Director: Jim Sharman, (Lighthouse)

ROYAL SHOW (PREMIERE)

Play by Louis Nowra. Music by Sarah de Jong. CAST: Lighthouse Company. DESIGN. Set & Costume: Stephen Curtis. Lighting: Nigel Levings. Director: Jim Sharman. (Lighthouse)

1983

NETHERWOOD (PREMIERE)

Play by Patrick White. CAST: Lighthouse Company. DESIGN. Set & Costume. Ken Wilby. Lighting: Nigel Levings. Director: Jim Sharman. (Lighthouse)

BLOOD WEDDING

Play by Frederico Garcia Lorca. CAST: Lighthouse Company. DESIGN. Set: Geoffrey Gifford. Costume: Ken Wilby. Lighting: Nigel Levings. Choreographer: Michael Fuller. Composer: Cameron Allan. Director: Jim Sharman. (Lighthouse)

PAL JOEY

Musical by Rodgers & Hart, after John O’Hara. CAST: Lighthouse Company. DESIGN. Set & Costume. Stephen Curtis. Lighting: Nigel Levings. Musical Director: Alan John. Choreographer: Christine Koltai. Director: Jim Sharman. (Lighthouse)

SUNRISE (PREMIERE)

Play by Louis Nowra. CAST: Lighthouse Company. DESIGN. Set: Geoffrey Gifford. Costume: Norma Moriceau. Lighting: Nigel Levings. Director: Jim Sharman. (Lighthouse)

THE QUEST CONTINUES

1985

A DREAM PLAY

Play by August Strindberg. Translation: Harry G. Carlson. CAST: National Institute of Dramatic Art Graduate Actors: Helen Mutkins (Agnes), Baz Luhrmann (Officer), Justin Monjo, (Lawyer), Rosalba Clemente (Stage Door Keeper), Catherine McClements, Leverne McDonnell, William Brandt, Jamie Robertson, Nell Schofield, Sonia Todd, Rhett Walton & Co. DESIGN. Set: Tim Ferrier. Costume: Ross Wallace. Director: Jim Sharman. (Playhouse Theatre, NIDA)

THE DANCE OF DEATH

Play by August Strindberg. Adapted by May Britt Akerholt and Jim Sharman. Composer: Peter Sculthorpe. CAST: Gillian Jones (Alice), Rhys McConnochie (Edgar), Robin Ramsay (Kurt), Mark Pegler (Alan), Odile le Clezio (Judith). DESIGN. Set: Geoffrey Gifford. Costume: Ross Wallace. Lighting: Nigel Levings. Music: Peter Sculthorpe for Solo Cello. Cellist: Susan Blake / David Pereira. Director: Jim Sharman. (STC – Opening season of the Wharf Theatre)

1986

VOSS (PREMIERE)

Opera by Richard Meale. Libretto: David Malouf, from the novel by Patrick White. Conductor: Stuart Challender. CAST: Geoffrey Chard (Voss), Marilyn Richardson (Laura), Robert Gard (Le Mesurier), John Pringle (Palfreyman), Gregory Tomlinson (Harry Robards), Robert Eddie (Judd), Anne-Maree McDonald (Belle), Heather Begg, Clifford Grant, Rosemary Gunn, Paul Ferris, Lesley Stender, Christopher Dawes & Co. DESIGN. Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Luciana Arrighi. Lighting: Nigel Levings. Director: Jim Sharman. (The Australian Opera. Premiere: Adelaide Festival Theatre. Later: Sydney Opera House & State Theatre, Victorian Arts Centre. Telecast and released on DVD by ABC-TV)

1987

A LIE OF THE MIND (AUS PREMIERE)

Play by Sam Shepard. CAST: Steve Bisley (Jake), Kaarin Fairfax (Beth), Simon Chilvers (Baylor), Cornelia Frances (Lorraine), Annie Byron (Meg), Justin Monjo (Mike), James Robertson (Frankie) & Katrina Foster (Sally). DESIGN. Set: Jim Sharman. Costume: Tess Schofield. Lighting: Mark Howett. Director: Jim Sharman. (Belvoir St Theatre)

BLOOD RELATIONS (PREMIERE)

Play by David Malouf. CAST: John Wood (Willy), Maggie Kirpatrick (Hilda), Laurence Clifford (Dinny), Paul Goddard (Kit), Deborah Kennedy (McClucky), Geoff Morrell, Heather Mitchell, David Pledger. DESIGN. Set: Tim Ferrier. Costume: Ross Wallace. Lighting: Donna Broadbridge. Composer: Alan John. Dramaturg: May-Brit Akerholt. Director: Jim Sharman. (STC – Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre)

1988

THE SCREENS (AUS PREMIERE)

Play by Jean Genet. Translation: Bernard Frechtman. CAST: National Institute of Dramatic Art Graduate Actors: Richard Huggett, Rachel Szalay, Deborah Unger & Co. DESIGN. Set & costume: Angus Strathie. Lighting: Robert Dallas. Director: Jim Sharman. (NIDA Playhouse)

THE RAKE’S PROGRESS

Opera by Igor Stravinsky. Libretto: WH Auden & Chester Kallman. CAST: Neil Rosenshein (Tom Rakewell), Gillian Sullivan (Anne Truelove), Geoffrey Chard (Nick Shadow), Rosemary Gunn (Baba), Judy Connelli (Mother Goose), Graeme Ewer (Auctioneer) & Co.. DESIGN. Set: Tim Ferrier. Costume: Ross Wallace. Lighting: Mark Howett. Choreographer: Christine Koltai. Director: Jim Sharman. Australian Opera Orch & Chorus. Conductor: David Agler. (Sydney Opera House)

1989

THE CONQUEST OF THE SOUTH POLE (PREMIERE)

Play by Manfred Karge. Translation: Tinch Minter, Anthony Vivis. CAST: Baz Luhrmann, Angie Milliken, David Field, Stephen Rae, John Polson, Justin Monjo, Lisa Kelly & Richard Huggett. DESIGN. Set & costume: Ross Wallace. Lighting: Mark Howett. Director: Jim Sharman. (Belvoir St Theatre)

1990

CHESS (AUS PREMIERE)

Musical. Book & Lyrics: Tim Rice. Music: Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus. Music arranged by Alan John. Conductor: Michael Tyack. CAST: Jodie Gillies (Florence), David McLeod (Freddie), Robbie Krupski (Anatoly), Maria Mercedes (Svetlana), Laurence Clifford (Arbiter), John Wood (Molokov), David Whitney (Walter) & Co. DESIGN. Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Tess Schofield. Lighting: Nigel Levings. Choreography: Christine Koltai. Director: Jim Sharman (Theatre Royal, Sydney)

1991

DEATH IN VENICE (OA Production)

Opera by Benjamin Britten & Myfanwy Piper, after Thomas Mann’s novella. CAST: Robert Gard (Aschenbach), John Pringle (Traveller), Damien Smith (Tadzio) & Co. DESIGN. Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Luciana Arrighi. Lighting: Rory Dempster. Choreography: Meryl Tankard. Director: Jim Sharman. Australian Opera Orch & Chorus. Conductor: Myer Freedman. (Restaging of Adelaide Festival production for Opera Australia – Sydney Opera House & State Theatre, Victorian Arts Centre)

1992

SHADOW AND SPLENDOUR (PREMIERE)

Play by Jim Sharman. CAST: Colin Friels, Fumi Dan, Edwin Hodgeman, Maria Mercedes, Miki Oikawa & Co. DESIGN. Set: Shaun Gurton. Costume: Ross Wallace. Lighting: David Walters. Music: Ian McDonald. Director: Jim Sharman. (QTC premiere Suncorp Theatre – State Theatre of SA for the Adelaide Festival)

1994

THE WEDDING SONG (PREMIERE)

Musical. Book & Lyrics by Hilary Bell. Music by Stephen Rae. CAST: Craig Ilott, Genevieve Davis, Paul Capsis, Paula Arundell, Laurence Clifford, Annie Finsterer and NIDA Actors. DESIGN. Set: Andrew Purvis. Costume: Tess Schofield. Choreography: Stephen Page. Director: Jim Sharman. (NIDA Company)

1995

MISS JULIE / THE STRONGER

Plays by August Strindberg. Adapted by Jim Sharman (Miss Julie) and Hilary Bell (The Stronger). CAST: Pamela Rabe (Julie, Miss Y), Robert Menzies (Jean), Jeanette Cronin (Kristin, Mrs X). DESIGN. Set & costume: Mary Moore. Lighting: Karen Norris. Choreographer: Michael Fuller. Director: Jim Sharman (State Theatre SA – Playhouse)

SPLENDID’S (AUS PREMIERE)

Creative development: Jim Sharman. Play by Jean Genet. Adapted by May Brit Akerholt and Jim Sharman. CAST: David Wenham (Bob), Ralph Cotterill (Scott), Jacek Koman (Jean), Daniel Rigney (Policeman), Teo Gebert (Bravo), Colin Moody, Joel McIlroy, Leigh Russell, Bogdan Koca. DESIGN. Set & Costume: Michael Wilkinson. Director: Bogdan Koca. (Belvoir St Theatre)

THE EIGHTH WONDER (PREMIERE)

Creative Development: Jim Sharman. Opera by Alan John and Dennis Watkins. CAST: David Hobson (Architect), Clare Gormley (Alexandra Mason), John Pringle (Politician), Roger Lemke (Engineer), & Co. Choreography: Kim Walker. DESIGN. Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Tess Schofield. Lighting: Rory Dempster. Director: Neil Armfield. (Opera Australia – Sydney Opera House, ABC TV)

1997

THE TEMPEST

Play by William Shakespeare. Music: Tyrone Landau. Dramaturg: Antony Ernst. Choreographer: Keith Bain. CAST: John Bell (Prospero), Rachel Maza (Miranda), Paula Arundell (Ariel), Tim Eliott (Alonso), Peter Lamb (Caliban), Tom Long (Ferdinand), with Lani Tupu, Michael Turkic, Kerry Walker and Tyrone Landau (Piano). DESIGN. Set & costume: Michael Wilkinson. Lighting: Mark Truebridge. (Bell Shakespeare – Sydney Opera House Playhouse – Tour: Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide)

1998

THE MIRAGE (WORKSHOP)

Musical based on Corneille’s L’Illusion Comique. Book and Lyrics by Nick Enright. Music by Tyrone Landau. CAST: Josh Quong Tart, John Waters, Kerry Walker, Paula Arundell & Co. (Sydney Theatre Company – Staged Musical Workshop)

2001

BERLIN TO BROADWAY WITH KURT WEILL

Cabaret play by Kurt Weill, Bert Brecht, Maxwell Anderson et al. CAST: National Institute of Dramatic Art Graduate Actors: Nicholas Berg, Nicholas Brown, Andrea McEwan, Amie McKenna, Phil Miolin, Genevieve O’Reilly, Edith Podesta, Steven Rassios. DESIGN. Set: Ralph Myers. Costume: Alice Lau. Lighting: Bernie Tan. Choreographer: Shaun Parker. Musical Director: Michael Tyack. Director: Jim Sharman. (NIDA Studio)

LANGUAGE OF THE GODS

Play by Louis Nowra. Staged reading. CAST: National Institute of Dramatic Art Graduate Actors. Director: Jim Sharman. (NIDA Studio)

2002

KABARETT JUNCTION

Cabaret songs by Lou Reed, Bert Brecht & Kurt Weill, Randy Newman. CAST: Amie McKenna & David Hawkins. Producer: David Hawkins. Musical Director: Alan John. Writer / Director: Jim Sharman. (Showtune Productions)

2004

WHAT THE BUTLER SAW

Play by Joe Orton. CAST: Max Gillies (Dr Rance), Nicholas Eadie (Dr Prentice), Deborah Kennedy (Mrs Prentice), Isabella Dunwill (Geraldine), Sam Haft (Nicholas Beckett), Michael McCall (Sgt Match). DESIGN. Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Alice Lau. Lighting: Nigel Levings. Director: Jim Sharman. (Belvoir St Theatre)

2005

THREE FURIES: SCENES FROM THE LIFE OF FRANCIS BACON (PREMIERE)

Play by Stephen Sewell. Music: Basil Hogios. CAST: Simon Burke (Artist), Socratis Otto (Model), Paul Capsis (Tisiphone). DESIGN. Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Alice Lau. Lighting: Damien Cooper. Director: Jim Sharman. (Performing Lines & 2005 Sydney Festival – Sydney Opera House Playhouse. Auckland Festival.) Helpmann Award 2005: Best Direction of a Play.

DEATH IN VENICE (OA Revival)

Opera by Benjamin Britten. Libretto: Myfanwy Piper, after Thomas Mann. CAST: Philip Langridge (Aschenbach), Peter Coleman-Wright (Traveller), Benjamin Nichols (Tadzio) & Co. DESIGN. Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Luciana Arrighi. Lighting: Damien Cooper. Choreography: Meryl Tankard. Director: Jim Sharman. OA Orch & Chorus. Conductor: Richard Hickox. (Sydney Opera House)

2006

THREE FURIES: SCENES FROM THE LIFE OF FRANCIS BACON

A play by Stephen Sewell. Music: Basil Hogios. CAST: Simon Burke (Artist), Socratis Otto (Model), Paul Capsis (Tisiphone). DESIGN. Set: Brian Thomson. Costume: Alice Lau. Lighting: Damien Cooper. Director: Jim Sharman. (Performing Lines & 2006 Perth & Adelaide Festivals – Playhouse Theatres)

2009

COSI FAN TUTTE

Opera by Mozart. Libretto: da Ponte. Translation: Jeremy Sams. CAST: Rachelle Durkin (Fiordiligi), Sian Pendry (Dorabella), Henry Choo (Ferrando), Shane Lowrencev (Guglielmo), Tiffany Speight (Despina), Jose Carbo (Don Alfonso), DESIGN. Set: Ralph Myers. Costume: Gabriella Tylesova. Lighting: Damien Cooper. Director: Jim Sharman. OA Orch & Chorus. Conductor: Simon Hewett. Sydney Opera House. (Subsequent Melbourne season: Hyeseoung Kwon (Fiordiligi), Luke Gabbady (Guglielmo). Conductor: Olivier Phillipe-Cuneo. (State Theatre, Melbourne)

2012

COSI FAN TUTTE (Revival)

Opera by Mozart. Libretto: Da Ponte. Translation: Jeremy Sams. CAST: Sharon Prero (Fiordiligi), Sian Pendry (Dorabella), Stephen Smith (Ferrando), Sam Dundas (Guglielmo), Lorina Gore (Despina), Richard Anderson (Don Alfonso). DESIGN. Set: Ralph Myers. Costume: Gabriela Tylesova. Lighting: Damien Cooper. Director: Jim Sharman. OA Orch & Chorus. Conductor: Benjamin Northey. (Sydney Opera House)

2015

THE TEMPEST

Play by William Shakespeare. National Institute of Dramatic Art. CAST: Ross Walker (Prospero), Kalkidan Forward (Miranda), Simen Bostard (Ariel), Louis Seguier (Caliban) & NIDA Second Year Acting Students. DESIGN. Set & Costumes: Jeremy Allen. Lighting: Alexander Berlage. Sound: Sally Withnell. Stage Manager: Liam Barwick. Production Stage Manager: Cat Studley. Director: Jim Sharman. NIDA Playhouse.

2019

TWELFTH NIGHT

Play by William Shakespeare. National Institute of Dramatic Art. CAST: NIDA Second Year Acting Students. DESIGN. Set: Luke D’alessandro. Costumes: Aislinn King. Lighting: Ryan McDonald. Assistant Director: Miranda Middleton. Movement: Troy Honeysett. Voice: Katerina Moraitis. Director: Jim Sharman. NIDA Reg Grundy Studio.