Magazine

Archive: Beard theatre

Date posted: 6 Jul 2012Author: STC

As canny observers have noticed in the past, Sydney Theatre Company has enjoyed some rather beardy phases over the years.

In 2011 actor Thomas Wright brought his fabulous facial hair to the Wharf 1 stage for Baal, and then the cast of The White Guardoffered up a full spectrum of beards over at the Sydney Theatre, from bushranger to close crop. In 2012 there were even more of a beard festival across the board. Alan Flower brought some solid facial styling to Never Did Me Any Harm, Matthew Pidgeon sported some ginger whiskers in Midsummer [a play with songs], Marco Chiappi displayed some fabulous stubble with 'tude in Pygmalion, Hugo Weaving was as beard-tastic as ever in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and both Jack Thompson and Bille Brown showed the young ones how it's done putting their beards centre stage in Under Milk Woodand The Histrionic.

This is nothing new for the STC, as we have always been fervent supporters of beard theatre, and we thought it might be nice to take a little trip down memory lane to celebrate the whiskers in our past…

1980: We were into beards right from the start, with the first ever STC-produced play featuring some fine facial hair. In this photo you can see Geoffrey Clendon, Robert Alexander, Andrew Tighe and John Gaden in The Sunny South, by George Darrell.  (Photo: Peter Holderness)

Sunny South, The, 1980 (c) P Holderness.jpg
1980: Later the same year, John Bell worked an impressive sculpted look alongside Helen Morse and Andrew McFarlane in Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand, directed by Richard Wherrett.  (Photo: Branco Gaica)

Cyrano de Bergerac, 1980 (c) B Gaica.jpg
1981: Ralph Cotterill went for full coverage when he performed with John Wood in Lulu, 1981, written by Louis Nowra from texts by Frank Wedekind, and directed by Jim Sharman. (Photo: Don McMurdo) 

STC Lulu, 1981 (c) Don McMurdo 05.jpg
1983: Odile le Clezio and one of our favourite bearded actors Hugo Weaving (who appears several times in this list) starred in The Cherry Orchard, by Anton Chekhov, directed by Rodney Fisher.  (Photo: Dennis del Favero)

Cherry Orchard, The, 1983 (c) D del Favero.jpg
1986: Robyn Nevin and a subtly bearded Alan David Lee featured in Tom Thumb the Great, by Henry Fielding, directed by Rhys McConnochie. (Photo: Hugh Hamilton)

Tom Thumb the Great, 1986 (c) H Hamilton.jpg
1987: Heather Mitchell and roughly groomed John Wood performed in Blood Relations, by David Malouf, directed by Jim Sharman.  (Photo: Hugh Hamilton) 

Blood Relations, 1987.jpg
1992: Geoffrey Rush and Peter Carroll (another one of our favourite beardy actors) starred together in Uncle Vanya, by Anton Chekhov, directed by Neil Armfield. (Photo: Robert McFarlane)

Uncle Vanya, 1992 (c) R McFarlane.jpg
1996: John Howard again went for a bristly look in The Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht, in a new version by David Hare, directed by Richard Wherrett. (Photo: Tracey Schramm)

Life of Galileo, The, 1996 (c) T Schramm .jpg
1997: Nicholas Eadie showed his co-stars Jack Finsterer and Joel Edgerton how to work a power beard in Third World Blues, by David Williamson, directed by David Berthold. (Photo: Tracey Schramm)

Third World Blues,1997 (c) T Schramm.jpg
2000: Hugo Weaving co-starred with his dramatic goatee and Philip Quast in The White Devil, by John Webster, adapted by Gale Edwards, directed by Gale Edwards. (Photo: Robert McFarlane)

STC The White Devil, 2000 (c) R McFarlane.jpg
2002: Matthew Newton and Max Cullen worked some seriously good facial styling in Volpone, by Ben Jonson, directed by Marion Potts. (Photo: Tracey Schramm)

Volpone, 2002 (c) T Schramm 1.jpg
2003: Anthony Phelan was all bristles in Holy Day, by Andrew Bovell, directed by Ariette Taylor. (Photo: Tracey Schramm). 

Holy Day, 2003 (c) T Schramm.jpg
2004: Peter Carroll went for a lion's mane in Thyestes, by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, adapted by Brendan Cowell, directed by Benjamin Winspear. (Photo: Heidrun Lohr)

Thyestes, 2004 (c) H Lohr.jpg
2004: Hugo Weaving again proved his superior beard growing ability, this time in Hedda Gabler, by Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Andrew Upton, directed by Robyn Nevin. (Photo: Heidrun Lohr)

Hedda Gabler, 2004 (c) H Lohr.jpg
2007: Hugo Weaving and Martin Csokas demonstrated restrained rock style in Riflemind, by Andrew Upton, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. (Photo: Brett Boardman)

Riflemind, 2007_7258 l (c) B Boardman.jpg
2007: David James and Jonathan Biggins were small men with big beards in Ying Tong - A Walk with the Goons, by Roy Smiles, directed by Richard Cottrell. (Photo: Heidrun Lohr)

Ying Tong, 2007_1559 (c) H Lohr.jpg
2008: Juan Jackson wore his beard with authority in The Convict's Opera, Stephen Jeffreys' adaptation of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, directed by Max Stafford-Clark. (Photo: Olivia Martin-McGuire)

STC The Convict's Opera, 2008.jpg
2008: Alan Dukes and Nicholas Bell (sporting a rather spectacular beard) performed in The Great, by Tony McNamara, directed by Peter Evans. (Photo: Heidrun Lohr).

STC The Great, 2008 -0577.jpg
2009: Peter Carroll worked his whiskers in The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, directed by Tanya Goldberg. (Photo: Brett Boardman). Out of interest, STC produced The Cruciblein 1991, 1992, toured it in 1993 and 1994, 1999, 2000 and 2009.

Crucible, The, 2009 (c) B Boardman.jpg
2010: Two years ago David Heinrich and Cameron Goodall used facial fuzz to dramatic effect in Vs Macbeth, by William Shakespeare (he wrote most of it), directed by Sam Haren. (Photo: David Wilson)

Vs Macbeth, 2010_4480 D Wilson.jpg
Here's many more years of beards at STC...