Magazine

Archive: Robyn Nevin

Date posted: 13 Nov 2014Author: STC Production: All My Sons, Pier Group Events, King Lear, Suddenly Last Summer

In this theatre company's history, Robyn Nevin stands alone. She has graced the STC's stages since the company's very inception, she has led the company as Artistic Director from 1999 to 2007 and, in 2016, she returns for Kip Williams' new production of All My Sons. Below, we have delved into the archives and selected photos of some of Robyn's performances for the company – there have been, and surely will be, many more.

 

A CHEERY SOUL (1979)

Robyn's STC career began in 1979 playing the role of Miss Docker in A Cheery Soul, written by Patrick White and directed by Jim Sharman. As Robyn recalled in 1989, "My favourite moment was Manoly Lascaris [Patrick White's partner] in the dressing room, murmuring '…moments of genius'. No, it was Jim Sharman presenting me with a Linda Jackson petal dress, to compensate for being old and fat for weeks. No, it was Kippax's review, raising the issue – '…great acting' – and, unfortunately, immediately providing the answer – '…not quite'. No, it was Bill Shanahan, my agent, giving me a t-shirt, bearing the quote. I've lost the t-shirt, but I still wear the petal dress." (Photo: Branco Gaica)

 

THE PRECIOUS WOMAN (1980)

The following year, Robyn returned in Louis Nowra's The Precious Woman. Here she's pictured with Alan Tobin. 

 

CYRANO DE BERGERAC (1981)

In 1981, Robyn played Roxane in the return season of Cyrano de Bergerac, in which John Bell donned the schnoz. (Photo: Branco Gaica) 

 

THE PERFECTIONIST (1982)

The Perfectionist by David Williamson was produced in 1982, returned in 1983 and toured to the USA in 1984. Director Rodney Fisher said it was the first of Williamson's plays to establish his "cinematic style of theatre writing: a rapid succession of scenes usually involving two or three characters in a variety of locations." Robyn's fellow cast members included Hugo Weaving, pictured here. (Photo: Dennis Del Favero)

 

PRESENT LAUGHTER (1983)

In 1983, Robyn appeared in Noel Coward's Present Laughter, which played at Theatre Royal. (Photo: Ian Whittaker)

 

THE WAY OF THE WORLD (1983)

Also in 1983 came the luscious costumes of William Congreve's The Way of the World. With Robyn here is actor David Downer. (Photo: Sandy Edwards)

 

TOM THUMB THE GREAT (1986)

Robyn returned in 1986 with three productions, two in the Mixed Doubles program: Henry Fielding's Tom Thumb the Great (pictured below) and Georges Feydeau's Potty Ploy. (Photo: Hugh Hamilton)

 

THE SEAGULL (1986)

Rounding out her hat-trick in 1986 was Anton Chekhov's classic The Seagull, directed by Jean-Pierre Mignon, in which Robyn played Arkadina with Norman Kaye as Sorin. (Photo: Branco Gaica)

 

EMERALD CITY (1987) & TOM AND VIV (1987)

In 1987, Robyn notched up another three roles. First up, she played Kate in David Williamson's new-in-Sydney comedy Emerald City. And then joined Ruth Cracknell in Tom and Viv, a bio-play about the marriage between Vivienne Haigh-Wood and T.S. Eliot, played by Robyn and Barry Otto respectively. (Photos: Branco Gaica)

 

WOMAN IN MIND (1987)

Woman in Mind by Alan Ayckbourn was Robyn's final show for 1987. She played the central character of Susan, whose imaginary husband, Andy, was played by Nicholas Hammond. Nicholas and Robyn were married in real-life that very same year. (Photo: Branco Gaica)

 

BIG AND LITTLE (1988) & THE HAM FUNERAL (1989)

In 1988, Robyn helmeted up for Botho Strauss' Big and Little (the same play that Cate Blanchett would tackle some 23 years later). In 1989, Robyn and Maggie Kirkpatrick huddled together for a production of Patrick White's The Ham Funeral, directed by Neil Armfield. That production was also recorded and broadcast by ABC TV in 1990. (Photos: Branco Gaica and Stuart Campbell)

 

MONEY AND FRIENDS

David Williamson's Money and Friends brought Robyn together with John Gaden in 1991. (Photo: Sesh Raman)

 

MASTERCLASS (1997) & LIFE AFTER GEORGE (2000)

Robyn continued to be involved with the company through play readings, but wasn't seen on stage again until 1997, when she played opera icon Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's Masterclass. By the time she worked with Melissa Jaffer on Life After George in 2000, Robyn had become Artistic Director of Sydney Theatre Company. (Photos: Melanie Gray and Tracey Schramm)

 

A CHEERY SOUL (2001)

In 2001, she again played Miss Docker in Patrick White's A Cheery Soul (22 years after she first played it), this time directed by Neil Armfield. (Photo: Heidrun Lohr)

 

OLD MASTERS (2001)

Later that same year, Robyn played the formidable Lillian in Australian playwright Beatrix Christian's Old Masters, directed by Benedict Andrews. (Photo: Heidrun Lohr)

 

THE GLASS MENAGERIE (2002)

In 2002, Robyn took on one of Tennessee Williams' most celebrated roles, Amanda in The Glass Menagerie. Directed by Jennifer Flowers in Wharf 1 Theatre, it featured Eloise Oxer as Amanda's delicate daughter, Laura. (Photo: Heidrun Lohr)

 

THE BREATH OF LIFE (2003)

David Hare's The Breath of Life brought Robyn together with Noni Hazelhurst in 2003. (Photo: Tracey Schramm)

 

THE CHERRY ORCHARD (2005)

Two years later, Robyn played matriarch Ranyevskaya in Chekhov's classic The Cherry Orchard, adapted by Andrew Upton and directed by Englishman Howard Davies. (Photo: Heidrun Lohr)

 

LOVE-LIES-BLEEDING (2007)

In 2007, Robyn appeared in Love-Lies-Bleeding by Don DeLillo, directed by Lee Lewis. (Photo: Brett Boardman) 

 

THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING (2008)

By 2008, Robyn had passed on the Artistic Directorship of STC to Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton. Fittingly, her next performance with the company was directed by Cate in The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. (Photo: Heidrun Lohr)

 

THE WOMEN OF TROY (2008)

The same year, Barrie Kosky and Tom Wright adapted Euripides' The Women of Troy, in which Robyn played Hecuba. She won a Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor for her performance. (Photo: Tracey Schramm)

 

LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (2010)

In 2010, Robyn played Mary Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's classic Long Day's Journey into Night opposite William Hurt. (Photo: Brett Boardman)

 

SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER (2015)

Robyn returned to STC after a five-year hiatus for Suddenly Last Summer in early 2015. (Photo: Brett Boardman)

Melita Jurisic, Susan Prior, Robyn Nevin and Paula Arundell in STC's Suddenly Last Summer. Photo: Brett Boardman

 

KING LEAR (2015)

Later that same year, Robyn transformed into the Fool opposite Geoffrey Rush's Lear, in the production directed by Neil Armfield. (Photo: Heidrun Löhr)

 

 

All My Sons, 4 Jun – 9 Jul 2016, Roslyn Packer Theatre

Seeing the show? Let us know your thoughts. Tag @sydneytheatreco and #STCAllMySons

 

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