Magazine

Archive: Sarah Peirse

Date posted: 15 Dec 2017Author: STC Production: The Children, A Cheery Soul

As with many a New Zealander, Australians have firmly embraced Sarah Peirse as one of our own. Her career began across the ditch, but she came to international renown in 1994 when she played the ill-fated mother in Peter Jackson's film Heavenly Creatures alongside a young and murderous Kate Winslet. The following year, she made her Sydney Theatre Company debut in Terry Johnson's bittersweet comedy Dead Funny.

Since then, she has given Sydney some truly commanding performances, winning a Sydney Theatre Award for her portrayal of Patricia Highsmith in Switzerland (2014) and a Helpmann Award for her role in The Golden Age (2016). In 2018, she returns in two productions – The Children and A Cheery Soul.

 

 

DEAD FUNNY (1995)

Sarah played the character Eleanor in Dead Funny, alongside Jamie Jackson, who played her onstage husband – the spark had died, as you can see. (Photo: Robert McFarlane)

 


POOR BOY (2009)

This co-production with Melbourne Theatre Company featured songs by Tim Finn and a central performance by Guy Pearce. Here, Sarah is pictured with Greg Stone in the background. (Photo: Tracey Schramm)

 


FURY (2013)

In Joanna Murray-Smith's play Fury, Sarah played Alice, a brilliant neuroscientist, seen here facing off with her son, played by Harry Greenwood. (Photo: Robert McFarlane)

 


SWITZERLAND (2014)

Sarah worked on another Joanna Murray-Smith play the following year. In Switzerland, she took on the role of Patricia Highsmith, the reclusive and recalcitrant real-life novelist behind the Tom Ripley stories. It was a detailed, thrilling and highly acclaimed performance, winning a Sydney Theatre Award. The show toured to Melbourne in 2016. (Photo: Brett Boardman)

 


ENDGAME (2015)

In Endgame, Sarah and Bruce Spence played two of Samuel Beckett's most recognisable creations, Nell and Nagg – aged parents with no legs who are confined to a pair of garbge bins. Sarah was recognised for her performance with a Helpmann Award nomination. (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti)

 


THE GOLDEN AGE (2016)

Louis Nowra's The Golden Age was first performed in 1985 but then largely lay neglected. In 2016, Kip Williams gave this ambitious Australian play a much-deserved new staging and Sarah's stirring performance as Queenie Ayre won her a Helpmann Award that year. (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti)

 

 

The Children, 29 Mar – 19 May 2018, Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

A Cheery Soul, 5 Nov – 15 Dec 2018, Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

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