What an amazing night that was in which we managed to have first, second and third year students from ACU Mount Saint Mary Campus together with a group of "marginalized" students from Vincentian Village: here on this night, we all became part of the one commmunity- as indeed we also are when we Blog on in LiveJournal: viva la LiveJournal. Here at the Opera House we had first years studying Australian Literature, second years studying Twentieth Century Literature, third years studying The Visionary Imagination in William Blake and Vincentian Village studying Sacred Australia: Australian Literature with a Sacred Theme... and here we all were together watching one of the most amazing pieces of dramatic writing ever written in English "The Tempest". The play is always extraordinary, this production made the extraordinary even more so. The lines were delivered with such dramatic insight and understanding that the meaning of Shakespeare's words just somehow penetrated into the audience's imagination. The Vincentian students were really "blown away" by the performance and stood a long time after the play had finished discussing and sharing their responses and their insights. And what a perfect play this was to complement the theme we are studying in Sacred Australia, because this was truly an Australian version of the great bard's work. There in the backdrop was an Australian rainforest (the magical isle) and then you couldn't get around the fact that Caliban, Trinculo and Stephano with their broad Australian accents were mirroring some of the most endearing features of Australian culture! But the vision of hope, of sacred transformation from discord to harmony, of reconciliation was wonderfully portrayed by this cast of both seasoned and new actors. I myself found myself breathless hearing all these wonderful lines rendered again with such passion and precision... and best of all - although there were many bests- I enjoyed the master of ceremonies John Bell himself playing the lead role in this as the magician, master of creative imagination, Prospero.... - Shakespeare's grand finale to the theatre. As icing on the cake when I walked out of the theatre I bumped into Ron Haddrick who played the aged, sensitive, sensible, loyal AND visionary Gonzalo (with his visions of an alternative world where all is in harmony!).... I couldn't restrain myself from thanking Ron Haddrick profusely for his wonderful performance and mentioned to him that I had been watching his performances in Sydney for the last 30 years or more... one of our great Sydney actors!
So here is my hurried collection of a few snapshots from the event at the Sydney Opera House last night:
Here is one of our intrepid first years: Timb Hoswell
Here are some second years: Leonie, Ana Lorena, Karen (with friend) Olivia, Daniel, Teresa and Michael Yuen
Here are some third years: Jordan, Jen, Janine, Jessica and Danielle
And here are some of the Vincentian Village crowd: Michael, Anna Pfundstein (ACU International Visiting student from Germany), George (now advancing to graduate work at ACU- congratulations George!), Rosemary in the front, Luke behind (ACU Researcher) John (Johannes), Ian and Judy Brophy (the all-important co-ordinator of Vincentian teaching: thank you Judy!)
(the Vincentian students incidentally managed to get FREE tickets to the performance- so thank you so much Bell Shakespeare for supporting the cultural advancement of the marginalized and oppressed in our community (very much in harmony with Shakespeare's own mission and purpose!).
And here are some more: Karen Lamb (new English Lecturer at ACU) with Anissa and Rosemary.
Thank you all (and others not photographically recorded) who came and made such an enthusiastic party of Shakesperian afficionados..... and - oh yes- my daughter Hannah- also very excited and enthusiastic about this production which reminded us both of the time I took her to The Tempest when she was 4 years old, when she stood in the front row calling out loudly at a moment when Caliban was holding the stage: Where is Miranda Daddy!!!!!!!