June 15, 2011
As canny observers have noticed, Sydney Theatre Company is going through a rather beardy phase of late. Actor Thomas Wright brought his fabulous facial hair to the Wharf 1 stage for our recent production of Baal, and now the cast of The White Guard are offering up a full spectrum of beards over at the Sydney Theatre, from bushranger to close crop.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
1987: Heather Mitchell and roughly groomed John Wood performed in Blood Relations, by David Malouf, directed by Jim Sharman. (Photo: Hugh Hamilton)
1992: Geoffrey Rush and Peter Carroll (another one of our beardiest actors) starred together in Uncle Vanya, by Anton Chekhov, directed by Neil Armfield. (Photo: Robert McFarlane)
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)
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)
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)
2002: Matthew Newton and Max Cullen worked some seriously good facial styling in Volpone, by Ben Jonson, directed by Marion Potts. (Photo: Tracey Schramm)
2003: Anthony Phelan was all bristles in Holy Day, by Andrew Bovell, directed by Ariette Taylor. (Photo: Tracey Schramm).
2004: Peter Carroll went for a lion’s mane in Thyestes, by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, adapted by Brendon Cowell, directed by Benjamin Winspear. (Photo: Heidrun Lohr)
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)
2007: Hugo Weaving and Martin Csokas demonstrated restrained rock style in Riflemind, by Andrew Upton, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. (Photo: Brett Boardman)
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)
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)
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).
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.
2010: Last year David Heinrich and Cameron Goodall used facial fuzz to dramatic effect in Vs Macbeth, by William Shakespeare (wrote most of it), directed by Sam Haren. (Photo: David Wilson)
Now we have a whole new generation of beards soaking up the stage lights in The White Guard…
The White Guard is currently playing at the Sydney Theatre.