The Father

Meet the Team | The Father

News / Behind the Scenes /

A touching, funny and deeply unsettling mystery, Florian Zeller’s The Father was a hit in France before Christopher Hampton (Atonement) translated it into English and repeated the success and critical acclaim in London and New York. For this Australian Premiere production, stage luminary John Bell will star alongside Anita Hegh (The Crucible), with direction by Damien Ryan (Henry V).

Meet the cast and creative team behind The Father.

Faustina Agolley (Laura)

Faustina Agolley makes her Melbourne Theatre Company debut as Laura in The Father. Faustina has trained in acting and voice by Anthony Mark Barrow, Diana Castle’s The Imagined Life Studio, Jane Fujita and mentored by Will Munroe in the United States. She has also received training from Penny McDonald and Anna McCrossin-Owen in Australia. As a broadcaster, Faustina has hosted Video Hits on Network Ten, co-hosted The Voice Australia on Channel Nine and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on SBS. She has also shared her political views on ABC’s Q&A. In film, Faustina has appeared in Now Add Honey opposite Portia de Rossi and Lucy Fry. Faustina also DJs and has toured Australia and New Zealand with Oprah Winfrey for her An Evening With Oprah speaking tour in 2015. Faustina was born in London, grew up in Melbourne and is a graduate of The University of Melbourne and RMIT University in Media and Communications, Media Studies, Geography and Social Science. Faustina is a proud member of Actors’ Equity.

John Bell (André)

John Bell is the founder of Bell Shakespeare and one of Australia’s most acclaimed theatre personalities. In a career of acting and directing, John has been instrumental in shaping the Australian theatre industry as we know it. John has previously starred in Uncle Vanya, Macbeth, Shadowlands and Emerald City (Sydney Theatre Company). Other theatre credits include Madame Butterfly, Tosca and Carmen (Opera Australia). John’s previously held positions include Founding Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare (1990–2015), former Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as co-founding Sydney’s Nimrod Theatre Company. John has been Awarded The Officer of the Order of Australia and the Order of the British Empire. In 1997, John was named one of Australia’s Living Treasures by the National Trust of Australia. His many awards as an Actor and Director include 2002 and 2015 Helpmann Awards for Best Actor (Richard III, As You Like It), a Producers and Directors Guild Award for Lifetime Achievement and the JC Williamson Award (2009) for extraordinary contribution to Australia’s live entertainment industry.

Marco Chiappi (Pierre)

Melbourne Theatre Company credits include His Girl Friday, Grapes of Wrath, Macbeth, The Rover, Dealer’s Choice, A Doll’s House, Closer, Death of a Salesman, Duchess of Malfi and The Tempest. Other theatre: Away, Love and Information (both with Malthouse Theatre), Pygmalion, Jerusalem (Sydney Theatre Company); Edward II, Woyzeck, A Pacific Union, Jerusalem (Malthouse Theatre); Phèdre, Hamlet, Merchant of Venice, Richard III (Bell Shakespeare). The Lower Depths, Ninth Moon, Funniest Man in the World, Scissors, Paper, Rock (Keene/Taylor); Serious Money, A Lie of the Mind, Cheapside, Our Country’s Good, Burn This (Zootango Theatre); Popcorn (Black Swan); Torrez (Griffin Theatre); The Misanthrope, The Real Thing, Noises Off, The Goat or Who is Sylvia? (STCSA); Dreamers, The Lower Depths (fortyfivedownstairs); Reckless (Theatreworks); An Ideal Husband and The Ballad of Reading Gaol (The Eleventh Hour Theatre). Television credits: Deadline Gallipoli, Parer’s War, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Upper Middle Bogan and The Mystery of the Hansom Cab. Marco’s film credits include Holding the Man, The Boy Castaways, Amy and Mr Reliable. Proud member of Actor’s Equity.

Glenn Hazeldine (Man)

For Melbourne Theatre Company Glenn Hazeldine has appeared in Don’s Party (with Sydney Theatre Company). Other theatre credits include Away (with Malthouse Theatre), Disgraced, Arcadia, Love and Information (with Malthouse Theatre), After Dinner, Perplex, Tot Mom, Elling, The Pig Iron People, Julius Caesar, Victory, Love for Love, Mongrels, Historia, Two Weeks With The Queen, Dead White Males (Sydney Theatre Company); Rupert (Daniel Sparrow Productions); Act One, All My Sons, Sanctuary, Face to Face, A Conversation, Charitable Intent, Birthrights, Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica, Happiness, Managing Carmen, Tuesdays With Morrie, A View From The Bridge, Ten Unknowns, The Ruby Sunrise, Rapture, Blister, Burn (Ensemble); As You Like It (Bell Shakespeare). The Judas Kiss (Belvoir); Rhinoceros (B Sharp). A Hoax, Porn.Cake (Griffin Theatre); and Transparency (Seymour Centre). Glenn’s TV credits include House of Bond, A Place To Call Home, Anzac Girls, Redfern Now, The Moodys, All Saints, BlackJack, Stingers, Water Rats, BackBerner. Glenn is the Vice-President of the NSW branch of Actors’ Equity and Deputy Chair of The Actors Benevolent Fund of NSW.

Anita Hegh (Anne)

For Melbourne Theatre Company Anita Hegh has appeared in The Crucible, Top Girls, Don’s Party, A Single Act, Dumb Show, The Rover, Fred, and The Duchess of Malfi. For Sydney Theatre Company Anita has appeared in Cloud Nine, All My Sons, Love and Information (with Malthouse Theatre), After Dinner, The Secret River, Gross und Klein, Our Town, Like a Fishbone, The City, King Lear, Three Tall Women (with MTC), As You Like It, and Pygmalion. Other theatre credits include Twelfth Night, The Wild Duck, Cut, The Seagull (Belvoir); Killer Joe (B Sharp); King Tide, The Emperor of Sydney, Honour (Griffin); Phèdre (Queensland Theatre); and Yellow Wallpaper (Malthouse Theatre). Anita’s TV credits include Janet King, Catching Milat, Black Comedy, The Killing Field, The Doctor Blake Murder Mysteries, Carlotta, Time of Our Lives, Rescue Special Ops, My Place, False Witness, The Informant, McLeod’s Daughters, Valentine’s Day, MDA, Last Man Standing, Loot, Stingers, Water Rats, Wildside and State Coroner. Film: Stuffed, The Last Ride, The Forest and Paradise Road. Anita is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.

Natasha Herbert (Woman)

Natasha Herbert’s credits for Melbourne Theatre Company include Neighbourhood Watch, The Dreamlife of Butterflies, God of Carnage, Pillowman, The Balcony, The Three Sisters, Hysteria, I’m not Rappaport and I Hate Hamlet. Other theatre credits include Away (with Sydney Theatre Company), On the Misconception of Oedipus, Happiness, Kitten, Still Angela, Black Sequin Dress, Rapture, Honour, Love Child, Wolf (Malthouse Theatre); The Unspoken Word is Joe, The Large Breast or the Upside-down Bell, Inconsolable and Love Child (Griffin); The Country (Company B); Anti-Hamlet, I Heart John McEnroe (Theatreworks); Extinction and The Village Bike (Red Stitch); WarHorse (Global Creatures); Small Metal Objects (Back to Back); The Wall (Ranters); Dreamers, Progress & Melancholy (fortyfivedownstairs); and Portrait of Dora (La Mama). Natasha’s film credits include The Menkoff Method, X, Lake Mungo, Corroboree and Boytown. Her television credits include Neighbours, The Time of Our Lives, The Doctor Blake Murder Mysteries, City Homicide, MDA, Blue Heelers. Natasha’s awards include Green Room Awards for Best Actor Portrait of Dora and Best Ensemble I Heart John McEnroe and On the Misconception of Oedipus.

Damien Ryan (Director)

Damien Ryan is Artistic Director of Sport for Jove Theatre. His directing credits include No End of Blame, his own adaptations of Cyrano de Bergerac and Antigone, The Libertine, The Importance of Being Earnest, Away, The Crucible, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, The Taming of the Shrew, Love’s Labour’s Lost, All’s Well that Ends Well, Macbeth, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, As You Like It and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sport for Jove). National tours include Hamlet, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, and Henry 4, parts 1 and 2, co-directing with John Bell (Bell Shakespeare). Damien has performed in Twelfth Night and Nora (Belvoir). His awards include Sydney Theatre Awards for Best Production (Henry V, Antigone, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cyrano de Bergerac, and The Libertine); for Best Director (Henry V, Cyrano de Bergerac and Antigone); for Best Supporting Actor (Iago in Othello); a Green Room Award for Best Production (Henry V and nominated for Best Director); a Glug Award for Best Production (Look Back in Anger).

Alicia Clements (Set & Costume Designer)

Alicia Clements is a costume and set designer whose passion for the craft has seen her work and train around the globe. Graduating from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2008, Alicia has furthered her training in Paris and London through the support of The Australia Council for the Arts and the 2014 Kristian Fredrikson Scholarship for Design in the Performing Arts. Alicia’s recent theatre credits include set and costume designs for Assassins directed by Dean Bryant (Hayes Theatre), The Father (Sydney Theatre Company); Two and The Rasputin Affair (Ensemble Theatre); and set design for Ramaeu: Anacreon and Pigmalion (Pinchgut Opera). Alicia also designed set and costumes for Hay Fever and After Dinner (STC); Barefoot in the Park (Ensemble Theatre); ARMIDA and BAJAZET (Pinchgut Opera); and Hamlet (Bell Shakespeare). She is currently the Associate Costume Designer to Gabriela Tylesova on Muriel’s Wedding. Alicia was the production designer on short films Problem Play; Cold Hearts; and Sherbert Rozencrantz, You’re Beautiful.

Rachel Burke (Lighting Designer)

Rachel Burke’s credits for Melbourne Theatre Company include Melbourne Talam, Buyer and Cellar, Cock, Solomon and Marion, The Man from Mukinupin (with Belvoir), True Minds, Constellations, Coup D’Etat and True West. Rachel’s other lighting credits include Black Medea and Night Fall (Sydney Theatre Company); Art to Sky, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Dark Lullaby, Ballet Imperial, Unspoken Dialogues, Molto Vivace (The Australian Ballet); Walking into the Bigness, Black Medea (with Belvoir), Cargo, Woman Bomb, Parramatta Girls (with Belvoir), Moth (with Arena Theatre Company and Malthouse Theatre); Wolf, Glass Mermaid, Good Works, The Incorruptible, Night Fall and Rapture (Playbox). Rachel has a critically acclaimed body of work in the Independent Theatre sector including work with Dee & Cornelius, Peta Murray, Jenny Kemp and Nadja Kostich. She has recently designed sold out national tours of SHIT (Dee & Cornelius) and The Season (Sydney Festival, Ten Days on the Island, MIFA 2017). Rachel’s awards include eight Green Room Awards, 2005 and 2010 IES Victorian and National Awards of Excellence for Lighting Design and Helpmann Award nominations in 2005 and 2015.

Steve Francis (Composer & Sound Designer)

For Melbourne Theatre Company Steve Francis has worked on The Weir, The Sublime and Other Desert Cities. Other theatre credits include Talk, The Hanging, Disgraced, Arcadia, Orlando, Battle of Waterloo, After Dinner, Switzerland, Mojo, Travelling North, Machinal, Vere (Faith) (with STCSA), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Secret River, Sex with Strangers, The Splinter, Under Milk Wood, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Pygmalion, Bloodland, Blood Wedding, The White Guard, Hamlet, Tusk Tusk (with ATYP), Leviathan, Spring Awakening, The Removalists, Rabbit, The Pig Iron People, Gallipoli, The Great, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Embers, The 7 Stages of Grieving, Fat Pig, A Hard God and Stolen (Sydney Theatre Company); A Rabbit for Kim Jong-il, The Bull, the Moon and the Coronet of Stars, Between Two Waves, This Year’s Ashes, Speaking in Tongues and Strange Attractor (Griffin Theatre); Angels in America, Babyteeth, This Heaven, The Man from Mukinupin, Ruben Guthrie, Baghdad Wedding, Keating!, Paul, Parramatta Girls, Capricornia, Box the Pony, In Our Name, Gulpilil, Page 8 and The Spook (Belvoir).

Charmian Gradwell (Voice & Text Coach)

Charmian Gradwell’s theatre credits include Cloud Nine, Chimerica, Gross und Klein, Waiting for Godot, The War of the Roses, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Maids, The Long Way Home, Switzerland, Suddenly Last Summer, All My Sons, Dinner, After Dinner, Hay Fever, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Sydney Theatre Company); The Taming of The Shrew, Julius Caesar, Pericles, Macbeth, A Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Days of Significance, Noughts and Crosses (Royal Shakespeare Company UK); and The Lion King, Aladdin, Mary Poppins dialects (Disney Australia Touring). Charmian’s film dialect credits include: Truth, Ginger and Rosa, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Reaching for the Moon and Thor: Ragnarok starring Cate Blanchett.

Priscilla Jackman (Assistant Director)

For Sydney Theatre Company Priscilla Jackman is the Director and Creator of Still Point Turning: The Catherine McGregor Story. As Assistant Director at Sydney Theatre Company she has worked on The Hanging. Priscilla’s other directing theatre credits include Eurydike + Orpheus (NIDA); The Angelica Complex (Kings Cross Theatre); Photosynthesis and Cookies (Seymour Centre); Boatshed and The Importance of Being Earnest (Ensemble). Priscilla has worked as Co-Director on The Tempest and Romeo & Juliet (Sport for Jove). As Assistant Director she has worked on Good People and Barefoot in the Park (Ensemble); and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sport for Jove). As an actor, Priscilla has appeared in The Vegemite Tales (Itchy Feet Theatre); Uncle Vanya (Deadpan Productions UK); and One World Shakespeare (MOPA Theatre). Priscilla’s TV credits include All Saints, Love Child, The Power Games: The Packer Murdoch Story, and FortySomething. Priscilla held the position of Resident Director at Sport for Jove (Winter 2017). She is recipient of a 2017 Rockend Berlin New Music Opera Award and a 2016 Sandra Bates Directors Award.

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