4 Mar — 15 Apr 2023

Southbank Theatre, The Sumner

Paris, 1899: legendary French actress Sarah Bernhardt is world-famous … and broke. Kate Mulvany stars as the greatest actress of all time with a cast of ten in this large-scale, brilliant comedy directed by Anne-Louise Sarks.

Approx. 2 hours and 30 minutes, including a 20-minute interval

Book Now
This is rated 5 out of 5 stars

‘A work of sheer theatrical beauty.’

This is rated 4 out of 5 stars

‘Kate Mulvany is astonishingly good.’

The Guardian
This is rated 4 out of 5 stars

‘A funny, fierce, and intellectually stimulating comedy-drama.’

The Age
This is rated 4 out of 5 stars

‘An entertaining, intellectually stimulating pleasure.’



Paris, 1899: legendary French actress Sarah Bernhardt is world-famous … and broke. To turn her fortunes around, she sets her sights on the only role worthy of the greatest actress of all time, horrifying traditionalists and delighting gossips along the way.

In her directorial debut as Melbourne Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, Anne-Louise Sarks leads Hollywood star of stage and screen Kate Mulvany (The Twelve, Hunters) in a cast of ten in this large-scale, whip-smart play inspired by real events.

A brilliant comedy about a woman ahead of her time, Bernhardt/Hamlet is a timeless exploration of gender and equality.



  • Wheelchair Accessible

  • Hearing Assistance

  • Audio Described

  • Tactile Tour

  • Open Captioning

  • Auslan Interpreted

Performance Type Performance Date(s)
Audio Described
by Vision Australia
Saturday 18 March at 2pm
Tuesday 21 March at 6.30pm
Tactile Tour
by Vision Australia
Saturday 18 March, 2pm (Tactile tour commences at 1pm)
Open Captioning
via screen
Saturday 1 April, 2pm
Auslan Interpreted
by Auslan Stage Left
Tuesday 4 April at 6.30pm

Marco Chiappi

Constant Coquelin

Marco Chiappi’s Melbourne Theatre Company credits include A View from the Bridge, The Father, 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 Tempest. Other theatre credits include Away, Love and Information, Edward II, Woyzeck, A Pacific Union, Jerusalem (Malthouse Theatre); Pygmalion, Jerusalem (Sydney Theatre Company); Phedre; 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), Wayside Bride, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Bliss (Belvoir Theatre); Torrez (Griffin Theatre). Television credits include Wentworth, Seven Types of Ambiguity and The Mystery of the Hansom Cab and film credits include Holding the Man, The Boy Castaways and Mr Reliable. Marco is a proud member of Actors’ Equity.

Current as of March 2023.

Tahlee Fereday

Tahlee Fereday


Tahlee Fereday is a graduate of Victorian College of the Arts. Her previous performances with Melbourne Theatre Company include Astroman, Cybec Electric and First Stage. Other theatre productions include Because the Night, Blackie Blackie Brown (Malthouse Theatre); Alternative Futures (Theatre Works); Love (Dee & Cornelius) and Fallen (She Said Theatre). Tahlee’s work in film includes Foe and Blue Canaries. In television, Tahlee appears in Fisk season 2 and Super Wog season 2, both for ABC TV. As a First Nations and queer artist, Tahlee is an advocate for representation of minority voices on the mainstage.

Current as of March 2023.

John Leary

John Leary


John Leary is a graduate of Theatre Nepean and a proud member of MEAA. Theatre credits include Shakespeare in Love, North By Northwest, Private Lives, His Girl Friday and Realism (Melbourne Theatre Company); All My Sons, White Guard, Taming of the Shrew and Julius Caesar (Sydney Theatre Company); Peter Pan, The Business, The Book of Everything, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Marriage of Figaro and Cloudstreet (Belvoir); The Dragon and White Rabbit Red Rabbit (Malthouse Theatre); Just Macbeth (Bell Shakespeare). John also co-wrote and performed in the plays The Suitors and Vital Organs. Television credits include The Newsreader, Five Bedrooms, Glitch, Upright, The Letdown, True Story with Hamish and Andy, Get Krack!n, Upper Middle BoganLaid, Offspring, Tough Nuts, Woodley, All Saints. His US television credits include The Good Place and No Activity. Selected film credits include Pirates of the Caribbean V, Oddball, Red Dog, Where the Wild Things Are and the Tropfest winning short Lemonade Stand.

Current as of March 2023.

Artwork for William McKenna

William McKenna


William McKenna made his Melbourne Theatre Company debut in 2022 in Admissions. In 2019–20, William starred as Scorpius Malfoy in the Australian production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which he was nominated for a Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play 2019 and won the Green Room Award for Best Performance in a Theatre Production 2020. His other credits include the third and fourth season of Nowhere Boys (Matchbox Pictures), The Messenger (Lingo Pictures), La Boheme and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Opera Australia), and various performances at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Current as of March 2023.

Kate Mulvany

Kate Mulvany

Sarah Bernhardt

Kate Mulvany OAM holds a Bachelor of Arts and honorary Doctorate of Letters from Curtin University, Western Australia. She is an award-winning actor, playwright, screenwriter, librettist and dramaturg. Kate’s acting roles include Antigone, Lady Macbeth, Cassius (in Julius Caesar), Dorine (in Tartuffe) and Richard of Gloucester (Richard III) for Bell Shakespeare, for which she won the 2017 Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Play. She won again the following year for her performance in the one-person show, Every Brilliant Thing for Belvoir. Onscreen, Kate has most recently starred in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, Foxtel’s The Twelve, and as Nazi-hunting nun Sister Harriet in the Amazon series Hunters, opposite Al Pacino. As a writer, Kate’s award-winning plays include The Seed, Medea (co-written with Anne-Louise Sarks), The Mares and adaptations of Craig Silvey’s Jasper Jones, Ruth Park’s The Harp in the South trilogy and Playing Beatie Bow.

Current as of March 2023.

Artwork for Dushan Philips

Dushan Philips

Francois / Worker

Dushan Philips was Martin Luther King Jr in Jeff Stetson’s The Meeting brought to life at Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre. He played the tormented but outspoken Niv in Stay Woke (Malthouse and Darlinghurst Theatre). Other stage credits include Burn This (fortyfivedownstairs); Bighouse Dreaming (Arts Centre Melbourne, YIRRAMBOI Festival); Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet (Australian Shakespeare Company); Right Now, The Antipodes and Fury (Redstich Actors’ Theatre); Conviction (Northcote Town Hall); The City They Burned (Auspicious Arts Incubator, The Glasshouse). Previous TV credits include The Gloaming (Stan), Darklands (Stan), Mad as Hell (ABC), Fires (ABC), Glitch (ABC), Wentworth (Foxtel), Offspring (Network 10), Romper Stomper (Stan), Jack Irish (ABC), My Life is Murder (Network 10). Dushan won the 2017 Green Room Award for Most Outstanding Performer for this performance as Belize in Dirty Pretty Theatre’s production of Angels in America.

Current as of March 2023.

Sahil Saluja

Sahil Saluja


Sahil Saluja’s stage credits include Melbourne Talam, A Long Way Home (Melbourne Theatre Company); North Pool (Lab Theatre Company); Prehistoric (Elbow Room); The Way Out (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre); Emma’s House Special (Spare Productions). Sahil played Suresh in the feature film The Merger, from director Mark Grentell, and his TV credits include Jack Irish, Wentworth and Halifax: Retribution. In 2016, Sahil starred in his first major film production, The Colour of Darkness, which was written and directed by Girish Makwana and premiered at the 2016 Indian Film Festival Melbourne. For his work in Declan Furber Gillick's Bighouse Dreaming (directed by Mark Wilson), he and the cast won Best Performance and Best Ensemble respectively at the Melbourne Fringe Festival and the Green Room Awards. He toured in Anthem under the direction of Susie Dee, a collaboration from acclaimed writers Andrew Bovell, Christos Tsiolkas, Melissa Reeves and Patricia Cornelius.

Current as of March 2023.

Artwork for Tim Walter

Tim Walter

Alphonse Mucha

Tim Walter previously appeared for Melbourne Theatre Company in As You Like It. His other theatre credits include A Flea in Her Ear, Perplex, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Sydney Theatre Company); Kryptonite (Sydney Theatre Company/State Theatre Company of South Australia); Things I Know To Be True (State Theatre Company of South Australia/Frantic Assembly); Hedda Gabler, As You Like It, Baghdad Wedding (Belvoir); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Belvoir); A Doll’s House, Casanova (Ensemble Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Wars of the Roses (Bell Shakespeare); Anatomy Titus Fall of Rome (Queensland Theatre Company/Bell Shakespeare); Rainbow’s End (Riverside Theatre); Ear to the Edge of Time, Rose Riot, Cyrano de Bergerac, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Much Ado About Nothing (Sport For Jove). On screen, his credits include Joe Cinque’s Consolation, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, Reef Break and Home and Away.

Current as of March 2023.

Artwork for Charles Wu

Charles Wu

Edmond Rostand

Charles Wu’s theatre credits include Torch the Place (Melbourne Theatre Company); The Cherry Orchard, An Enemy of the People, Jasper Jones, Samson, The Overcoat: A Musical (Belvoir); Mosquitoes, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Three Sisters, Chimerica, The Lifespan of a Fact (Sydney Theatre Company); The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Darlinghurst Theatre); Golden Blood (Griffin Theatre). Television credits include Doctor Doctor, The Letdown, Here Come the Habibs, Secret City, Harrow, Summer Love. Film credits include Australia Day. Charles won the 2021 Green Room Award for Outstanding Performance for Torch the Place.

Current as of March 2023.

Artwork for Izabella Yena

Izabella Yena


Izabella Yena's previous theatre credits include Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes, Home, I'm Darling, an Olivier Award-winning comedy directed by Sarah Goodes, The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You (2019 Education Program), SLAP. BANG. KISS. creative development, The House of Bernarda Alba creative development (Melbourne Theatre Company); Lifetime Guarantee, Fierce (Theatreworks); a Helpmann-Award winning national tour of Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday (Performing Lines); Atomic creative development (Malthouse Theatre); 2.20am (Anvil Production). In her breakout feature film role, Izabella played Shirin Abbas in the 2020 feature Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (Every Cloud Productions/Roadshow Films), directed by Tony Tilse. Izabella is a two-time Green Room Award nominee for her lead roles in Melbourne Theatre Company's production of Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes and the one-woman show Kerosene directed by Benjamin Nichol and Izabella for Theatreworks, for which she received glowing reviews.

Current as of March 2023.

Artwork for Theresa Rebeck

Theresa Rebeck


Theresa Rebeck is a widely produced writer for stage, film, television and novels, whose work can be seen and read throughout the United States and internationally. With four plays produced on Broadway, Rebeck is the most Broadway-produced female playwright of our time. Rebeck’s Broadway credits include Bernhardt/Hamlet, Dead Accounts, Seminar and Mauritius. Other New York productions of her work include Seared at MCC Theater, Downstairs, The Scene, The Water’s Edge, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann, Spike Heels at Second Stage, Bad Dates, The Butterfly Collection, Our House at Playwrights Horizons, The Understudy at Roundabout Theatre Company and View of the Dome at New York Theatre Workshop. Other notable plays include Poor Behavior, What We’re Up Against and Omnium Gatherum (co-written), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. Her latest play, Mad House, had a critically acclaimed world premiere in summer 2022 on London’s West End, starring David Harbour and Bill Pullman. She’s currently working on a musical adaptation of Working Girl, with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper. All of Rebeck’s plays are published by Smith and Kraus as Theresa Rebeck: Complete Plays, Volumes I, II III, IV and V and in acting editions available from Samuel French or Playscripts.

Current as of March 2023.

Artwork for Anne-Louise Sarks

Anne-Louise Sarks


Anne-Louise Sarks is Artistic Director & Co-CEO of Melbourne Theatre Company. An internationally acclaimed director, writer and dramaturg, Anne-Louise has directed over 30 productions with her work seen in Melbourne, Sydney, London, Helsinki, Mexico City, New York, Warsaw, Dublin, Auckland, Mumbai, Perth and Basel. Recent credits include Avalanche at the Barbican in Londonand Our Town and Medea at Theater Basel. Most recently, she directed Stop Girl at Belvoir in Sydney. In 2018 her production of Blasted at Malthouse Theatre was nominated for four Green Room Awards. Medea, co-written with Kate Mulvany, won five 2013 Sydney Theatre Awards including Best Direction, Best Mainstage Production and Best New Australian Work. It was also awarded an AWGIE for Best Stage Play and in 2013 was nominated for four Helpmann Awards including Best Direction, Best New Australian Work and Best Play. Anne-Louise was previously Artistic Director of the Lyric Ensemble at the Lyric Hammersmith in London and of the leading Melbourne independent theatre company The Hayloft Project. She has been Resident Director at Belvoir, Director in Residence at Malthouse Theatre, and in 2010 she was Emerging Resident Director at Melbourne Theatre Company.

Current as of March 2023.


Marg Horwell

Set & Costume Designer

Marg Horwell is a multi-award-winning set and costume designer. Marg’s previous credits with Melbourne Theatre Company include Girls & Boys, The Truth, The House of Bernarda Alba, Lilith: The Jungle Girl, Birdland, I Call My Brothers, Peddling, Cock, Constellations, Music and Marlin. Other credits include The Picture of Dorian Gray, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, How to Rule the World, Lord of the Flies, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Sydney Theatre Company); Because The Night, Blasted, Melancholia, Caravan, The Testament of Mary, The Real and Imagined History of The Elephant Man, Edward II, I Am a Miracle and The Good Person of Szechuan (Malthouse Theatre); The Happy End (Victorian Opera); The Marriage of Figaro, The Sopranos, The Human Voice & The Call (Opera Queensland); Lorelei (Opera Queensland/Victorian Opera); Salome (English National Opera); Avalanche (The Barbican); Unsere Kleine Stadt (Theater Basel); Common Ground (Chunky Move) and Leviathan (Circa). Marg has won ten Green Room Awards and three Sydney Theatre Awards.

Current as of March 2023.

Amelia Lever-Davidson.png

Amelia Lever-Davidson

Lighting Designer

Amelia Lever-Davidson is a lighting designer based in Melbourne, whose practice encompasses theatre, dance, television and events. Her design credits include Girls & Boys, SLAP. BANG. KISS, Admissions, Torch the Place and The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You (Melbourne Theatre Company); Julius Caesar (Sydney Theatre Company); Blessed Union; My Brilliant Career and Every Brilliant Thing (Belvoir); They Divided The Sky (Belvoir 25A); K-BOX, Because The Night, Australian Realness, Trustees and Turbine (Malthouse Theatre); My Self in That Moment, System_Error and Diaspora (Chamber Made); Next Move 11 (Chunky Move); Leviathan (Circa); Hydra, Moral Panic, Contest, Niche, Conviction and Dream Home (Darebin Arts’ Speakeasy); Looking Glass and Triumph (fortyfivedownstairs); Desert 6.29pm, Jurassica and Foxfinder (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre); MKA Double Feature (MTC Neon); Ground Control, Camel and Hello There We’ve Been Waiting for You (Next Wave Festival). Amelia’s work has been recognised with four Green Room Awards. Amelia is an Australia Council ArtStart and JUMP Mentorship recipient. She was part of Melbourne Theatre Company’s inaugural Women in Theatre Program.

Current as of March 2023.

Artwork for Joe Paradise Lui

Joe Paradise Lui

Composer & Sound Designer

Joe Paradise Lui is a submerging artist and undisputed winner of the 2013 Spirit of the Fringe award. He has won no awards since. Joe is a founding member of Renegade Productions. Within its aegis Joe creates experimental theatre and performance works. Joe’s most recent professional directing work was Unsung Heroes (Black Swan State Theatre Company) and most recent independent directing work was The Ugly and Salome Delta (The Blue Room Theatre). Joe is also a writer, and a sound and lighting designer. Recent sound design credits include Barracking for the Umpire (Black Swan State Theatre Company), and recent writing and lighting design credits include Enlightenment (Elbow Room).

Current as of March 2023.

Nigel Poulton

Nigel Poulton

Movement & Fight Director

Nigel Poulton is an award-winning movement director, fight and intimacy coordinator, SAG-AFTRA/MEAA stunt performer and actor with over 25 years of professional experience. Nigel’s choreography credits include Finnish National Ballet, The Australian Ballet, New York City Ballet, The Metropolitan Opera, Sydney Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare, Washington Opera Company, Opera Australia, Circus Oz, Melbourne Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre, Belvoir, La Boite and Kooemba Jdarra. Nigel’s film and television work includes DeadlockNautilus, Poker FaceThor: Love and ThunderEscape from SpiderheadDing Dong You’re Gay, Occupation 2, Pirates of the Caribbean V, Deadline Gallipoli, The Water Diviner, The Bourne Legacy, Vikingdom and Winter’s Tale. Nigel is a certified Intimacy Director/Coordinator with Intimacy Directors and Coordinators and has been awarded Fight Master status with the Society of American Fight Directors. Nigel is also a certified Fight Director and past President of the Society of Australian Fight Directors Inc and an Honorary Fight Director with Fight Directors Canada.

Current as of March 2023.


Geraldine Cook-Dafner

Voice & Text Coach

Geraldine Cook-Dafner previously worked for Melbourne Theatre Company on SundayGirls & BoysThe Lifespan of a FactHome I’m DarlingGolden Shield, WildThe ChildrenHay FeverDi and Viv and RoseMelbourne TalamJohnThe Odd CoupleStraight White MenThe DistanceBirdlandThe Waiting RoomTop GirlsThe HereticThe Swimming ClubThe 39 StepsThe History BoysAll My SonsThe Clean HouseBoy Gets Girl, Take Me Out and The Glass Menagerie. Geraldine has also worked at SBS, Malthouse and Musica Viva. She trained at Middlesex University, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has a doctorate from the University of Melbourne. Geraldine is an Honorary Senior Fellow at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, where previously she held positions as Head of Voice, Head of School of Performing Arts and Associate Dean. She is currently voice and dialect coach for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Current as of March 2023.

Artwork for Amy Hume

Amy Hume

Voice & Text Coach

Amy Hume is a voice and dialect coach for theatre and screen, and Lecturer in Voice at Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). Recent theatre credits include Cyrano, The Sound Inside, Fun Home (Melbourne Theatre Company); Blue, Blessed Union, Jungle and the Sea (Belvoir), An American in Paris (Australian Ballet and GBS); Six the Musical Australia, Billy Elliot Australia (LWAA); White Pearl (Sydney Theatre Company); Merrily We Roll Along (Hayes) and Fangirls (Queensland Theatre/Belvoir). Recent coaching for screen includes Bad Behaviour (Stan); New Gold Mountain (SBS); and The Secrets She Keeps (Ten). Amy previously taught BFA Acting and MFA Voice students at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) from 2015 to 2019. She is a Designated Linklater Teacher and currently serves on the Board of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA), the international organisation for voice and dialect practitioners.

Current as of March 2023.

Artwork for Jacob Battista

Jacob Battista

Associate Set Designer

Jacob Battista is a Melbourne-based theatre designer and practitioner. Jacob completed a Bachelor of Production at the Victorian College of the Arts. Some of his design credits include Admissions (Melbourne Theatre Company); A Simple Act of Kindness, Grace, Iphigenia in Splott, Love, Love, Love, Jumpers for Goalposts, Belleville and Out Of The Water (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre); Hand to God, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and Bad Jews (Vass Theatre Group); Rust and Bone (La Mama Theatre); Burn This (fortyfivedownstairs); Songs for a New World (Blue Saint); MEMBER (Fairly Lucid); Frankie and Johnny in the Clair De Lune (Collette Mann/fortyfivedownstairs); The Lonely Wolf  (Dirty Pretty Theatre/MTC Neon); Therese Raquin (Dirty Pretty Theatre); Carrie The Musical (Ghost Light); and as associate set designer Shakespeare in Love (Melbourne Theatre Company). Jacob was a recipient of a 2016 Besen Family Scholarship at Malthouse Theatre working with Marg Horwell on Edward II and is also a recipient of an Australia Council ArtStart Grant.

Current as of March 2023.


Sophie Woodward

Costume Associate

Sophie Woodward is a Melbourne-based set and costume designer. Sophie graduated with a Bachelor of Production (Design) from VCA in 2010 winning the Beleura John Tallis Design Award in her final year. Sophie recently designed costumes for Melbourne Theatre Company’s Come Rain or Come Shine. Recent set and costume designs include A Simple Act of Kindness (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre) and All the Shining Lights (HotHouse Theatre). Earlier design work from Sophie includes Hungry Ghosts (Melbourne Theatre Company); Burn This, The One and Mr Burns, A Post Electric Play (fortyfivedownstairs); Those Who Fall in Love like Anchors Dropped Upon the Ocean Floor, Between the Clouds, Pyjama Girl and Letters from the Border (HotHouse Theatre); Fast Food, Iphigenia in Splott, Grace, Extinction, Rules for Living, You got Older, The Honey Bees, The Village Bike, Wet House, Love Love Love, 4,000 Miles and Day One. A Hotel, Evening (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre); #No Exemptions, Thigh Gap and A Long Day’s Dying (LaMama Theatre). Sophie was Costume Design Associate on Girls & Boys, An Ideal Husband and Twelfth Night (Melbourne Theatre Company).

Current as of March 2023.

Artwork for Tasnim Hossain

Tasnim Hossain

Assistant Director

Tasnim Hossain is Resident Director at Melbourne Theatre Company and has worked as a director, playwright and dramaturg. Her production of Yellow Face (Dinosaurus Productions/KXT) was nominated for four Sydney Theatre Awards in 2022, winning Best Direction of an Independent Production. Other directing credits include How I Learned to Drive (NIDA), Sweat (VCA) and Rough Draft #49 – Garage Sale (Sydney Theatre Company). She co-directed and dramaturged Lost in Shanghai (CAAP/OzAsia Festival) and was assistant director on Banging Denmark (STC). As a writer, she was co-recipient of the inaugural NSW Musical Theatre Fellowship (Create NSW/Hayes Theatre Company) and her script Bombay Takeaway was shortlisted for the 2022 Griffin Award. Tasnim has been ATYP’s Resident Playwright, Griffin Theatre Studio Artist, CAAP-Sydney Theatre Company Directors’ Initiative participant and Artistic Associate at NIDA. She is an alumna of the Australia Council for the Arts Future Leaders program, as well as Melbourne Theatre Company’s Women in Theatre program.

Current as of March 2023.

Artwork for Amy Cater

Amy Cater

Intimacy Coordinator

Learn more about Bernhardt/Hamlet

The Sumner

140 Southbank Boulevard

Southbank, Victoria 3006