Issued Tuesday, 7 February 2006
A LARGE ATTENDANCE IN THE ANTECHAMBER
A literally stunning one-man play.
An acting tour-de-force that is also intellectually intriguing and morally disturbing. The Age
Brian Lipson returns to Sydney with his internationally acclaimed, award-winning production A Large Attendance in the Antechamber. From 27 June to 16 July, Lipson brings one of the most brilliant and controversial scientists of the Victorian era, Sir Francis Galton, to life on the Playhouse stage.
A combination of historical drama, theatrical spectacle and ethical discussion, A Large Attendance in the Antechamber is an eccentric and intriguing show. Sir Francis Galton welcomes the audience into his ornately outfitted antechamber for a chat on his various theories ranging from brewing the perfect cup of tea to selective breeding. A well-respected scientist with more than 300 publications and a knighthood to his credit, Galton was held in the highest regard for his significant contribution to science. Some of his more unusual published papers include Arithmetic by Smell, Statistical Inquiries into the Efficacy of Prayer, On Making the Perfect Cup of Tea and A Beauty Map of Pretty Girls in Great Britain. Although recognised as a genius, Galton is now notorious for being the founder of Eugenics, the science of improving the race by selective breeding, which has been used to justify some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.
Written, directed and performed by Brian Lipson, A Large Attendance in the Antechamber is not so much a biographical exercise as a funny and thought-provoking exploration of an extraordinary mind. The way Lipson weaves his way in and out of Galton’s life in this imaginative piece of theatre is a marvel to behold.
During the 1970s and 80s Brian Lipson was a key member of some of England’s most important experimental theatre companies, working as designer, writer, performer and director. He was also well-known as an actor in mainstream theatre, TV and film. Since moving to Australia in 1997, Lipson has continued to sustain a parallel career as an actor and creator of new work. His latest creation Bergasse 19 – The Apartments of Sigmund Freud had a sell-out premiere season at last year’s Melbourne International Festival of the Arts. This large scale event was the most recent culmination of a quest to produce work which integrates design, text and performance in a uniquely balanced and witty manner. Brian Lipson has been nominated for six Green Room Awards and won three of them (including two for A Large Attendance in the Antechamber).
Both funny and sobering, A Large Attendance in the Antechamber examines an unconventional man and his complex legacy in an imaginative piece of theatre. It has had sell-out seasons in Melbourne, London, Cardiff and across the USA. It was a hit at the Edinburgh and Adelaide Festivals and now this theatrical gem returns to Sydney after extraordinary success at Sydney Festival in 2001.
Program Details: A Large Attendance in the Antechamber
Venue: The Playhouse
Dates: Preview Tues 27 June
Season 28 June – 16 July
Times: Tues 6.30 pm, Wed – Sat 8pm
Sat 8 & 15 July 2pm & 8pm
Artists Talk: Sun 2 July (post show)
Tickets: Preview $35