Essington Lewis: I am Work – Revived Newcastle Production

Hunter Valley Theatre Company (Revived Production)

 Many of the original cast and crew returned to work together once more, during the 21st year of the Hunter Valley Theatre Company and the Bicentennial Year of Newcastle.

Opening Night: 25 January, 1997

Civic Theatre, Newcastle.


Vic Rooney: Essington Lewis

David Wood: Taffy Williams

Robert Faggetter: John Lewis; Guillame Delprat; Arbitration Judge

Jonathan Biggins: Mad Prophet; Jerome Murif; James Kinla; King O’Malley; Bowes Kelley; Boxer; Barrowman; Migrant; Guggenhiem Jnr

Allan McFadden: Harold Darling: Andrew Fisher

Julie Hudspeth: Madge Elliott; Young Lady; Hugo Mueke; McKay; Mrs Lewis

Kate Sweeney: Board Secretary; Bowing Ring Girl; Blodwyn Williams; Miss Jones

Tim Richards: Worker; Sgt. Ravilli; Usher Fellow; Migrant

Rod Ansell: Teacher; Judge; David Baker; Saleman; Cecil Hoskins; Migrant

(Piano: Allan McFadden)

Newcastle Herald cartoon

Newcastle Herald cartoon

 On the 21st anniversary of the formation of the Hunter Valley Theatre Company, the Company is enormously proud to present as its contribution to Newcastle’s 1997 Bicentenary the Australian classic, Essington Lewis: I am Work. The Hunter Valley Theatre Company welcomes the opportunity to work once again with those members of the first ever production of the play; Aarne Neeme, Brian Nickless, Vic Rooney, David Wood, Allan McFadden, Julie Hudspeth and Jonathan Biggins and, most certainly, playwright John O’Donoghue. The HVTC welcomes Robert Faggetter and conveys every success to Newcastle actors Kate Sweeney, Rod Ansell, Tim Richards and each member of the production crew.

In this year, the Bicentenary of Newcastle and the Company’s 21st anniversary, the Hunter Valley Theatre Company especially conveys its thanks and best wishes to the people of Newcastle and the Hunter.

“Time has not diminished Essington Lewis: I am Work. If anything, the text is more sparkling than it was when the play was last staged in Newcastle 15 years ago and the performances of the actors returning from the production are richer.

The marvellous thing about the play is that it gives us history and the life and times of a man who puts work before personal relationships in a wonderfully entertaining fashion.

… it is a remarkable piece of theatre.” 

Ken Longworth, Newcastle Herald.