Theatre and Performance Studies Seminar – School of Literature, Art and Media Theatre and Performance Studies Seminar – School of Literature, Art and Media

Theatre and Performance Studies Seminar

Rowan Greaves will be offering an introductory overview of his Masters research into traditions of subversive comedy in Australia and Aine de Paor will share the beginnings of another case study chapter of her PhD on Irish-Australian cultural collaborations.


Join us not just for the sheer intellectual thrill of research-in-progress but for the wine, beer and skittles (or jelly lollies, as the case may be), and the tea/coffee/juice, and the fruit, and the cheese platter, and Rowan’s home-made desserts (!!!), and the all-round good craic.


White Faces and Nervous Laughter: Subversive Comedy in Australian Performance

Rowan Greaves, MA Research candidate, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Sydney
In this session, Rowan will present a background, introduction, and overview to his recently commenced thesis examining the history of subversive comedy in Australia through a diverse selection of performers, troupes and shows across cabaret, fringe comedy, scripted theatre, circus, and beyond. Particular focus is on the work of Barry Humphries in the 1960s, Reg Livermore in the 1970s, and comedy and cabaret collectives in the 1980s including Los Trios Ringbarkus, Funny Stories and Cabaret Conspiracy, and the current new wave of feminist performers such as Glitta Supernova, Betty Grumble and Hannah Gadsby.


Brief bio for Rowan: Since graduating from the NIDA Directors Course in the mid 1980s, after completing a B.A at Sydney University, Rowan has worked extensively as a freelance director, drama teacher, and Artistic Director. He has directed shows for organizations including Queensland Theatre Company, NORPA, Theatre North, New Theatre, and the Perth and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals; and taught at universities including UWS, UNE and USQ. Positions held include Artistic Director at ATYP, Affiliate Director at STC, and Teacher of Drama at Ascham.

Irish-Australian Collaborations in Performance—the Case of “Unwoman 3”

Aine de Paor, PhD Candidate, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Sydney

Dublin’s 2018 Theatre Festival featured an Irish Australian collaboration between the Melbourne feminist theatre company, the Rabble, Irish theatre artist, Olwen Fouéré and the Irish artist-director Maeve Stone. ‘Unwoman 3’, described on the Rabble’s website as a ‘cryptic, highly politicised and immersive multimedia work’ received mixed reviews in Dublin. All three parts of this experimental performance work will be presented in Melbourne’s Substation in November of this year. It is one of three Irish-Australian collaborations I offer as case studies in a ‘work in progress’ chapter I am currently developing of my doctoral thesis, ‘Performing Ireland Down Under’.


Brief bio for Aine: Aine graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, with an honours degree in education, to which she has since added various postgraduate degrees, including a Masters of Philosophy in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Sydney. She is currently teaching drama at South Sydney High School, as well as coordinating the school’s enrichment programs for gifted students. She has previously taught drama, including heading the drama departments, at St Catherine’s School, Waverley, Knox Grammar and Moriah College.


AV Room (S113), Woolley Building
Manning Road, University of Sydney




May 17 2019


3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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