Nimrod at the Seymour

Spotlighting a legendary independent theatre company

If you’re familiar with our annual Seymour Season, you’ll know that here at the Seymour, we love independent theatre.

Year on year, each show in our season program is brought to life by outstanding independent theatre companies and artists, and our steadfast support of indie theatre is nothing new, dating all the way back to our opening in 1975.

To celebrate the recent launch of our 2022 Seymour Season: Part Two – featuring three brilliant productions helmed by some remarkably talented indie theatre-makers – we decided to dig through the archives and find out more about one of the earliest independent theatre companies to grace our stage – the prolific and profoundly influential Nimrod Theatre Company.

Rising star theatre

Nimrod Theatre Company was a Sydney-based independent theatre company, founded in 1970 by Australian actors John Bell, Richard Wherrett, and Ken Horler.

Originally located on Nimrod Street in Kings Cross, in the building that now houses Griffin Theatre Company, Nimrod was established to present great new Australian drama, as well as English, European, and American plays that had been neglected in Australia up to that point.

The company quickly gained a reputation for innovation and excellence, and soon became one of the most exciting players on the Australian theatre scene.

Welcome to the Seymour

Nimrod’s first performance at Seymour Centre took place in April 1979, when their production of Romeo and Juliet, starring Simon Burke, Mel Gibson, and Angela Punch McGregor, arrived in Sydney after a successful run at Perth Festival.

In 1980 Nimrod brought a quartet of Peter Brook-directed plays to the Seymour, direct from Adelaide Festival, and in 1981 and ’82, the company presented Candide, The Venetian Twins, and Peter Kenna’s Australian classic, A Hard God, in our York Theatre.

A brand-new home

After moving from Kings Cross and spending several years based primarily in Belvoir Street, Surry Hills, Nimrod became a resident company at Seymour Centre in spring 1984, kicking off their time here with a memorable production of King Lear starring Judy Davis and Colin Friels.

In the years that followed, the company presented dramas from some of history’s most illustrious playwrights – their 1985 line-up featured George Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man, plus Bertolt Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, and in 1986 and ’87, they presented Shakespeare’s The Winter Tale and All’s Well That Ends Well.

The company’s talents certainly weren’t limited to classic theatre, either – in 1985 they presented the Sydney premiere of Cheapside, by contemporary British-Australian writer, David Allen, and in 1987 they produced provocative drama, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, starring Hugo Weaving and Melita Jurisic. 1987 also saw the company present the Australian premiere of Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spiderwoman, as well as Louis Nowra’s acclaimed Australian drama, The Golden Age.

A legacy that lives on

While Nimrod ceased operations in 1988, the company’s legacy lives on. The pioneering spirit that drove Nimrod made a deep and lasting impact, as did their desire to celebrate great Australian theatre and theatre-makers, and it’s an impact clearly reflected in our Seymour Season today.

An important part of Sydney’s theatre landscape for over a decade, the Seymour Season spotlights new Australian drama and outstanding international works, all brought to the stage by leading Australian independent theatre companies and artists.

And Part Two of our 2022 Seymour Season is no different, featuring three stellar productions led by some of the best independent theatre-makers around. Albion will be brought to life by Secret House and New Ghosts Theatre Company; Anatomy of a Suicide will be presented by Sugary Rum Productions and Chopt Logic; and leading independent theatre director, Kate Gaul, will captain our new performance lecture series, Art + Information.

So thank you to Nimrod and the other theatre companies that have paved the way. There’s a wealth of talent in Australian independent theatre, and we’re so pleased we can provide a space for this talent to be showcased and applauded.

We can’t wait for you to experience Part Two of our 2022 Seymour Season.

 

7 July 2022

Enjoy outstanding live theatre marked by innovation, ambition, and excellence with Part Two of our 2022 Seymour Season. 

If you’re familiar with our annual Seymour Season, you’ll know that here at the Seymour, we love independent theatre.

Year on year, each show in our season program is brought to life by outstanding independent theatre companies and artists, and our steadfast support of indie theatre is nothing new, dating all the way back to our opening in 1975.

To celebrate the recent launch of our 2022 Seymour Season: Part Two – featuring three brilliant productions helmed by some remarkably talented indie theatre-makers – we decided to dig through the archives and find out more about one of the earliest independent theatre companies to grace our stage – the prolific and profoundly influential Nimrod Theatre Company.

Rising star theatre

Nimrod Theatre Company was a Sydney-based independent theatre company, founded in 1970 by Australian actors John Bell, Richard Wherrett, and Ken Horler.

Originally located on Nimrod Street in Kings Cross, in the building that now houses Griffin Theatre Company, Nimrod was established to present great new Australian drama, as well as English, European, and American plays that had been neglected in Australia up to that point.

The company quickly gained a reputation for innovation and excellence, and soon became one of the most exciting players on the Australian theatre scene.

Welcome to the Seymour

Nimrod’s first performance at Seymour Centre took place in April 1979, when their production of Romeo and Juliet, starring Simon Burke, Mel Gibson, and Angela Punch McGregor, arrived in Sydney after a successful run at Perth Festival.

In 1980 Nimrod brought a quartet of Peter Brook-directed plays to the Seymour, direct from Adelaide Festival, and in 1981 and ’82, the company presented Candide, The Venetian Twins, and Peter Kenna’s Australian classic, A Hard God, in our York Theatre.

A brand-new home

After moving from Kings Cross and spending several years based primarily in Belvoir Street, Surry Hills, Nimrod became a resident company at Seymour Centre in spring 1984, kicking off their time here with a memorable production of King Lear starring Judy Davis and Colin Friels.

In the years that followed, the company presented dramas from some of history’s most illustrious playwrights – their 1985 line-up featured George Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man, plus Bertolt Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, and in 1986 and ’87, they presented Shakespeare’s The Winter Tale and All’s Well That Ends Well.

The company’s talents certainly weren’t limited to classic theatre, either – in 1985 they presented the Sydney premiere of Cheapside, by contemporary British-Australian writer, David Allen, and in 1987 they produced provocative drama, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, starring Hugo Weaving and Melita Jurisic. 1987 also saw the company present the Australian premiere of Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spiderwoman, as well as Louis Nowra’s acclaimed Australian drama, The Golden Age.

A legacy that lives on

While Nimrod ceased operations in 1988, the company’s legacy lives on. The pioneering spirit that drove Nimrod made a deep and lasting impact, as did their desire to celebrate great Australian theatre and theatre-makers, and it’s an impact clearly reflected in our Seymour Season today.

An important part of Sydney’s theatre landscape for over a decade, the Seymour Season spotlights new Australian drama and outstanding international works, all brought to the stage by leading Australian independent theatre companies and artists.

And Part Two of our 2022 Seymour Season is no different, featuring three stellar productions led by some of the best independent theatre-makers around. Albion will be brought to life by Secret House and New Ghosts Theatre Company; Anatomy of a Suicide will be presented by Sugary Rum Productions and Chopt Logic; and leading independent theatre director, Kate Gaul, will captain our new performance lecture series, Art + Information.

So thank you to Nimrod and the other theatre companies that have paved the way. There’s a wealth of talent in Australian independent theatre, and we’re so pleased we can provide a space for this talent to be showcased and applauded.

We can’t wait for you to experience Part Two of our 2022 Seymour Season.

 

7 July 2022

Enjoy outstanding live theatre marked by innovation, ambition, and excellence with Part Two of our 2022 Seymour Season. 

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