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Brett & Wendy - A Love Story Bound by Art - Review

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by Janelle (subscribe)
I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Event: -
The tortured life of an artist
Photographer credit: Fabian Astore.

Australian art lovers have been interested in the life and works of Brett Whiteley since the late 1950s. Brett and Wendy - A Love Story Bound By Art is a powerful and deeply moving portrayal of his life and loves. The cast of six actors and three dancers take the audience on a 75-minute minute journey from childhood to death.

Art, Sydney Festival, Parramatta, drama, theatre, Brett Whiteley
The canvas is blank (image JW)

Created designed and directed by Kim Carpenter, the production had its world premiere at Parramatta's Riverside Theatres, as part of the January 2019 Sydney Festival.

Photographer credit: Fabian Astore.

This multimedia work contains strong visual elements such as large scale projections of Whiteley's art and documentary footage. The dialogue is sparse but poetic and usually narrative. We meet a young Brett played by dancer Dean Elliott and his sister Frannie (Jeanette Cronin) and are given insights into his childhood and family relationships as the story follows his life chronologically. Although the story is sad and disturbing, the production is not entirely dark as it contains periods of wry humour and extraordinary beauty.

Photographer credit: Fabian Astore.

Paul Gleeson and Leanna Walsman play the talented and tortured couple with spirit and are able to elicit empathy from the audience. Paul plays Brett Whiteley as a fidgety sprite whose nervous energy and various addictions both feed and stifle his creative pursuits.

Photographer credit: Fabian Astore.

Each element including music, choreography, costuming and set design blend seamlessly with the diverse array of visual effects to create an unforgettable experience.

Photographer credit: Fabian Astore.

Brett and Wendy, a love and passion that burnt too brightly to last but was the catalyst for an amazing body of work.

Photographer credit: Fabian Astore.
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*Janelle was invited as a guest
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Why? To learn about the life of an iconic Australian artist
When: 18 January at 7:30pm, 19 January at 2pm and 7:30pm, 20 January at 2pm (Talk following the performance at 4pm) & 6pm, 22 January at 7:30pm, 23 January at 11am and 7:30pm, 24 January at 7:30pm, 25 January at 7:30pm, 26 January at 4pm, 27 January at 2pm
Phone: 1300 856 876 Sydney Festival, 02 8839 3399 Riverside Theatres
Where: Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres Parramatta
Cost: General admission $60, concession $55 plus booking fees
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