Robyn Nevin

Born (1942-09-25) 25 September 1942 (age 79)
Melbourne, Australia
Occupation
  • Actress
  • director
Spouse(s)
(m. 1975; div. 1977)
Partner(s)Nicholas Hammond (1987–present)
Children1

Robyn Anne Nevin AO (25 September 1942) is an Australian actress, director, and stage producer, recognised with the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards and the JC Williamson Award at the Helpmann Awards for her outstanding contributions to Australian theatre performance art. Former head of both the Queensland Theatre Company and the Sydney Theatre Company, she has directed more than 30 productions and acted in more than 80 plays, collaborating with internationally renowned artists, including Richard Wherrett, Geoffrey Rush, Julie Andrews, Aubrey Mellor, Jennifer Flowers, Cate Blanchett and Lee Lewis.[1][2]

Nevin is also known for her roles in films and televisions series, includiog Water Under the Bridge (1980) as Shasta, role that earned her a Logie Awards and a Penguin Award, Upper Middle Bogan (2014) and Top of the Lake (2014), and international film acting as Councillor Dillard in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (both 2003), and as Edna in the horror film Relic (2020).

Early life

Robyn Nevin was born in Melbourne, to Josephine Pauline Casey and William George Nevin. She was educated at Genazzano Convent until the age of 11, when she moved with her family to Hobart, Tasmania, and was enrolled at the Fahan School, a non-denominational school for girls.[3] While there, she played the lead in the school's production of Snow White at the Theatre Royal. Her parents were conservative and conventional, her father the managing director of Dunlop Australia, her mother a housewife, so to enter the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) at the age of 16 in the very first intake in 1959 was a brave step, in which she was fully supported by her parents.[1]

Career

At the outset of her career, she had a variety of roles in radio and television, working mainly at the Australian Broadcasting Commission, including current affairs, music, chat shows and children's shows throughout the early 1960s. With the Old Tote Theatre Company she acted in The Legend of King O'Malley by Bob Ellis and Michael Boddy in 1970. She gravitated back to theatre, where she has been a constant presence for the last 40 years.

Although theatre has been her home ground she has also starred in numerous Australian films and mini-series, landing many credits for strong supporting roles. She made one foray into directing in The More Things Change... (1986).[4]

In 1996 she became artistic director of the Queensland Theatre Company, a position which she held with great success, rescuing the company from bankruptcy and leaving it flourishing in 1999, when she took over the position of artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company, where she was artistic director until the end of 2007, having created such memorable additions as The Actor's Company, the only professional repertory company in the nation, and the hugely successful Wharf Revue.[5]

In 2006 she established The STC Actors Company and directed its debut production of Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children. Her other extensive directing credits for Sydney Theatre Company include: Boy Gets Girl (2005), Summer Rain (2005), Scenes from a Separation (2004), Hedda Gabler (2004), Harbour (2004), The Real Thing (2003), A Doll’s House (2002) and Hanging Man (2002).

Other directing credits include After the Ball, Honour, Summer Rain and A Month in the Country (Queensland Theatre Company); Kid Stakes, Scenes from a Separation, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll and On Top of the World (Melbourne Theatre Company); The Removalists (State Theatre of South Australia) and The Marriage of Figaro (State Opera of South Australia).

Nevin has performed in a range of roles at the Sydney Theatre Company, beginning in 1979 as Miss Docker in A Cheery Soul by Patrick White (reprised in 2001); and also including as Roxane in Cyrano de Bergerac in 1981; as Ranyevskaya in The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov in 2005; and as Mrs Venable in Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams in 2015.[6]

Personal life

Nevin has been married twice, most notably in her second marriage to "prison playwright" Jim McNeil (1975–1977).[7] She currently lives with her partner, US-born actor and screenwriter Nicholas Hammond. They met when they starred in Alan Ayckbourn's Woman in Mind at the STC in 1987. From her first marriage to Barry Crook, she has a daughter Emily Russell (born 1968) who is also an actor.[8]

Awards and honours

Nevin has won multiple Helpmann, Green Room and Sydney Theatre Awards for her theatre work. Her Helpmann Awards include Best Female Actor in a Play for Women of Troy, Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play for Summer of the Seventeenth Doll and Angels in America, and Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for My Fair Lady.

In 1981, she won the TV Logie award in the 'Best Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Telemovie' category for her role as Shasta in Water Under The Bridge on the Ten Network. She had already won Logies as 'Most Popular Female'[9][10] in Tasmania in 1965 and 1967 during her stint at the ABC.

On 8 June 1981, she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the performing arts.[11] She was promoted to Officer in the 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours for " distinguished service to the performing arts as an acclaimed actor and artistic director, and as a mentor and role model ".[12]

In 1999 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Tasmania.[13]

On 21 January 2004 she gave the Australia Day Address.[14]

Film and television awards

Association Year Work Category Result Ref.
AACTA Awards 1977 The Fourth Wish Best Actress in a Lead Role Nominated
1983 Careful, He Might Hear You Best Actress in a Supporting Role Nominated
2014 Upper Middle Bogan Best Performance in a Television Comedy Nominated
Top of the Lake Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama Nominated
2018 Back in Very Small Business Best Performance in a Television Comedy Nominated
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards 2021 Relic Best Supporting Performance Nominated
Equity Ensemble Awards 2014 Upper Middle Bogan Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
Top of the Lake Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Telemovie/Mini-Serie Won
Film Critics Circle of Australia 1987 The More Things Change Best Director Won
Fright Meter Awards 2020 Relic Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Logie Awards 1965 Herself Tasmania: Most Popular Female Won
1967 Won
1981 Water Under the Bridge Best Lead Actress in a Single Drama or Mini Series Won
Penguin Award 1981 Water Under the Bridge Best Actress Won
Sammy Awards 1981 Water Under the Bridge Best Actress in a Television Movie Won
Water Under the Bridge Best Actress in a Television Serie/Mini-serie Won

Theatre awards

Association Year Work Category Result Ref.
Australian National Theatre Award 1976 Herself Best Actress New South Wales Won
Green Room Award 1995 Scenes from A Separation Best Director Nominated
1996 Julius Caesar Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated
1999 Long Day's Journey into Night Nominated
2008 The Women of Troy Best Female Performer Nominated
2009 August: Osage Country Won
Helpmann Award 2005 Hedda Gabler Best Direction of a Play Nominated
2009 The Women of Troy Best Female Actor in a Play Won
2010 August: Osage Country Nominated
2012 Sumnmer of the Seventeeth Dolls Won
2014 Angels in America Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play Won
2015 Suddenly Last Summer Best Female Actor in a Play Nominated
2017 My Fair Lady Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical Won
Herself JC Williamson Lifetime Achievement Won
Queensland Matilda Award 1997 Herself Outstanding Contribution to Queensland Theatre Won
Sydney Critics Circle Award 1987 Herself Outstanding Achievement in Theatre Won
1991 Diving for Pearls Best Actress in a Leading Role Won
1992 Aristophanes Frog Best Actress in a Supporting Role Won
Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards 1998 Herself Outstanding Individual Award Won
Sydney Theatre Awards 2006 Summer Rain Best Direction in a Musical Won
2011 Neighbourhood watch Best Leading Actress of a Mainstage Production Nominated
Variety Club Heart Award 1998 Herself Stage Award Won

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1973 Libido Sister Caroline Segment, "The Priest"
1976 Caddie Black Eye
The Fourth Wish Connie
1978 The Irishman Jenny Doolan
1979 Temperament Unsuited Anne
1982 Fighting Back Mary
1983 Goodbye Paradise Kate
Careful, He Might Hear You Lila
1984 The Coolangatta Gold Robyn Lukas
1988 Emerald City Kate Rogers
1992 Resistance Wiley
Greenkeeping Mum
1994 Lucky Break Anne-Marie LePine
1995 Angel Baby Dr. Norberg
1997 The Castle Supreme Court Judge
2003 The Matrix Reloaded Councillor Dillard
Bad Eggs Eleanor Poulgrain
The Matrix Revolutions Councillor Dillard
2011 The Eye of the Storm Lal
2013 The Turning Carol Lang Segment, "Reunion"
2015 Ruben Guthrie Susan Guthrie
2016 Gods of Egypt Sharifa
2018 Death in Bloom Mrs. Patterson Short
2020 Relic Edna

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1962 Consider Your Verdict Judith Harper "Queen Versus Glandon"
1971 The Comedy Game Kate Sullivan "Our Man in Canberra"
1973 Our Man in the Company Miss Healey "Let Women Go Free"
President Wilson in Paris Mrs. Wilson TV film
1974 Matlock Police Sue Palmer "Dancing Class"
Ryan Susan Davis "Negative Proof"
1978 Father, Dear Father Mrs. Webster "Novel Exercise"
1980 Water Under the Bridge Shasta TV miniseries
A Toast to Melba Nellie Melba TV film
Spring & Fall Mary "The Last Card"
1982 Spring & Fall Anne "Perfect Company"
1983 The Dismissal Lady Kerr TV miniseries
1985 Hanlon Minnie Dean "In Defense of Minnie Dean"
1990 The Ham Funeral Mrs. Goosgog TV film
Shadows of the Heart Mrs. Hanlon TV film
1993 Seven Deadly Sins Sloth TV miniseries
1995–1999 Halifax f.p. Angela Halifax "The Feeding", "Cradle and All", "A Murder of Crows"
2013 Top of the Lake Jude Griffin "1.1", "1.3", "1.4", "1.5"
The Broken Shore Cecily Addison "3.5", "3.7"
2013–2016 Upper Middle Bogan Margaret Denyar Main role
2015 Stories I Wanted to Tell You in Person Anna TV film
2016 Cleverman Jane O'Grady "Containment"
2019 Doctor Doctor Dinah Season 4

Theatre and musical

Sydney Theatre Company

Sydney Theatre Company is an Australian theatre company based in Sydney, New South Wales, whitch performs at the The Wharf Theatre, the Roslyn Packer Theatre and and the Sydney Opera House. Nevin was associate artistic director from 1984 to 1987, and first artistic director from 1999 to 2007, producing twenty plays. She has also acted in twenty-seven productions of the company.

  Artistic Director
Title Years Role Location Notes
Close of Play
1980
Margaret
Sydney Opera House Stage musical;
directed by Rodney Fisher
The Precious Woman
Su-Ling
Stage musical;
directed by Richard Wherrett
Cyrano de Bergerac
1981
Roxanne
Stage musical;
directed by Richard Wherrett
Macbeth
1982
Lady Macbeth
Stage musical;
directed by Richard Wherrett[15]
The Perfectionist
Barbara
Stage musical;
written by David Williamson, directed by Rodney Fisher[16]
The Way of the World
1983
Millamant
Stage musical;
directed by Richard Wherrett
Present Laughter
Gussie
Theatre Royal Stage musical;
written by Noël Coward, directed by Richard Wherrett[17]
The Perfectionist
1984
Barbara
Sydney Opera House Stage musical
written by David Williamson, directed by Rodney Fisher[16]
The Perfect Mismatch
Wharf Theatre Stage musical;
writer and director
Heartbreak House
1985
Stage musical;
writer and director
Family Favourites
Stage musical;
writer and director
Mixed Doubles
1986
Queen Dollallola
Stage musical;
directed by Michael Scott-Mitchell[18]
The Seagull
Arkadina
Stage musical;
directed by Jean-Pierre Mignon[17]
Siesta in a Pink Hotel
1987
Stage musical;
writer and director
The Philadelphia Story
Sydney Opera House Stage musical;
writer and director[19]
Emerald City
Kate
Stage musical;
written by David Williamson, directed by Richard Wherrett
Tom & Viv
Viv
Stage musical;
directed by Aubrey Mellor
Woman in Mind
Susan
Stage musical;
written by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Richard Wherrett
Big and Little
1988
Lotte
Wharf Theatre Stage musical;
directed by Harald Clemen[20]
The Ham Funeral
1989
First Lady
Stage musical;
directed by Neil Armfield[21]
The Removalists
1991
Stage musical;
director
The Girl who saw Everything
1992
Stage musical;
director[22]
The Recruit
1999
Stage musical;
director
Corporate Vibes
Stage musical;
writer and director
The Great Man
2000
Sydney Opera House Stage musical;
director[23]
Life After George
Varius caracters
Stage musical;
written by David Williamson, directed by Rodney Fisher
A Cheery Soul
Miss Docker
Wharf Theatre Stage musical;
directed by Jim Sharman[24]
Old Masters
2001
Lillian Fromm
Stage musical;
directed by Benedict Andrews[25]
The Glass Menagerie
2002
Amanda Wingfield
Stage musical;
directed by Jennifer Flowers[26]
A Doll's House
Stage musical;
written by Henrik Ibsen[27]
Hanging Man
Stage musical
Major Barbara
2003
Stage musical
The Real Thing
Stage musical
The Breath of Life
Madeleine
Sydney Opera House Stage musical;
written by Sir David Hare, directed by Max Stafford-Clark[28]
Hedda Gabler
2004
Wharf Theatre Stage musical
Scenes from Separation
Stage musical
Summer Rain
2005
Stage musical
Boy Gets Girl
Stage musical
The Cherry Orchard
Ranyevskaya
Stage musical;
directed by Howard Davies[29]
Hedda Gabler
2006
Stage musical;[30]
Mother Courage and Her Children
Stage musical[31]
Love Lies Bleeding
2007
Toinette
Stage musical;
written by Don DeLillo, directed by Lee Lewis[32]
The Women of Troy
2008
Joan
Stage musical;
directed by Barrie Kosky[33]
The Year of Magical Thinking
2008-2009
Joan Didion
Stage musical;
written by Joan Didion, directed by Cate Blanchett[34]
Long Day's Journey into Night
2010
Mary Tyrone
Sydney Opera House Stage musical;
directed by Andrew Upton[35]
Suddenly Last Summer
2015
Mrs Venable
Wharf Theatre Stage musical;
directed by Kip Williams[36]
King Lear
Fool
Stage musical;
directed by Neil Armfield[37]

References

  1. ^ a b "Robyn Nevin: she who must be obeyed". The Sydney Morning Herald. 25 February 2006. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2007.
  2. ^ "Actress Robyn Nevin among locals awarded Queen's Birthday honour". ABC News. 8 June 2020. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  3. ^ Suzannah Pearce, ed. (2007). "Nevin, Robyn". Who's Who in Australia Live!. North Melbourne, Vic: Crown Content Pty Ltd.
  4. ^ The More Things Change... at IMDb
  5. ^ "Sydney Theatre Company". Sydneytheatre.com.au. Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  6. ^ "STC Magazine Archive: Robyn Nevin". Sydney Theatre Company. 13 November 2014. Archived from the original on 16 December 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  7. ^ Honeywill, Ross (2010). Wasted: The true story of Jim McNeil, violent criminal and brilliant playwright. Viking. ISBN 9781742531205.
  8. ^ "Memoirs of a mother divided" Archived 18 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine by Steve Dow, The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 February 2011
  9. ^ "1962–1965 Logie Awards". Australian Television. 30 October 1998. Archived from the original on 31 October 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  10. ^ "1966–1969 Logie Awards". Australian Television. 30 October 1998. Archived from the original on 31 October 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  11. ^ "Robyn Anne Nevin – Member of the Order of Australia", honours.pmc.gov.au
  12. ^ "Robyn Anne Nevin AM". It's An Honour. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Home – Events & Protocol – University of Tasmania, Australia" (PDF). Utas.edu.au. 4 May 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 September 2006. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  14. ^ "What's On". Australia Day. Archived from the original on 25 October 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  15. ^ Rayment, Colette (1982). Australasian Drama Studies; Vol. 1, Fasc. 1. St Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press. pp. 120–130.
  16. ^ a b Austlit. "The Perfectionist | AustLit: Discover Australian Stories". www.austlit.edu.au. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Archive: Robyn Nevin". Sydney Theatre Company. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  18. ^ "Archive: Michael Scott-Mitchell". Sydney Theatre Company. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  19. ^ "Archive: John Howard". Sydney Theatre Company. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  20. ^ "Archive: Big and Little, in 1988". Sydney Theatre Company. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  21. ^ "The Ham Funeral, The Wharf Theatre, Sydney, NSW, 14 November 1989". www.ausstage.edu.au. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  22. ^ Perkins, Elizabeth M. (1994). The Plays of Alma De Groen. Rodopi. ISBN 978-90-5183-764-3.
  23. ^ Austlit. "The Great Man | AustLit: Discover Australian Stories". www.austlit.edu.au. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  24. ^ "A Cheery Soul". www.ausstage.edu.au. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  25. ^ "Archive: Benedict Andrews – Old Masters, starring Jacki Weaver and Robyn Nevin". Sydney Theatre Company. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  26. ^ "The Glass Menagerie". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 October 2002. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  27. ^ "Archive: The Fiercest Women on Stage". Sydney Theatre Company. 3 June 2019. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  28. ^ "The Breath Of Life, STC". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 June 2003. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  29. ^ "The Cherry Orchard (2005)". Pamela-Rabe.com. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  30. ^ "About Hedda Gabler". Sydney Theatre Company. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  31. ^ Simmonds, Diana. "Mother Courage And Her Children". www.stagenoise.com. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  32. ^ "Love-Lies-Bleeding | Sydney Theatre Company". www.australianstage.com.au. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  33. ^ "The Women of Troy | Sydney Theatre Company". www.australianstage.com.au. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  34. ^ "The Year of Magical Thinking | STC". www.australianstage.com.au. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  35. ^ "Long Day's Journey Into Night | Sydney Theatre Company". www.australianstage.com.au. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  36. ^ "Suddenly Last Summer". Sydney Theatre Company. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  37. ^ "King Lear | Sydney Theatre Company". www.australianstage.com.au. Retrieved 30 December 2021.