Tag Archives: Pamela Rabe

Hugo Weaving Wins Helpmann Award For STC Endgame; The Dressmaker To Premiere at TIFF, Art of Music Photos

Though Hugo Weaving has been on an extended, well-earned break since STC’s Waiting For Godot wrapped up its London run, his projects– past and future– continue to make the news. Here’s a rundown of all that’s happened since  my last update.

2015 Helpmann Awards

Hugo Weaving with Tom Budge in STC’s production of Endgame earlier ths year. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

After years of snubs (sometimes of not even being nominated) the Helpmann Awards, given annually for Australian stage productions including theatre, dance, concert and opera, finally did the right thing, awarding Hugo Weaving Best Actor in A Play for his performance as Hamm in STC’s production of Endgame earlier this year. Hugo did not attend the July 27 ceremony, so his Endgame director and friend Andrew Upton claimed the award on his behalf. Hugo frequently avoids awards shows and the Helpmanns rarely recognized his work, so I wasn’t surprised he had other places to be, though it would have been nice to hear Hugo’s thoughts on the honor or have some new pics… as fans we’re more than used to him having other priorities than celebrity-driven red carpet galas. 😉 In addition to Upton, Cate Blanchett and Hugo’s former collaborators Kip Williams (Macbeth) and Pamela Rabe (God of Carnage, Les Liaisons Dangereuses) were on hand. You can view red carpet photos of the event at The Guardian and The Daily Mail; news reports covering the Helpmanns are available at Stage Whispers, The Sydney Morning Herald,The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The AustralianThe AU Review, Sydneyland, ABC.net and Contact Music.     Most of these just list Hugo’s name and honor without citing a reason for his absence.  A few include Lisa Tomasetti’s Endgame performance photos or random press photos from earlier events.

via Helpmann Awards twitter feed

You can read Andrew Upton’s comments explaining why arts funding, particularly of small-to-medium sized theatres, is essential at the Herald Sun. As Upton says, “That’s where the next Hugo Weaving and Samuel Beckett come from”

Speaking of Beckett, don’t forget that BBC2’s Artsnight will air a special Beckett themed episode on July 31 at 11pm (GMT) in which host Richard Wilson will interview Hugo Weaving and Lisa Dwan about their participation in The Barbican’s Beckett Festival this summer. The program will then go up on the BBC’s website for streaming. More details at The Telegraph. Ideally this should include footage from the Barbican production of STC’s Waiting for Godot, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The Dressmaker Slated For TIFF World Premiere Gala

Yet another of Hugo’s projects will hve its global premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The Dressmaker, costarring Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth and Sarah Snook, will be showcased in a gala premiere this September. (The festival begins 10 September, specific screening times TBD.) The film follows Hugo’s earlier projects Little Fish (2005), Cloud Atlas (2012) and Mystery Road (2013) at TIFF; Hugo attended the first two. He’s likely to appear this year too unless a project comes up which prevents him from doing so. (So far he has announced no new film or stage projects and has previously stated he’ll be taking an extended break from theatre to explore possible independent film projects.)

Most entertainment news sites simply list the film’s synopsis and the fact it will be featured in its own gala presentation. You’ll want to keep an eye on TIFF’s page for the film as more details become available in weeks to come.  More at ComingSoon.net, Entertainment Weekly, The Huffington Post and The Guardian, among many others.

More Photos of Hugo Weaving at Art Of Music Live 2015

Art of Music’s Facebook page has shared some additional new photos of Hugo Weaving alongside Simon Baker and Jenny Morris at the July 16 charity fundraiser, which has been Hugo’s only public appearance this summer. All were taken by Trini Cromie Photography.

Hugo walks the red carpet at The Art of Music Live, 16 July 2015. Photo (plus three others) Trini Cromie/Art of Music Facebook

L to R: Jenny Morris, Simo Baker, Hugo Weaving onstage at Art of Music 2015

In Other Hugo Weaving News

Finally, some American Hugo fans will finally have a chance to see Healing on the big screen as the film will be featured in a special Australians In Film screenings in New York (Aug 14) and Los Angeles (Aug 7) next month. More details and info on how to RSVP for tickets at Australians in Film’s website. I’m desperately trying to arrange attending the NYC event after feeling burned I missed out on Strangerland’s pathetically minuscule US cinematic release. (Still hoping for second-run or college screens to help me out on that issue…)

Speaking of Strangerland, I am still trying to fit in a second screening of the film before composing a review. Again, a proper theatrical viewing would be optimal, but US distributors seem intent on disappointing me time after time in that regard. We’ll have to see if The Dressmaker finally breaks that pattern, but I’m sick to death of arthouse screens being wasted on mid-budget American films that are being shunted there so superheroes and CG dinosaurs can hog ALL the screens at mall cineplexes.  I still highly recommend the film, and highly recommend that fans NOT waste any time reading snotty negative reviews or Twitter comments about the film, as most seem to have been written by juveniles with short attention spans.

Ivan Sen and Aaron Pedersen recently completed filming Goldstone, the sequel/offshoot to Mystery Road, in June. (Hugo’s character Johnno won’t be featured because… well, see the first film). But the new film co-stars Jacki Weaver, David Gulpilil and David Wenham, and should provide riveting viewing in its own right. You can see production photos and news reports at the film’s Facebook page.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses Closes, Sydney Film Festival, The Hobbit, Last Ride’s US Distribution

Note: This is an archived entry that’s over two years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material.

Hugo Weaving’s play Les Liaisons Dangereuses had its final performance on June 9, and since then Hugo’s been seen at the Sydney Film Festival (where he’s a Patron) on a near-daily basis. He’s mostly evaded photographers, as he’s not promoting his own work this year, but he was kind enough to pose on the red carpet for King of Swine, a gritty South Korean animated film:

Photo by Cynthia Scibberas, courtesy SFF’s Facebook page

Hugo will probably be heavily into rehearsals for the New York reprisal of STC’s Uncle Vanya soon, but I’m glad the timing worked out for him to relax at the SFF first. Those who couldn’t get enough of Liaisons can read a final batch of reviews from We All Have Got Knives, Concrete Playground and Julia Dibley-Hall, and I have an unexpected but wonderful special treat from one of my friends in Sydney who attended several performances– some scans of the Liaisons theatre programme! (See below the cut). STC’s programmes have become legendary over the years for their lavish photos, and wealth of academic and production detail. I’ve managed to acquire a few over the years and they put many US programs (and the sorry Washington DC Playbill for Uncle Vanya) to shame. So enjoy these, and remember that my friend Yvette is the source, to whom I am eternally grateful.

Note: While I’m happy for fans to download photos from my Flickr Archive for their personal use, please don’t repost anything from it without crediting me and particularly the original source/source publication/photographer, and don’t crop photos out of context and repost them without this information. I’ve had a lot of problems recently with people doing this, and it can get me in trouble with my sources (and be a source of great frustration to other fans who actually want to know when and under what circumstances a photo was taken.) Most of the people who comment and check in here regularly (and thoughtful fansites like Random Scribblings) aren’t my source of contention, and I feel bad even having to bring this up, knowing the “guilty parties” probably won’t read it, but this had to be said.

Again, credit for these goes to Yvette. Who should be thanked by Hugo in person for being so nice.

Oh, wait! She was.  🙂

Of course, Hugo hasn’t entirely forsaken his film career for the theatre; he’ll be appearing in Cloud Atlas and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey this December. Hugo hasn’t participated in any reshoots for The Hobbit as yet, but the window for doing so (at least during the current production block) is narrowing. Most of you have already seen Peter Jackson‘s latest Production Video (#7), which focuses on a rip-roaringly entertaining tour of Stone Street Studios, where the film shoot is gradually drawing to a close after more than a year. (Again, that’s minus any reshoots… and we all know how much Peter Jackson loves reshoots.) 😉 In case anyone missed it, or wants another look, here it is:

Also recently announced was the film’s official premiere date, which will be in Wellington, NZ (of course) this November 28.  The film will then launch in Europe, the US and the rest of the world over the course of December (with many countries getting their first look December 12-14.) Check IMDb for more details. And you can’t go wrong with TheOneRing.net for day to day up dates on all things Hobbit and LOTR. 😉

Alas, there were no new glimpses of Elrond/Hugo in the current video, just this look at The Fellowship of The Ring behind the scenes in 2000:

Finally, some good news for US fans who’ve been waiting for years for an official US release for Hugo’s 2009 film Last Ride, directed by Glendyn Ivins. The film was well-received in its Australian release and has long been available on DVD there and in Germany, but apart from a pair of screenings at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art in April 2011, it has never been released in the US. It features some of Hugo’s most visceral and personal work, and he’s mentioned it among a handful of his favorite performances. Music Box Films has acquired the US distribution rights, and the film will finally open theatrically on June 29 in Chicaco at the Music Box Theater. More cities may be added later– keep checking Music Box’s Last Ride page, and add your city’s zip code in the space provided if you want to bug them to bring it to your local arthouse. 😉 A DVD will surely follow; I have no specifics yet, but Music Box has a DVD distribution arm and a solid record. (They distributed the Swedish version of the Dragon Tattoo trilogy in the US, and more recently The Deep Blue Sea, starring Rachel Weisz.) I’ll keep you posted as new details emerge; you can also reserve a copy in your Saved queue at Netflix.

UPDATE: Twitch Film now clarifies that Last Ride will have a VOD (Video On Demand) release simultaneous to its Chicago premiere on June 29, followed by a theatrical release in New York City (and presumably other locations) on June 6. Still no word on a DVD/Blu-Ray, but I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, check your cable/VOD listings and keep bugging your local arthouse to book this film! 😉

Hugo Weaving in Talks For STC’s Waiting for Godot; Cloud Atlas Updates

Note: This is an archived entry that’s over two years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material.

First some exciting breaking news: Hugo mentioned that he was in talks to return to Sydney Theatre Company next year in his recent Elissa Blake interview, but was coy about naming the play he had his eye on. Now the STC’s codirectors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton have let the cat out of the bag: they’re planning a new production of Samuel Beckett’s classic existential farce/tragedy Waiting For Godot, to costar Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh as Vladimir and Estragon. The two will first reprise their roles in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, coming to New York City’s Lincoln Center in July. (Tickets are still available!)  Blanchett and Upton disclosed the exciting news in a promotional interview for Uncle Vanya in Gotham Magazine. Though they’re planning on leaving their roles as STC’s co-artistic directors after next season, it sounds like they want to exit on a high note after four years of superlative work and a greater commitment to touring STC’s productions abroad. The new production of Godot would be directed by Tamás Ascher, who did such revelatory work on Vanya. Here’s an excerpt from the Gotham piece:

Andrew Upton: Because I am in and out of the rehearsal room, I started to have this fantasy of Hugo [Weaving] and Richard [Roxburgh] playing [Waiting for Godot’s] Vladimir and Estragon because there was something about the way Tamás, particularly in the fourth act, was creating this atmosphere between Vanya and Astrov that really reminded me of a Beckett-ian situation. At the same time, Tamás was saying to both of them that one day they should play Vladimir and Estragon together because they would be perfect in those roles. We put those twos and twos together, and we are in talks to invite Tamás back next year to direct both Hugo and Richard as Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot, which I think will be a really beautiful culmination of the relationship that those three have formed artistically.

Cate Blanchett: The wonderful thing about Hugo and Richard—and this often doesn’t happen in Uncle Vanya—is that Richard is an actor who has played Hamlet. He is a hero, a leading man, and often Vanya is cast as a misanthropic, no-hope kind of figure. To have two heroes, men who could have walked the same path but made slightly different choices and somehow ended up in the same place, is fascinating. Initially when speaking to them about Vanya, we discovered that they had been talking years ago about playing it and swapping roles each night because, really, even though I think Richard is perfect casting as Vanya, there is a sense that he could also play Astrov. That is something that Tamás really worked with in the way he built the relationship between the two men.”

Of course, Hugo is currently finishing up his run in STC’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses, costarring Pamela Rabe and Justine Clarke. It runs through June 12, at which point Hugo will probably transition immediately into rehearsals for Vanya‘s New York run. The “independent Australian film” to possibly follow– also teased in the Blake interview— remains a mystery for now. 😉

Hugo Weaving and Pamela Rabe in Les Liaisons Dangereuses; photo by Brett Boardman

Hugo’s next-released film project is, of course, Cloud Atlas. The film has received several test screenings, including a buzzed-about preview at the Cannes Film Festival which secured the film some international distribution and a December 6 release date in the US. (Yes, one week before The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey bows. December will be a gonzo month for Hugo fans.) 😉 You can read more details (and speculation) at IndieWire, /Film, FirstShowing.net, Film Thrasher and PNN.de. The film (shown in an unfinished, pre-SFX rough cut) was approved for release in its current 2 hour 44 minute edit… that and the Oscar Bait release date suggest Warner Bros. has a great deal of confidence in the film’s prospects. No new details about Hugo’s characters have slipped out, nor have any specific comments or reviews from people who attended these screenings emerged– probably a good thing at this stage. Hugo has has been generally very enthusiastic about the project, and does plan to attend premieres when it’s released… something he hasn’t done for every high-profile film he’s appeared in lately.

Hugo has praised the work of German character actors who’ve been given supporting roles in the mammoth production, which was mostly filmed at Berlin’s famed Studio Babelsberg… one of these actors, Götz Otto, has now returned the compliment in this interview with Matt J Horn… alas, he doesn’t give us any juicy new intel on the film. 😉

Hugo Weaving and Halle Berry filming Cloud Atlas in Glasgow last September; Pacific Coast News photo

Finally, Hugo fans of an academic bent will want to check out two recent podcasts which discuss his work. The first, is Sydney Theatre’s “Tomcast” featuring  STC Associate Director Tom Wright discussing the current production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The second is ABC Radio’s recent “Sunday School” podcast about Hugo’s 2004 film The Old Man Who Read Love Stories, costarring Richard Dreyfuss and Timothy Spall. (Hugo played the deliciously decadent dentist Rubicondo– one of his great unsung performances, in my opinion.) The film’s director Rolf de Heer is among those interviewed. Neither podcast features Hugo himself commenting, but they both provide in-depth, unique insights into some of his more intriguing roles.

And don’t forget that Hugo’s award-winning 2011 film Oranges and Sunshine, costarring Emily Watson and David Wenham, will finally be available on DVD (and Netflix) in the US on June 26!

Photo by Mark Rodgers, 2009
…And I couldn’t resist sharing this great Last Ride promo photo, taken for the cover of Inside Film.

UPDATE: The print version of Sydney Morning Herald’s article about Hugo and Cate Blanchett’s Helen Hayes Awards for Uncle Vanya has now been added to my Flickr Archive; text is the same as the online version, but the photo of Hugo is a little bigger. 😉

The Latest Liaisons Reviews; A Few More STC Photo Session Pics

Note: This is an archived entry that’s over two years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material.

Here are excerpts from and links to the latest round of reviews for Sydney Theatre Company’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses, starring Hugo Weaving, Pamela Rabe and Justine Clarke. Though the “professional critics” generally saw the production during its first week, interesting insights continue to pour in from bloggers, journalists and theatre fans. The vast majority of reviews (including all I’ve seen this week) continue to be very positive.

I’m also sharing a few new photos from a recent session Hugo did for photographer Jane Dempster; a few of these appeared with The Australian‘s profile and interview last month, but as usual many more images were taken and not published; arguably some of these are as good or better than those that made the cut. Unfortunately, I’ve only found heavily watermarked copies thusfar… I was able to painstakingly clean a couple of them before my computer died last week, but since then I’ve been unable to access the others, and some had Hugo’s entire face obscured, so I couldn’t do very much with them. But I hope to share at least a few more at the beginning of next month when my computer is (I hope) back in service. Meanwhile I hope you enjoy these. I know they’re not ideal, but shouldn’t be hidden in some press archive.

I should also note that I’ll be away for the next eight days or so, probably with minimal internet access of any kind; I promise to compile any breaking Hugo News and post it here once I return. The Helen Hayes Awards will be announced Monday evening (in Washington DC); Hugo was nominated along with his Uncle Vanya castmates Cate Blanchett, Hayley McElhinney and Richard Roxburgh for performances in a “non-resident production”– here’s hoping for multiple wins.

Photo: Jane Dempster

Gay News Network: “…make no mistake: this is an intensely interesting production. This cast is a cracker. Pamela Rabe and Hugo Weaving are beautifully matched opponents. I felt watching Rabe I might be watching the Merteuil of a lifetime. She is always intriguing and never comes close to sentimentalising this fine-minded, manipulative sexual predator. And Weaving as Valmont proves to be virtuoso of persuasion.”

Silent Champagne: “…I just found it simply riveting to watch how Pamala lying down on the sofa, softly caressing around Hugo’s arms and the gental-kind-remorseful-fervent-mixed loving look they shared. Pamela Rabe is the perfect actor for role of Merteuil, I have to admit, although I could keep seeing Cate Blanchett’s double illusion before my eyes…
If I could describe the play in 3 words, it should be: BEAUTIFUL, SERENE and WOEFUL…I’m seduced”

Photo: Jane Dempster

House of Paradox: “” LEFT ME FEELING … Entertained, it was witty and juicy and surprising. Although I would have loved to see it in period costume, how amazing that would have been – how visually theatrical. And, fascinated by the life of actors – Hugo as Vicomte Valmont, kisses three different women… in every show.”

Still Auditioning For Life: “Everything about this production was superb, the acting, the set, the costumes, the everything. there was one man who you couldn’t take your eyes off though.  He was enigmatic, brilliant, and always in the very moment he was supposed to be in.  this actor happens to be a very famous Aussie actor, some may even go so far as to say a ‘film star’.  But that didn’t matter.  I (and nor did my friend) sit there and only see a film star.  We saw an actor who had such stage presence that we couldn’t look away from him.  You wanted to constantly know what he was doing,  or what he was going to do next.”

Photo: Jane Dempster


More Liaisons Photos and Reviews

Note: This is an archived entry that’s over two years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material.

Thanks to all my friends and readers for their patience as I’ve dealt with a major computer meltdown here. My machine is now in the shop for diagnostics and (hopefully) repairs, and until I get it back in working order, my online sessions will be somewhat limited and curtailed, as I’m borrowing computers from friends and relatives who don’t have my files and software in place.

Fortunately, though, I can still share links and photos, and will do so whenever the opportunity presents itself. Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton continues to draw sellout crowds and new rave reviews. I’ll post a selection of the latest bunch below, but first I’ll alert you that there’s a great slideshow of new and previously seen photos from the play over on Australian Stage Online. All photos (including the pair below) are by Brett Boardman.

Time Out Sydney: “”The play’s most extravagant warrior/player is the rake Valmont (Hugo Weaving), who is the sexual equivalent of a guerilla. But the master strategist is his ex-lover Merteuil (Pamela Rabe), who plays her cards very close to her breasts. The young lovers they manipulate like pawns, under the guise of assistance and training, are the novice Cécile (Geraldine Hakewill) and the space cadet Danceny (James Mackay)… The small semi-circular theatre of Wharf 1 helps build intimacy (perhaps even complicity) with the audience; a larger venue would have returned more revenue but at an artistic loss… The twin necessities of translating from page to stage and from French to English proved a fertile mother of invention; Hampton invented a remarkable language with the complex syntax of 18th century French over a contemporary vocabulary from our present age of international English. The text combines the wit of Wilde for its comedy and the bite of Albee for its tragedy. In the mouth of a mediocre actor such long sentences could be confusing and cumbersome; in the deep and perfectly modulated voices of Rabe and Weaving they are a delight to hear and a pleasure to interpret.”

Justine Clarke with Hugo Weaving (in mirror)

ArtsHub: ” “With his fabulous cast and excellent creative team, director Sam Strong brings us a magnificent production – fluid, almost conematic – that enthralls, horrifies and has you on the edge of your seat. De Laclos’ book, upon which Hampton’s play is based, was first published in 1782. The play, full of ironic, almost Wildean wit, was written in 1985… Pamela Rabe as the ruthless Marquise is magnificent, thrillingly cruel and powerful, elegant and poised in her silver bobbed hair. As the satyr-like and charming but aging rake, the Vicomte, Hugo Weaving is superb: hypnotic and devilishly desirable, an aristocratic Don Juan…. Only rarely are you able to see such an intricate, multi-layered production featuring such fine acting from the entire ensemble.”

Hugo Weaving

PagesDigital: “I’m partial to negative reviews. Purges the body and all that. Unfortunately, Sydney Theatre Company’s Les Liaisans Dangereuses gives me nothing to work with. The play, which was penned by Christopher Hampton in 1984, and is based on the 18th century scratchings of Choderlos de Laclos, is disappointingly brilliant and troublingly good. It is a lavish and engaging exploration of the libertine excess of pre-revolutionary France, performed by an unobligingly incredible cast that includes the likes of Hugo Weaving, Pamela Rabe and Heather Mitchell…. Hugo Weaving has been well cast as the plays philandering, scheming, misogynist Viscomte de Valmont. His performance delivers much of the energy, charm and humour of the production. His accomplice, played by Pamela Rabe, is similarly striking as the caustic and manipulative Marquise de Merteuil…. Hampton’s script is witty, honest and fresh, blending a modern accessible style with 18th century syntax. The stage is similarly well put together with the entirety of the drama unfolding within a single room of the house. This, and the theatre’s limited seating, make for an intimate setting.Les Liaisons Dangereuses will be showing at Sydney Theatre Company’s wharf theatre until 9 June 2012.Get involved.”  (Wonderfully cheeky, and further proof Australian critics don’t just hand out accolades.) 😉

Finally, there’s a bit more about Hugo’s Best Supporting Actor win at the Film Critics’ Circle of Australia Awards at Screen Daily.