General

“I’ve read Homer in translation many times, The Iliad and The Odyssey.  Yet I have never before experienced them as they were meant to be experienced, read aloud and in the open.
It was a beautiful warm summer’s day in Melbourne’s MPavillion… And as the rosy fingers of morning spread across the Queen Victoria Gardens so began the read of Homer’s epic tale of wandering and homecoming. …Hearing Homer read aloud, effectively in an amphitheatre, brought to mind the thought that this is how these epics should be experienced, with great readers, enthralling their listeners.
The readers brought together people for all ages, captivated by this unique performance. I even spied national treasure Barry Jones and present day muse Dave Graney in the attentive audience, highlighting the relevance of Homer across the generations. …Lying beneath the shade of the trees, with the moving words, heavy with meaning, of the various readers floating through the space, was a truly magical experience.”
Neos Kosmos, December 2018

“For Stork Theatre, power, love, war and betrayal are all grist to the mill. Can murder be justified? Does rationalism lead to pitilessness? The company relishes an engagement with the big questions of philosophy and has built an audience that is unafraid to tackle them”
The Australian, April 2010

“The Stork Theatre has relocated from its longtime venue in the Stork Hotel in Elizabeth Street, to the Alliance Française. The lines of sight in the space were not always perfect, and the seating was fairly basic, but there was something fundamentally and nakedly theatrical about the wonderful productions we saw there.”
The Age Melbourne Magazine, April 2009

“[Stork Hotel’s] front bar became a favourite with workers at the Victoria Market, students and backpackers, while the venue’s theatre attracted Melbourne’s arts community.”
The Age, December 2007

“Finally, there were the mesmerizing cadences of Helen Morse reading Homer at the Stork Hotel, a venue that publican Helen Madden made special and whose closure is a minor tragedy.
Next year brings renewal, however, as the Stork becomes a phoenix in a new venture of Madden’s. Let the sun shine on it and the rest of the theatrical world in 2008”
The Age EG, December 2007

“For years, the back room at The Stork Hotel has been a theatrical salon, a space where great works of literature are translated to the stage. Under producer Helen Madden, it has developed a reputation for ambitious, intellectually stimulating theatre.”
The Age, November 2007

“The Stork Hotel has turned a saloon into a salon. Within a few years, a unique personality has emerged in this pub’s theatre, and there’s a clear commitment to quality productions of quality scripts.”
Herald Sun, August 2007

“Stork’s Camus Festival, featuring The Fall, The Outsider and The Plague, made for philosophical drama so intellectually challenging that it screams to be programmed at a larger venue.”
The Age, January 2007

“University in the Pub, once a month… it’s going from strength to strength.
At Wednesday night’s discussion on intelligent design, people overflowed, the chairs lined the walls. The crowding had one benefit; no one could go out to the bar, though regulars had prepared for this by buying several bottles of wine in advance. The audience was stacked with supporters of science who disagreed increasingly passionately as they raised and lowered their elbows, but some of their opponents suffered similarly, as did some of the merely curious. Debate, always good natured, went nearly an hour over time.”
The Age, February 2006

“The Stork Hotel is renowned for stage adaptations of literary classics. It has hosted works based on Homer, Proust, Camus and Marguerite Duras”
The Age, 2006

“The Stork has presented a sizeable number of theatrical adaptations over the past few years… the production of La Douleur was picked up for a Malthouse Theatre production on the strength of its showing at the hotel. Besides theatre, the venue regularly hosts philosophy dinners, book readings, live music and open forums. Or you can watch the footy.”
The Sunday Age, June 2006

“Together, it’s a complete cultural experience at Melbourne’s little storehouse of treasure.”
The Age, ‘Stork due to deliver’ 6 May 2005

“This is the third in a series of classic epics that have been presented at the Stork in the past two years, and good word of mouth has seen the event gain a devoted following”
The Age, August 2005 on Dido and Aeneas

“I sat in the l-shaped room of The Stork amongst one of the most diverse audiences I’ve experienced in Melbourne. Every age group was there and from every part of Melbourne. It was packed. I recommend it.”
Peter Clark, ABC Radio 2004 on The Fall

Critical Acclaim for Stork Theatre Productions

2018

The Odyssey: a 12-hour Adventure Marathon

“One of the most ambitious and exciting theatre and literary events to have ever taken place in the city”
Neos Kosmos, December 2018

2016

The Outsider by Albert Camus

“… stunning performance”
Music and Arts Review
“There’s no question Ray Chong Nee is an extremely gifted performer…”
The Age, February 2016

2013

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

“brilliant”
The Age, June 2013
“5 stars… A highlight of the year. One of the 10 best in Melbourne for 2013”
Time Out Magazine

2011

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

“Annie Last’s Karenina is charged with dangerous passion”
The Age, June 2011
“as ambitious as it was impressive”
The Age Melbourne Magazine

Simone De Beauvoir by Judith Armstrong

“Caroline Lee’s trademark thoughtfulness and gravitas are evident”
The Age, August 2011

Helen by Euripides

“the poetry, when it comes, is heady and breathtaking”
The Australian, October 2011

2010

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

“4 out of 5 stars. …yet another admirable production from Stork Theatre”
The Age, April 2010
“4 out of 5 stars”
Herald Sun, April 2010
“Unmissable”
Allison Croggan Theatre Blog

The Red and the Black by Stendhal

“4 ½ out of 5 stars. A theatrical triumph.
…Colin Duckworth’s script redacts the action preserving the author’s sharp quips and irony-laden social satire. But it’s the tension between passion and intellectual analysis that occupies center stage.
…I’ve always thought Kendall was talented, but this performance generates the awe that one feels in the presence of inspired acting.”
The Age, June 2010
“4 out of 5 stars”
Herald Sun, June 2010

2009

Who Killed Emma Bovary? adapted by Colin Duckworth

“Duckworth condenses the main thrust of the narrative into fast-paced theatre with sensitivity and skill….a charismatic performance”
The Age, May 2009

The Outsider by Albert Camus

“a standing ovation”
3MBS Radio
“a new production of Duckworth’s lucidly direct and simple translation”
The Age Melbourne Magazine, July 2006

Razing Hypatia by Jane Montgomery Griffiths

“splendid and scarifying”
3MBS Radio
“a brilliant performer”
Philip Adams, ABC Radio National
“[Griffiths’] performance is mesmerizing”
Arts Hub, August 2009

The Battle for Troy by Homer

“Riveting”
3MBS Radio

2007

Marcel and Albertine: Proust on Love after Marcel Proust. Adapted by Colin Duckworth

“4 out of 5 stars
…Valente’s restrained, subtle direction intelligently lets the script do its work.
…Both are fine performances, and they also evoke an important quality of the characters and their situation; they’re funny.”
The Sunday Age, March 2007
“[Duckworth] hones in on the great love affair between Marcel and Albertine to produce a skilled and dramatically supple two-hand… [his] lively appreciation of Proust’s comedy shines through.
…There are no performances like those we put on for those closest to us, and Marcel & Albertine opens a window on to the most personal performance of all”
The Age, March 2007

The Lover by Marguerite Duras

“4 out of 5 stars
…a monstrously gripping performance that the audience is left a little ravished”
John Bailey, The Age, July 2007
…Kendall is extraordinary. Magnetic, versatile, full of presence, her performance is forged in erotic fire, and tempered in the sadness that Aristotle said comes after it.”
The Age, July 2007

The Plague by Albert Camus (Return season)

“4 out of 5 stars
…a terrific monologue that commendably channels the essence of its source material into a finely tuned theatrical experience”
The Sunday Age, August 2007
“Colin Duckworth’s script gives [Mulraney] superb ammunition. Though it tells a dark tale of thousands dying of plague, the script is delightful- playful and resonant”
Herald Sun, August 2007

Sappho by Jane Montgomery Griffiths

“Audacious and entertaining…
This production doesn’t attempt to define Sappho so much as enable her to fully express her multiple selves”
The Age, November 2007

The Iliad by Homer

“Morse’s characterisations are perfectly nuanced, her cadences beautifully weighted.
…Mullinar brings an immediacy to Priam’s grief, and Kendall clearly relishes the chance to work with such a good script”
The Age, May 2007

The Odyssey by Homer. Adapted by Dennis Pryor

“Helen Morse anchors the reading with her lustrous cadences”
The Age, July 2007

2006

THE CAMUS FESTIVAL

“Stork’s Camus Festival made for philosophical drama so intellectually challenging that it screams to be programmed at a larger venue”
The Age, 1 January 2007

The Fall by Camus (staged at Stork Hotel and at the Holmes a` Court Gallery, Perth)

“Drew Tingwell gives a staggering performance as the eloquent antihero.
…Camus’ words leap from the page like assassins from shadow.
…This is theatre at its most brilliant and evocative.”
The Age, June 2006

The Outsider by Albert Camus

“4 out of 5 stars
…This is a marvelous production, the very sparseness of which confronts its audience with some unpalatable but fundamental truths”
The Sunday Age, August 2006
“an authoritative interpretation of the material that never fails to be enriching, minutely conceived and intricate in its textual engagement”
The Age, August 2006

The Plague by Albert Camus

“Adrian Mulraney radiates the sort of magnetic serenity usually attributed to saints.
…a virulent strain of theatre that cannot fail to infect its audience with thought”
The Age, October 2006

2005

The Outsider by Albert Camus

“This fine production continues the Stork’s excellent productions of intellectually challenging dramatic works”
The Age April 2005
“4 out of 5 stars
…Duckworth has extruded the crystalline beauty of Camus’ style, its adamant attention to the importance of bodily life.
Matt Kelly does some remarkable work …His timing and emotional control are well-nigh impeccable. He is a pleasure to watch and listen to.”
The Sunday Age, May 2005

2004

La Douleur: The War by Marguerite Duras

“The performance is shockingly intimate in its revelations of an emotional state almost beyond words.
This is war viewed from inside one human heart, in a process that illuminates large-scale horrors visited on millions. This is another outstanding collaborative dramatisation from Strangio and Lee”
The Age, April 2004

2003

The Fall by Albert Camus

“…the performance is marvelous, the text fascinating.
Publican and producer Helen Madden is establishing the Stork Hotel as an interesting venue for what might be called a theatre of ideas.”
The Age, August 2003
“A more appropriate setting for Camus’ tale could not be imagined – the tale is that of a troubled man questioning his recent inaction after hearing someone fall into a river. The atmosphere of self-doubt and crisis finds its counterweight in the warm pub environment, giving the impression of a soulful and intimate confession from a stranger with a drink”
The Age, August 2003

1987

The Bacchae by Euripides. Directed by Terzopoulos

“The six actors, stripped to the waist, use their finely-tuned bodies create a taut, athletic and sometimes hypnotic piece of theatre, bold in its design and symbolism and imaginative in its effects. No-one could accuse it of being either old-fashioned or museum theatre.”
The Age, March 1987
“Those extraordinary performances remain etched in my memory, and it’s no exaggeration to say their resonances still influence how I think.
Terzopoulos was the first artist to show me how powerful theatre can be.”
Alison Croggon, The Australian, 16 January 2010

1984

Iphigenia in Aulis by Euripides

“As the audience sits in the temporary amphitheater that has been erected in a clearing by the river, the river itself is used as part of the play’s setting.
…It is an atmosphere-charged moment when dusk is falling, the first scene opens and the dirt stage is bare. All the audience can make out is the sound of singing voices, carried from far off.
As the voices move closer they are accompanied by the hypnotic sound of water swishing and as the audience peers through the parting in the trees, it can see canoes coming around the bend. They carry the messengers, who pull in by the stage and disembark…”
The Sun, February 1984
“Meredith Rodgers’ production is lively, inventive and idiomatic without being overly simplified”
The Age, February 1984

“Iphigenia in Aulis is a wonderful production.

…The Epidavros Festival is an opportunity for Melbourne audiences to see Greek classics performed outdoors and to experience the magic of open air theatre.
…It’s a beautiful setting and on a summer night you get a glimpse of what it might have been like to be in Epidavros seeing the plays for the first time. The formality of sitting in a seat in a darkened room is replaced by an atmosphere of conviviality. The panorama forms the setting for the plays. Reality and imagination merge and there is an inherent sense of excitement.
…The river setting is a perfect backdrop for Iphigenia in Aulis.
A marvelous sense of theatricality pervades the whole production.”
The Melbourne Times, February 1984
“Although many may not have understood the [Greek] dialogue, the sheer vitality, so typical of Greek sensibility, offered all the entertainment necessary.
…The organisers of Epidavros deserve applause for providing such an enjoyable evening that catered to many levels.”
The Leader, February 1984

Ecclesiasouzi by Aristophanes

“an unrepentantly, high-spirited comedy”
The Age, February 1984

1983

EPIDAVROS SUMMER FESTIVAL 1983

“Sitting by the Yarra bank at Fairfield, Melbourne people can enjoy an evening of open-air theatre as it was presented in the theatre at Epidauros (near Corinth) in ancient Greece.
…The Epidavros Summer Festival was held last year. It was successful enough to stage again as a ‘bridge’ between ‘old’ Australians and the 300,000 Greek Australians now living in this country (our largest minority after Italians)”
The Sun, January 1984
“It was a riotous light-hearted romp, part of the Northcote Epidavros outdoor theatre festival which finished its 11 night run last Saturday.
Lysistrata seemed the most popular, but dedicated theatre goers did not desert the Greek language performance of Medea, following the action with the help of an English paperback translation”
The Leader, March 1983

Lysistrata by Aristophanes

“Gary Down’s production in English, with Suzanne Dudley heading the professional cast, is a romp, followed in complete contrast by Euripides’ tragedy ‘Medea’ in modern Greek”
…needs no knowledge of Greek to appreciate the splendid all-round ability of the cast and the sensitive contribution of the Chorus who reflected the ebb and flow of the action like the waves of a turbulent sea”
The Herald, March 1983
“Greek plays shine under the stars…
Juxtaposing these two plays in different languages and with completely opposed styles, is a bold move. It is demanding on its audience but it is a stimulating approach to staging and popularizing Greek for a wider section of the community”
The Age, March 1983

Medea by Euripides

“This is altogether a gripping performance…”
The Weekend Australian. March 1983

FAIRFIELD AMPHITHEATRE & EPIDAVROS SUMMER FESTIVAL

“With the opening of Epidavros Theatre by the banks of the Yarra, Northcote has undoubtedly become the envy of countless municipalities.
Northcote Council has sponsored the venue as part of Northcote’s centenary celebrations. As the major ethnic groups in Northcote are Greek and Italian it is fitting that their rich cultural heritage is reflected in the festivities.
…No expense has been spared to make sure that this first season of classical theatre is an experience to remember. At the time of writing, there have been full houses at every performance.”
Northern News ‘Epidavros Theatre: Athenian Rebirth in Fairfield”, March 1983