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Live Performance Australia Hall of Fame
Welcome to the Live Performance Australia HALL of FAME.
Live Performance Australia, the peak body for Australia’s live entertainment and performing arts industry, has a history that stretches back to the closing days of the Great War. But our Hall of Fame goes back even further, back to the days when Australia was a collection of struggling British colonies far away from the bright lights of the West End and Broadway.
Australia has a rich history of live entertainment, but in these busy days it’s all-too-easy to lose sight of our performing arts history and the people who made it.
This virtual Hall of Fame is Live Performance Australia’s way of paying tribute to a remarkable collection of theatre people. In our Hall of Fame you’ll encounter actors and directors, playwrights and designers, singers and instrumentalists, comedians and dancers, circus performers and puppeteers, theatre architects and entrepreneurs, and even a critic or two. Some you’ll know, others not. But they’re all great people with great stories and we know you’ll enjoy meeting them.
Choosing them wasn’t easy, so we set up an expert committee to advise us. They came up with an initial eighty nominees. To them we’ve added with the winners of the James Cassius Williamson Awards that we’ve been presenting annually since 1998, recognising living individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the performing arts in Australia.
So what you’ll find here is a gallery of remarkable achievers, men and women who have added significantly to our performing arts history and heritage.
We are all the richer for their contributions, and we invite them, through our virtual Hall of Fame, to spend a little more time in the spotlight, and to take another well-deserved bow.
Chief Executive, Live Performance Australia
Frank Van Straten
Official Historian, Live Performance Australia
1892 - 1954
Mo was born Henry (‘Harry’) van der Sluys in Adelaide on 15 February 1891, the son of a Dutch cigar maker. He never wanted to be anything but a performer. He started his entertainment career as a precocious amateur in competitions at the Adelaide markets. Against his family’s wishes, he made his professional debut at the Theatre Royal in a 1905 production of Sinbad the Sailor. >> Read more
1878 - 1970
Born in Liverpool on 9 February 1878, Wilkie made his stage debut in 1899 as an extra in A Lady of Quality at the Comedy Theatre in London. His aptitude for Shakespeare soon won him roles in touring companies headed by Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Ben Greet and Frank Benson. In 1905 he formed his own company and toured England, South Africa, India, China and Japan. >> Read more
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