Staging the Audience: The Sydney Front - screener

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Staging the Audience: The Sydney Front

Year: 2012, 68 mins
Code: CGR-Sydney
ISBN: 978-1-922007-28-5

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Over the course of the seven years they worked together (1986-1993), the performers of The Sydney Front transformed themselves from the extravagant display of frenzied divas in their first work, Waltz (1987), to stage managers invisibly influencing the actions of the audience as they enacted The Stations of the Cross in Passion (1993).

This film presents a kaleidoscope of images and archive footage from all seven of The Sydney Front’s major works, accompanied by observations from the voices of the company members still working in Sydney. The images and commentary from the performers reflect on The Sydney Front’s shifting encounters with their audiences and their unfolding working methods.

Warning: Sydney Front's performances may contain corse language, adult themes and nudity. Suitable for 18+ years old.

Staging the Audience – An overview of The Sydney Front's philosophy and main achievements in using space, both for the performance and the audience, staging and involving the Audence, aspects and celebration of pleasure and pain, dveloping content.


The Sydney Front was an Australian performance group formed in 1986 particularly known for the way they used the audience as part of their productions. They combining elements of performance art and experimental theatre in their work. The core of the group were performers John Baylis, Andrea Eloise, Clare Grant, Nigel Kellaway and Chris Ryan. Kellaway had been the first Australian to train with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki.

Questions that drove The Sydney Front's work were: ‘why do people like to look? and why do others enjoy being looked at?’ - Performing the Un-Nameable; eds Allen and Pearlman, Currency Press, Sydney, 1999

The work tested ' the shifts in power and the explosions of pleasure that happen between the spectator and the performer. ‘ - Company publicity material, 1988


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