Dublin Theatre Festival


Neil Armfield

Neil started in kindergarten at Concord Public School in 1960. His first teacher was Miss Bootle with whom he fell in love, which resulted in her sending him a postcard from her honeymoon during the school holidays. This was the most exciting thing that had happened to Neil at that stage. (After that she was called 'Mrs Aye'.)

Neil's first acting role was at Concord Primary as Brer Fox in a costume made of hessian by his mother and father. His first performance in an 'evening' production, in which there were lights, makeup and curtains, was as the 1st Cherub and members of the chorus of Devildogs in The Odyssey of Runyon Jones at Homebush Boy's High in 1967. In his final year at high school, in 1972, having performed in 14 high school productions, he directed designed and choreographed his first production Toad of Toad Hall which featured Allan John as mole, and which won the New South Wales High Schools' Drama Award for Best Miscellaneous Production.

Neil is a founding syndicate member of Company B, and became its artistic director in 1994. For company B he has directed Signal Driver, State of Shock, Aftershocks, Master Builder, The Diary of a Madman, Diving for Pearls, The Tempest, Ghosts, Hate, No Sugar, Hamlet, The Blind Giant is Dancing, The Alchemist, WASP, The Seagull, The Governor's Family, As You Like It and as part of the 1999 Sydney Festival, the sell-out production of The Judas Kiss. Company B joint productions have included, Love Burns (Company B/Opera Australia), Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Up the Road, (Company B/ Playbox); Dead Heart; Night on Bald Mountain (Company B/STCSA) and Cloudstreet (Company B/ Black Swan) which won Best International Production at the 1999 Dublin.


The Small Poppies

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