The Chapel Perilous By Dorothy Hewett

Directed by Gaye Poole

6 - 7 August, 2018

In 1971, Sylvia Lawson wrote about Sally Banner – “Wearing her hair like armour Sally storms her way to a place in the Australian imagination….an incandescent heroine.”
Dorothy Hewett’s play is full of lyricism, music, satire and a healthy dose of self-parody.

The Chapel Perilous traces the life of Sally Banner over 4 decades; from 1930’s to 1960’s, as she evolves from defiant schoolgirl to communist speaker to a world-renowned poet. Hewett’s freedom of style embraces tragedy, farce, naturalism, expressionism, and musical comedy.

Sally: “I seek the Chapel Perilous and by my courage and great heart I will win through.”

About the Playwright

Dorothy Hewett (1923 – 2002) was a multi-talented writer, renowned in Australia for going against the grain both in her life and in her writing. Her body of work includes, poetry, plays, critical essays, prose and an autobiography. Many of her early plays in particular shocked audiences with their explicit female sexuality, and throughout her life she retained a maverick image and an ability to polarise audiences and critics. Often under-appreciated in her lifetime, Hewett lives on through collections of poetry such as Rapunzel in Suburbia and Alice in Wormland. Her plays, including The Chapel Perilous, The Man from Mukinupin, Bon-bons and Roses for Dolly and The Tatty Holly Story.


Christina Wilson: Lani McNamara or Christina Wilson
Melanie Allison: Sister Rosa, Doctor, Chorus
Kendra Boyle: Headmistress, Magistrate, Nurse, Chorus
Eden Chappell: Judith, Doctor, Pallbearer, Bubbles, Chorus
Henry Garfitt: Michael, Boy, Pallbearer, Interjector, Chorus
Tara Given: Mother, Snake Girl, Chorus
Jack Knowles: David, Boy, Pallbearer, Spruiker, Chorus
Andrew T. Lyall: Canon
Lani McNamara: chorus
Kelly Petersen: Girl 1, Psychologist, Policewoman, Chorus
Constance Rennie: Interviewer, Nurse, Announcer, Interjector, Chorus
Katie-Lee Riddle: Announcer, Mickey Snatchit, Spruiker, Chorus
David Simes: Thomas, Boy 1, Pallbearer, Spruiker, Chorus
James Smith: Father, Saul, Chorus
Kirsty Young: Girl 2, Miss Funt, Policewoman, Chorus
Kathleen Tay: accompanist

Production Team

Director & production manager: Gaye Poole
Costume design & construction: Cherie Cooke
Stage manager: Missy Mooney
Lighting operator: Logan Cook
Sound operator: Gary Pinkerton
Stills photography: Michael Smith
Videography & voiceover recording: Luke Jacobs
Administrative assistance: Margaret Amies