It is our pleasure to introduce you to the range, power and richness of Christina Stead.

Christina Stead was born and raised in Sydney, but spent most of her life abroad. She worked as a teacher till 1924, then as a clerk. In 1928 she left Australia for London, there meeting her husband, William Blake (Bill), a Marxist and banker from New York. They then moved to Paris, where she worked as a secretary in a French bank for five years, later living in the USA, Europe, and again in England. In 1969, the year after Bill died, Stead visited Australia for the first time since leaving some forty years earlier, and returned to live there permanently in 1974.

Described by Patrick White as a ‘novelist of genius’, and considered by many as one of Australia's greatest writers, she was often spoken of in Nobel Prize terms, especially for her novel The Man Who Loved Children, based on her childhood.
She died in Sydney in 1983.

Her fiction, passionate and often confronting, includes:

Seven Poor Men of Sydney 1934
House of All Nations 1938
The Man Who Loved Children 1940
For Love Alone 1944
Letty Fox: Her Luck 1946
Cotters' England 1966
I'm Dying Laughing 1986

Short Story Collections
The Salzburg Tales 1934
The Puzzleheaded Girl 1967
Ocean of Story 1985

To our knowledge, this is the first time Stead has been portrayed on stage,
and any of her writings performed.

The Actor
Olivia Brown, a NIDA graduate, has worked extensively in theatre, film, radio and television, as an actor, director and producer.  She has performed with the Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland Theatre Companies, Griffin, Perth Playhouse, and Oval House, London. Her work in television includes major roles in series, dramas and sit-coms with ABC TV, and Channels 9, 10 and 7, and she also has wide experience in film, radio, voice-over, corporate video, education and training films.

The Writer/ Director
Darryl Emmerson’s first play, The Pathfinder: a picture of John Shaw Neilson, premiered in the first Melbourne International Festival, was adapted for ABC Radio, later toured four states, and was nominated for a Melbourne Green Room Award. His second play, Earthly Paradise: a portrait of Lesbia Harford, was produced by Playbox, and his musical Martin and Gina, nominated for a Melbourne Green Room Award for Best Original Music and Lyrics, was later recorded, winning praise from Australian, UK and US reviewers. He also works as a freelance journalist, currently for

The Venue
Old Council Chambers, Trades Hall
54 Victoria St

This attractive small-scale venue is close to Lygon Street restaurants, the University of Melbourne, Swanston Street trams and Melbourne Central Railway Station. Ample parking is available nearby.

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Olivia Brown