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Robyn Archer
, 1982

by Robert McFarlane

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 40.5 cm x 30.1 cm, image: 34.5 cm x 23.1 cm)

Robyn Archer AO, singer, actor, director and artistic director of two Adelaide Festivals (in 1998 and 2000) and the Melbourne Festival was photographed in 1982 in characteristic vaudeville costume. The multi-talented performer had performed in a series of shows, all critical and popular sucesses - Kold Komfort Kafe, A Star is Torn and Tonight: Lola Blau - when she spoke to Lea Mason for POL. Her most recent show, Robyn Archer At Large, with a heavy emphasis on the spoken word and a serious attention to Brecht and Weill, had received bad press. Lea Mason explained: 'She brings to her performances a deeply felt philosophical commitment, an aesthetic standard and a political committment that is rare, harking back to those Weimar artists like Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill with whom she shares a marked affinity'.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2003
Accession number: 2003.121