Now on the eve of his eightieth birthday, one of Australia’s most acclaimed stage actors looks back on some of the relationships, triumphs and tragedies that have defined both the person and performer he has become.
Livermore revolutionised the Australian theatre world with his brilliant, fierce and show stopping performances including characters such as Betty Blokk-buster in his trailblazing one-man show and donning pair of high-heels as Frank ‘n’ furter in the original production of The Rocky Horror Show. But he’s lived a full and fascinating life bigger than any stage.
Growing up in conservative 1950s Sydney, when boys who danced or acted were ‘not like other boys’, he matured to become a revered foundation member of Sydney’s Ensemble Theatre, and starred in groundbreaking musicals including Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Barnum, Wicked, The Producers and My Fair Lady.
In his fascinating life, he’s sung with Julie Andrews, watched the curtain call from backstage at the Covent Garden opera, become an Officer of the Order of Australia, as well as having a restaurant – and relationship – with a volatile French chef in rural New South Wales, experienced an epiphany on an Italian mountainside, and felt the unrivalled heartbreak of watching a parent decline.
With Livermore’s warm and intimate voice, beautifully told with a gentle infusion of wicked humour, this thoughtful, poignant memoir depicts a life lived under lights, and something else altogether: a life that is universal.
Stages – A Memoir is published by Hardie Grant Books and available from all leading book retailers including Booktopia.
Image: Stages – A Memoir by Reg Livermore – courtesy of Hardie Grant Books