Tell Me I’m Here

Belvoir-Tell-Me-I'm-Here-Tom-Conroy-Nadine-GarnerOn publication thirty years ago, Anne Deveson’s raw and moving family memoir Tell Me I’m Here became an instant classic, catapulting conversations about mental health to the mainstream – in a superb adaptation, it comes to the Belvoir St Theatre this August.

Anne’s life – the familiar juggle of marriage, career, emotions, chaos – is thrown off-balance when her son Jonathan begins speaking oddly, standing strangely, flashing into irrationality and rage. Is it just a phase, part of growing up?

The years pass, and Anne’s son has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. But putting a name to it is one thing – getting attention, getting help is another. Even the strongest families, the most steadfast parents, buckle under such stress.

Anne Deveson (1930-2016) was an Australian cultural icon, a much-loved ABC journalist, and Australia’s first female talk-back broadcaster. She was a mother of three, author of six books and a filmmaker.

An active lobbyist for the rights of women, children, and the disabled, she launched the national body Schizophrenia Australia Foundation (now known as SANE Australia). She was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her services to the media and an Officer of the Order of Australia for her work in increasing public awareness of schizophrenia.

Anne’s memoir has been adapted for stage by Veronica Nadine Gleeson and will be directed by award-winning stage and film director Leticia Cáceres (The Drover’s Wife, Barbara and the Camp Dogs) and starring Helpmann Award-winner Nadine Garner (TV’s City Homicide, The Doctor Blake Mysteries) as Anne, and Tom Conroy (Jasper Jones, Ghosts) as her son Jonathan.

They are joined by Deborah Galanos (Son of Byblos), Jana Zvedeniuk (Stan’s Bump, TV’s Glitch), Sean O’Shea (TV’s Doctor Doctor, Operation Buffalo) and Raj Labade in his mainstage debut.

“Many of you have read Anne’s unforgettable memoir of her son Jonathan. Veronica’s written a superb adaptation, a portrait of a family which knows joy and death intimately,” said Artistic Director Eamon Flack. “Directed by the magnificent Leticia Cáceres, it’s going to be a highlight.”

Director: Leticia Cáceres | Featuring: Tom Conroy, Deborah Galanos, Nadine Garner, Sean O’Shea, Raj Labade, Jana Zvedeniuk | Set Designer: Stephen Curtis | Lighting Designer: Veronique Benett | Composer and Sound Designer: Steve Francis, Alyx Dennison | Costume Designer: Ella Butler | Dramaturg: Ruth Little | Choreographer: Charmaine Yap | Assistant Director: Claudia Osborne | Fight Director: Tim Dashwood | Accent / Vocal Coach: Laura Farrell | Stage Manager: Luke McGettigan | AssistantStage Manager: Holly Fernanda

Tell Me I’m Here
Belvoir St Theatre (Upstairs), 25 Belvoir St Surry Hills
Season: 24 August – 25 September 2022
Information and Bookings:

Image: Tom Conroy and Nadine Garner star in Tell Me I’m Here – courtesy of Belvoir

Note: SANE Australia, a charity founded by Anne Deveson which supports all people in Australia affected by complex mental health issues, is proud to partner with Belvoir on Tell Me I’m Here.