Worlds Within: Hayes Gordon, Zika Nester, Henri Szeps and the Transformations of Australian Theatre


  • Anne Pender University of New England


Hayes Gordon, Zika Nester, Henri Szeps, Ensemble Theatre, Stanislavsky


This essay examines the lives and work of three important Australian actors, Hayes Gordon, Zika Nester and Henri Szeps. It explores their contribution to theatre in Australia in the context of Vilahsini Cooppan’s ‘politics of relationality’, in which the national and the global are ‘dual ideas held in balance’. The extraordinary work of Gordon, Nester and Szeps shows a direct connection between individual imagination and lived experience, and that of the nation in the post-imperial period. Each of the three actors have brought a unique understanding of Stanislavsky to the Australian theatre and have contributed to making the Ensemble Theatre in Sydney the most successful independent theatre in Australia over more than half a century.

Author Biography

Anne Pender, University of New England

Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow English and Theatre Studies University of New England Armidale NSW 2351