The burning passion which sparked between literary lovers, Henry Lawson and Mary Gilmore, comes to life on Riverside’s stage in February. Kevin Nguyen from Parramatta Sun reports, below.
The Australian $10 note contains one of the most intense love stories in this the country’s history.
Etched into the 1966 and 1993 versions are Henry Lawson and Mary Gilmore, respectively — poets, literary icons and lovers who were secretly betrothed to each other.
All My Love, written by Anne Brooksbank and based on their written letters, explores the intense and heart-breaking relationship between the two writers.
At the helm of the production is director Denny Lawrence.
“Henry was an immensely talented man, who although he battled his profound deafness and deep depression with courage, nevertheless lacked self-discipline,” Lawrence said.
“There is no doubt he was attracted to Mary’s strength and steadfastness as well as her profound intelligence.”
“As for Mary, she was, as she admitted, a natural-born teacher who was able to nurture a man who sometimes seemed less mature than she was.”
“At the same time they shared a love of words and a strong social conscience and a genuine socialist soul.”
Their relationship was brought to the surface by Brooksbank while she was researching Lawson’s life.
She came across a typescript copy of Henry Lawson and I, a 30-page memoir by Gilmore which detailed a secret engagement between the two before she left for South America.
The director said this aspect of Lawson’s life was sometimes overlooked.
“Some Henry Lawson historians patronisingly dismiss [it] without even reading it,” Lawrence said.
The principal leads, Kim Denman and Dion Mills, spent weeks researching their character and reading virtually all of their works.