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THEATRE: 03 MARCH 2016

By JOHN ROZENTALS

All My Love, by Anne Brooksbank | Directed by Denny Lawrence

HIT | Glen Street Theatre (http://www.glenstreet.com.au), Belrose | Until 6 March

At the last minute I couldn’t make it along to the opening of All My Love last night at Glen Street Theatre, and I’m deeply sorry that I missed a great performance about the largely unknown love affair, conducted principally through letters, between two great Australian writers who both at various stages graced the reverse side of our $10 note — Henry Lawson and Dame Mary Gilmore.

First-hand accounts tell me that actors Kim Denman and Dion Mills delivered a simply stunning performance as the duo — one that left many audience members in tears and simply speechless as they met the cast and creatives after the show.

Writer Anne Brooksbank was researching Dame Mary Gilmore’s memoirs when she uncovered love letters between her subject and Lawson, who had been introduced to each other at the end of the 19th century.

“As their friendship developed, Mary found herself caught in the midst of an intense relationship between Henry and his formidable mother, the suffragette Louise Lawson,” notes Glen Street Theatre’s program notes.

“What followed was the beginning of a love affair soon thwarted by a devastating deception.

“Taken from excerpts from the couple’s surviving letters, this is the first time Henry and Mary’s forbidden relationship has been brought to the professional stage.”

I guess we’ll never really know whether the relationship was consummated, but you’ll have to go along to find Brooksbank’s take on the question. And, I gather, it will be a night of theatre incredibly well spent.

Dion Mills and Kim Denman.