my fair lady - meet the people

Reg Livermore

Professor Henry Higgins

Reg Livermore is presently and proudly celebrating a career that has spanned fifty years during which time he has been actively involved in most aspects of the theatre: as performer, author, designer and director. While still at school, having an absolutely clear idea where his future lay, young Reg began staging backyard concerts and hiring local halls to put on pantomimes in aid of well-known local charities. After some initial training at the Independent Theatre his career took off propitiously at Sydney’s legendary Phillip Street Theatre where he worked alongside the stellar talents of Barry Humphries and Gordon Chater, and then at Hayes Gordon’s Ensemble Theatre of which he was one of the founding members.

He appeared frequently with the Melbourne Theatre Company, South Australian Theatre Company, the Independent, Nimrod and the Old Tote. Early forays into television saw him host the children’s show Crackerjack and his own Saturday night variety show I’m Alright Now for the ABC. The advent of his notable stage successes began with major roles in Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, and the 1974 show stopper  Dr. Frank’n’Furter in the original Australian Rocky Horror Show. This explosive performance won him financial backing for a series of startling one- man shows, a list that includes Betty Blokk Buster Follies, Wonder Woman, Son of Betty, Sacred Cow and Firing Squad.  Considered groundbreaking in their time the self-penned entertainments earned Reg his national status and reputation. Broadway Musicals he starred in subsequently were Barnum, and the Mel Brooks Musical The Producers for which he won a Mo Award. More recently Reg has essayed the comic roles in Opera Australia’s Gilbert and Sullivan productions notching up memorable performances in Iolanthe, The Pirates of Penzance and The Gondoliers.

A long list of achievements in the theatre and on television won him a Creative Artists Fellowship (1995), and in 1996 a ‘gong’, awarded Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for services to the theatre and to the community. His autobiography ‘Chapters and Chances’ was published in 2004 by Hardie Grant.

Reg regards his casting as Professor Higgins in Opera Australia’s production of My Fair Lady as a timely and golden opportunity. He has secretly dreamed of playing this role for many years, but an uncharacteristic reticence prevented him from putting up his hand. That is until now.


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