Brown’s fi­nal act

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE 'N' LOUD -

and play­wright Bille Brown pulled a full house for his fi­nal per­for­mance – it was just a shame he wasn’t there to see it. The much-loved Brown died of bowel can­cer in Bris­bane on Jan­uary 13, two days af­ter his 61st birth­day. Fam­ily, friends and fel­low ac­tors paid trib­ute to his ca­reer and life this week at QPAC’s Lyric The­atre. Brown from Biloela, in ru­ral Queens­land, worked in ma­jor the­atres around the world play­ing kings, prime min­is­ters, po­ets and even witches. He ap­peared in fea­ture films such as Fierce Crea­tures, Os­car and Lucinda and Killer Elite and TV pro­grams in­clud­ing All Saints, Rake and Miss Fisher’s Mur­der Mys­ter­ies. Mon­day’s trib­ute was top and tailed by Brown’s long­time friend, Os­car-win­ning ac­tor Ge­of­frey Rush. Bri­tish ac­tor Sir Derek Ja­cobi and play­wright David Hare sent recorded video mes­sages while Sir Ian McKellen penned a eu­logy read to the au­di­ence. Former The Sul­li­vans star Steven Tandy was among those in the au­di­to­rium while Lo­gie win­ner Carol Burns, who played Franky Doyle in Pris­oner in the late ’70s, was among those who per­formed. Rush, who made his pro­fes­sional act­ing de­but with Brown in Wrong­side of the Moon in 1971, said he has strug­gled to come to terms with Brown’s death. ‘‘I miss his ro­bust voice on the phone, trans-global chats . . . hi­lar­i­ous gossip,’’ Rush said. ‘‘His work was an eter­nal por­trait of this re­mark­able man.’’ Rush also un­veiled a Ben Quilty por­trait of Brown, com­mis­sioned by the Syd­ney The­atre Com­pany, in the foyer of South Bris­bane’s Bille Brown Stu­dio.

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