Michele Williams
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Reviews 1990-1999Mistress - 1990-92

by Tobsha Learner

1990 Sydney season

Michele Williams in MISTRESS     Michele Williams in MISTRESS

Michele Williams as the young Aphrodite (from Coburg), one of the many characters in MISTRESS

In performance terms, Williams… playing the school-girl shines in one of the final scenes, where she re-enacts her first sexual encounter with Damian.

Helen Thompson, Sydney Morning Herald Review

From a Polish-Jewish background, sculptor turned playwright, Tobsha Learner is a masterly spinner of words, and conjurer of rich, often deeply impressive images. Her latest play, Mistress is a one-woman show performed by Michele Williams. Williams is at her best – brilliant in her comic portrayal of the naive schoolgirl, sexually and otherwise involved with a boy from another socio-economic stratum.

Australian Jewish News (Sydney edition)

Play triumphs for Tobsha Learner

Michelle Williams in MISTRESS

Michele Williams excelled in this entertaining piece about a television presenter’s mistress and his family.

Some of the funniest moments came in the narrative from Aphrodite, the Greek girlfriend of the presenter’s son, Damian.

…The society wife, Diana, cleverly mocked the upper classes…

…expect to be challenged and stimulated.

Sue Nelson, Eastern Herald, Sydney

Learner’s latest play, MISTRESS, is joyfully confronting and was the highlight of the evening. The play was a one-woman show (performed by Michele Williams), the actress giving a superb performance… She entranced the audience from start to finish with her dedication, versatility and energy…

Johnny Gannon, On the Street Magazine, Sydney

MISTRESS was written especially for Michele Williams, who plays all roles brilliantly. Her performance is superb…

Beat Magazine, Sydney

Mistress, Melbourne seasons: 1991 to 1992

Return seasons at: Playbox Theatre, Anthill Theatre and The Universal Theatre, directed by Rosalba Clemente

Michele Williams in MISTRESS

Michelle Williams in MISTRESS

As society wife, Diana

Michele Williams plays three women linked by one man – Richard Cummingham, a Channel 10 newsreader. Richard’s wife, Diana, is a Toorak socialite whose life is thrown into turmoil when she discovers that Richard is having an affair. Realising that she has submerged her whole identity in marriage and the round of parties and charity launches, she embarks on a course of meditation, rebirthing and primal screaming.

Helen, the mistress of the title, is a young woman from a working-class background who has risen to the position of floor manager at Channel 10 through her looks and intelligence. Fired from her job, she and Richard are caught bonking in the broom cupboard…

The third character, Aphrodite, is a young woman from a Greek family who is the girlfriend of Richard and Diana’s rebellious son, Damian…

Very much aware of the class and cultural differences between herself and Damian, Aphrodite agonises over whether to lose her virginity to him, afraid that she will be rejected if she does.

Learner’s script and Williams’ performance bring depth and life to the three women. I can also guarantee that anyone seeing this play will never see male TV newsreaders in quite the same way again…

Bronwyn Beechey, The Herald Sun

Liberating – Even Inspirational

MISTRESS is a play about three women set in the present… The insights into the three women and their relationships to their men are razor sharp. The comedy is exuberant; the construction simple but tidy… Credit must be shared with the director Rose Clemente, and the solitary performer, Michele Williams. Williams, using just her face and voice, creates a score of vivid and distinct characters…

After a leisurely opening, the play tightens like a spring before expanding decisively and ardently in the final scenes. The effect is liberating – even inspirational…

Chris Boyd, Financial Review

MISTRESS is an 80-minute soliloquy performed by Michele Williams, who flits impeccably among the main characters of Richard’s wife, Diana, his mistress, Helen, and Aphrodite, the girlfriend of Richard’s adolescent son, Damian.

Lisa Kearns, The Age

Comedy on the prowl

MISTRESS (at Anthill) concerns three women and their dependency on Richard, a middle-aged newsreader with a penchant for infidelity…

MISTRESS, a monologue, is challenging for actor Michele Williams… Williams skillfully switches between three female characters without props or missing a beat…

Fiona Scott-Norman, The Bulletin Arts Review

Weekend Entertainment at the Malthouse 1992
Advertisement for the weekend entertainment at The Malthouse Michele Williams in the weekend entertainment at The Malthouse

Michele Williams (middle of 2nd row) takes part in a series of the weekend entertainment at The Playbox Theatre Company (The Malthouse)

Skirmishes - 1992

by Catherine Hayes, directed by Kerreen Ely-Harper, The Courthouse Theatre

Michele Williams (left) as Rita in SKIRMISHES

Michele Williams (left) as Rita

Death defying humour

Laughter abounds in SKIRMISHES despite it being about two sisters waiting for their mother to die. The humour is derived from the sisters’ sarcastic exchanges…

Jean has nursed her mother for weeks, cloistered in a sick-room, and her nerves have frayed. Rita, a busy family woman, has been kept informed by telephone and grudgingly comes to visit when it appears her mother is close to death…

Michele Williams has the difficult task of injecting some warmth into the often hysterical character of Rita.

…the play ends on a sombre note, having spanned the gamut of emotions.

Sonia Harford, Sunday Herald-Sun, 19 January 1992

Two - 1995

by Ron Elisha, directed by Beth Child, a production with The Universal Theatre, with Michele Williams and Sandy Gutman

Michele Williams and Sandy Gutman in TWO     Michele Williams in TWO

Michele Williams overcame the contradictions of her role to give a remarkable and sensitive portrayal of Anna, the former SS officer.

The Australian Jewish News

TAC Campaign - 1996-99
Michele Williams in the TAC ad campaign

“He didn’t mean to do it.”

Should you be driving home tonight?

If you drink, then drive, you’re a bloody idiot.

From 1996-1999, Michele Williams (along with the child who played her daughter) was the major face for the TAC AD CAMPAIGN – featuring in the Christmas campaign of advertisements on television, and in newspapers and billboards all over Melbourne.

The advertisement (in which Michele plays the wife of a man just killed in a car accident) involved a full day of improvisation in the emergency section of St. Vincent’s Hospital. Using real doctors and nurses (who were asked to respond as if this were a real event), Michele led the improvisation around which others responded.

Vegetable Magnetism - 1997

by Kathy Lette, at The Universal Theatre


Michele Williams (Front)

VEGETABLE MAGNETISM: Kathy Lette will be a familiar name to many, being the author of Puberty Blues, Girl’s Night Out, Foetal Attraction and most recently, Mad Cows. Her stories are hilariously dramatised, sharp tongued and bordering on scandalous, having brought her acclaim both at home and overseas. As part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, a variety of Lette’s characters will be brought to life and dragged on stage for the show performed at the Universal Theatre. Starring Michele Williams, Peter Hardy and directed by Caroline Stacey, this is sure to be a highlight of the Festival…



Racy comedy cocktail

…captures the audience’s imagination with good acting and apt, yet slightly warped observations of life and love in today’s world…

…Themes such as social-class rivalry, English vs Australians, unfulfilled relationships, motherhood, mid-life crisis and other issues are exposed and sent-up with humour and sarcasm laced throughout the performance…

Robyn Arya, Australian Jewish News

See more reviews:

Reviews 1987–1989

Reviews 2000–2009

Reviews 2010–2016

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