Artist Support


by Paul Kelly & Camille O’Sullivan with Feargal Murray

A production by Far And Away Productions in association with Brink Productions

Ancient Rain
by Paul Kelly & Camille O’Sullivan with Feargal Murray
Directed by Chris Drummond

Iconic Australian singer-songwriter, Paul Kelly, and magnetic Irish-French chanteuse, Camille O’Sullivan, star in this evocative new music theatre work. They are joined by O’Sullivan’s long-time collaborator, songwriter and pianist, Feargal Murray.

Inspired by the works of W.B. Yeats and other great Irish poets, Ancient Rain combines the spoken word with a song-cycle of new compositions. Kelly and O’Sullivan, both mesmerising performers, inhabit a range of diverse characters as they reveal a tapestry of themes, from the cost of love and the price of independence, to the inadequacy of faith and the power of forgiveness.

An extraordinary opportunity to see these two legendary performers in the intimacy of a theatrical setting, Ancient Rain sees Kelly’s modest yet masterful style meet O’Sullivan’s powerful vulnerability, as they take you on a journey of loss, yearning and redemption.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body and Culture Ireland. Co-commissioned by Melbourne Festival and Adelaide Festival Centre.

Recommended for ages 13+

Director Chris Drummond
Designer Gaelle Mellis
Lighting Designer Neil Simpson
Producer Lee-Anne Donnolley

Music Paul Kelly, Camille O’Sullivan with Feargal Murray
Words Eavan Boland, Michael Hartnett, Seamus Heaney, James Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh, Donagh MacDonagh, Paula Meehan, Padraic Pearse, WB Yeats and more

Paul Kelly, Camille O’Sullivan + Feargal Murray

★★★★★“Ancient Rain’ is a master work; Paul Kelly continues to daringly expand upon his legacy as one of Australia’s finest musicians, while Camille O’Sullivan can reinterpret like no other; she doesn’t simply reinterpret, she makes the work of others her own.” Scenestr

★★★★★ “Camille O’Sullivan is the flamboyant Nick Cave to Paul Kelly’s stoic Leonard Cohen; she is the Oscar Wilde to his Banjo Paterson; her voice can range from a raw and solitary whisper to a husky, primal howl, while he can convey the breadth of human experience with a laconic delivery of deceptive versatility; she appeared on stage adorned in rich and vibrant burgundy, while Paul came on in a suit of earthy brown. United on stage to present Irish poetry set to original compositions, these descendants of the same soil and cherishers of shared traditions delivered a work of profound beauty.” Scenestr

★★★★★ “Camille’s rendition of ‘The Statue of The Virgin at Granard Speaks’ by Paula Meehan was of such indescribable beauty and tragedy that it requires a poem itself in its honour; mere platitudes are insufficient to convey the emotions unleashed by witnessing this sprawling tour de force.” Scenestr

“Although we’ve come to expect great things from the brilliant Kelly (a sort of unofficial Oz poet laureate for over 30 years now), he was more than equaled by O’Sullivan, whose sometimes raspy voice and fire suggested a long-lost Emerald Isle cousin of Patti Smith.” Adelaide Review

“…a remarkable achievement…” Adelaide Review

“It is hard not to be moved by the beautiful performances from Kelly and O’Sullivan.” The Reviews Hub – Ireland

“The musicians and performers are all on from and the numbers flow seamlessly.” The Reviews Hub – Ireland

“Director Drummond rightly allows the words, voices, and music to tell the story with minimal use of props or special effects. This pared back approach brings about quite a striking effect, especially when combined with some dramatic lighting (lighting design by Neil Simpson).”  The Reviews Hub – Ireland

“From the very first moments, when the curtain rises to reveal Camille O’Sullivan, in swirling mist, in a harsh white spotlight, reciting Seamus Heaney’s Digging in her clear beautifully modulated voice, the show immediately captivates.” Arts Review

“All are consummate performers, in complete command of the material, which ranges from gentle reminiscence to raging songs of protest. Paul Kelly’s contained stage persona and masterful control of stillness is perfectly complimented by Camille O’Sullivan’s bravura style, completely electrifying whether prowling the stage confronting her audience directly, or as a young girl praying to the statue of the Virgin Mary for help.” Arts Review

“Towards the end of the evening, Kelly and O’Sullivan perform a poignant duologue, written by James Joyce, in which a woman confesses her first love. The sheer simplicity of the staging combined with the flawlessly delivered dialogue, proved a memorable and mesmerising conclusion to an unforgettable theatre experience. Whether or not Irish poetry is your thing, don’t miss this opportunity to experience this remarkable show.” Arts Review

“Brilliantly directed by Chris Drummond, with stunning sound and lighting design, by John O’Donnell and Neil Simpson respectively, Ancient Rain is a constantly evolving visual and aural feast.” Arts Review

Ancient Rain is a revelation of revolution and creates a vehicle for this brotherhood of musicians to bring poetry and the written word (The Dead, an excerpt from James Joyce’s Dubliners) to a contemporary audience. Paul Kelly and Camille O’Sullivan are perfectly paired and I now want to be Irish…” Australian Stage

“There is an elegiac quality throughout this performance and a feeling of hiraeth as both storytellers keep the audience riveted with tales of death, war, mutiny and rebellion, and also of love, faith and hope.”  InDaily

“All are set to a superb soundscape from four outstanding musicians – Feargal Murray (piano), Paul Byrne (percussion), Dan Kelly (guitar) and Sokol Koka (cello) – which is haunting, moody and punctuating, while leaving space for Kelly to weave his magic and O’Sullivan to appear like dynamite with a laser beam.”  InDaily

This is anything but a pretentious piece, and is impressive for its willingness to address the controversies inherent in the poems. It provides a fascinating exploration of life, and an achingly emotional testament to the human condition.”  InDaily

“Camille O’Sullivan is spellbinding in her theatrical embodiment of the statue of the blessed Virgin Mary. As is Paul Kelly as he re-imagines WB Yeats’ An Irish Airman Foresees His Death.InDaily

“With its mixture of poetry, song, music and performance, Ancient Rain is an intriguing and absorbing work.”  InDaily


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We acknowledge that the land on which we live, and work is the  traditional land of the Kaurna people and pay our respects to their  Elders - past, present and future. Brink supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and enshrining a Voice to Parliament in the Constitution. 

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