Winter as Frida Kahlo

Exclusive Canberra season
Opens Thursday 13 September 2001

Four shows only

'I hope for a happy exit and I hope to never come back' Frida Kahlo

Something happened that winter which no one wanted to talk about. Frida Kahlo lived with it for the rest of her life. Diego Rivera behaved as if nothing ever happened. And her sister never forgave herself. Because some things you just cannot forgive.

A bold new Australian play, Winter as Frida Kahlo, retells the story of this modern icon and opens its exclusive Canberra season at the National Gallery of Australia on Thursday 13 September 2001 for four shows only.

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were married in 1929. She was twenty-two, he was forty-three. He was a famous artist, she was an unknown painter. Five years later he had an affair with her younger sister. A sister who had been her closest friend.

Direct from a sell-out season at La Mama theatre in Melbourne Winter as Frida Kahlo presents a meticulously researched portrait as unmistakingly dark, desperate and ironic as any one of Frida's Kahlo's self-portraits. The Age acclaimed the 'excellent performances, poetic language and impressive staging' of the play in which the important facts of Kalho's life were 'skilfully woven into the drama.'

Written and directed by Melbourne playwright Fredric Lleaf, the play features Melissa Parente as Frida Kahlo and her sister Cristina, and Patrick Mitchell as Diego Rivera, with costume design by Katherine Ashton.

The performance coincides with the current major exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman collection which runs until 28 October 2001. The exhibition showcases the work of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera as two as the world's most significant twentieth-century artists.

Winter as Frida Kahlo season details:
Dates and Times
Thursday 13 September 6.30pm
Friday 14 September 6.30pm
Saturday 15 September 9pm
Sunday 16 September 2pm

James O. Fairfax Theatre

+61 2 6240 6504

$18 / $12; $10 group concession

For further information
Greg Marginson
+61 2 6240 6524
0411 458 516

Key Creative Information

Melissa Parente - Cristina /Frida Kahlo
Melissa most recently appeared on stage in the role of Juliet in Shakespeare's Last Supper, and the Soliloquy Theatre production of The Petrified Forest. Other credits include Marsinah - A Song from the Underworld (which she also co-directed), and the expressionist play Humanity. She has performed at various fringe and major venues including the Trades Hall (for La Mama), Intimate Theatre, Irene Mitchell Studio, and the Victorian Arts Centre. Melissa has also continued to work in film and television, including roles in A Thing of Beauty and the Benjamin Goldman production of Issues.

Patrick Mitchell - Diego Rivera
Patrick did his training at Rusden, and has worked as an actor, director and artistic director, in a career which has seen him appear in almost every Australian state and territory. He has appeared with the Sydney Theatre Company, the State Theatre Company of South Australia, Riverina Theatre Company, Tow Truck Theatre, La Boite in Brisbane, Australian Theatre of the Deaf, and most recently the Darwin Theatre Company (also serving as artistic director). He most recently appeared on stage in Skylight by David Hare, and in the role of Bob King in David Williamson's Sanctuary.

Fredric Lleaf - playwright
Fredric Lleaf is a Melbourne based playwright and theatre director. He made his directorial debut in 1996 at Napier Street, and his most recent play, Oedipus Rex, was critically acclaimed as a "tour de force" retelling of the Sophocles trilogy - enjoying a sell-out season at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Katherine Ashton - costume design
A graduate of Swinburne University of Technology, Katherine has worked extensively in theatre, film and television. She has previously worked in the costume department of Crawford's Film and Television studios in Melbourne, and as a freelance artist, has designed and co-ordinated costumes for everything from short films to television pilots. Her recent designs for The Singing Forest received stand-out reviews for her detailed and accurate period costumes. Katherine has applied the same intricate approach for Winter as Frida Kahlo. She has painstakingly sourced both materials and designs consistent with historical photographs and paintings of the period.