Brian Lipson has always loved the theatre, but it took three years of working as a theatre designer before he decided he wanted to be on the stage rather than behind the scenes. ‘When I was growing up, being in the arts as a career was unimaginable,’ he says.
Brian spent his formative years in experimental theatre and has had a successful career both in the UK and Australia, performing in everything from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries to John Bell’s production of The Tempest. His work has been recognised by his peers – he has won four prestigious Green Room awards, including two for Best Male Actor.
Brian is most proud of his original work, the solo piece A Large Attendance in the Antechamber, which he wrote, directed and starred in, as well as designing the set. The play, about the English scientist, statistician and founder of the eugenics movement Francis Galton, was critically acclaimed. The Age newspaper described it as, ‘Brilliant, disturbing and incredibly funny’.
‘I toured it around the world for about 10 years and I knew it was the best thing I would ever make, and it was. It was so special, it somehow drew together all the things that only I could do,’ Brian says.
‘I find performing to be a compulsive activity. For me, it's absolutely fundamental that I'm making work, whether it's acting in a Shakespeare play or making a completely new piece to find a form that makes us see ourselves differently.’
This is the first year that Brian has been involved with the Victorian Seniors Festival, but he is very comfortable with his status as a veteran performer.
‘I think I always knew that I would get better as an actor as I got older and I was always really looking forward to that.’
Watch Brian's 2020 Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined performance.