Gale Edwards, international theatre director, led a highly successful Glebe Voices at the Blackwattle Café on 18 February. The capacity crowd, sitting in every nook and cranny (including the outside areas, peering in through doorways), listened enthralled to Gale’s account of her career in theatre. Her early life was in Adelaide, where she went with her cinema usherette Gran to sit and watch films night after night and be mesmerised by the whole panorama of what was happening on the screen.

Gale shared some mildly scandalous and amusing anecdotes but also conveyed a clear sense of the immense struggles to succeed as a female director with a string of “firsts” including being the first female to direct Shakespeare at Stratford-on-Avon. It was no easy run even though she obviously had, from the start, an immense talent for directing; there were many highs but also a fair few lows on the way.

Gale’s stellar career took her to many places including China, Broadway and the West End and she has worked across every theatre and film genre, collaborating with the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Trevor Nunn. But she is now determined to base herself in Glebe from here on in. Gale is currently directing Aida on the Harbour after her success with Carmen a couple of years ago and has embarked on writing her biography. We need to hear more from Gale and will work hard to entice her to speak again to the Society!