Dead Men Talking, July 9 at Dalton

A two-man, one-act show that celebrates the extraordinary storytelling of Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson will be performed in Dalton this July.

Dead Men Talking is a 90-minute stage musical scripted by Max Cullen and Warren Fahey.

Theatre: Warren Fahey and Max Cullen will perform Dead Men Talking in Dalton this July. Photo courtesy Warren Fahey.

Theatre: Warren Fahey and Max Cullen will perform Dead Men Talking in Dalton this July. Photo courtesy Warren Fahey.

Lawson and Paterson bridged the gap between the bush and the city in their colloquial literary catalogue.

They gave the public the stories and songs of our national identity in a voice which still rings true blue.

Australia's national identity was born in the bush and is one of feistiness and determination. The pioneers battled with bushfires, floods, droughts, insect plagues and, quite often, the authority and the banks, Fahey said.

"They also fought loneliness and despair but somehow-or-other came out the other side to build this great nation."

Dead Men Talking is nostalgic for audiences as they witness Lawson and Paterson, whose roles are performed by the veteran Australian actors. Lawson is played by Cullen, and Paterson by Fahey.

The show is the tale of two legendary literary masters over a casual drink at the Leviticus Bar and Grill, Heaven's Gate - a bar in heaven!

The dialogue is slightly cantankerous, yet the players are grateful for their old friendship.

"The conversation between Henry and Banjo is quite spirited and funny, although the two old mates tend to be a little cranky which amuses the audience and heightens the theatrics."

"We sometimes find people get quite taken up by the conversation and [could] almost believe they are seeing and hearing the two dead poets.

"It's a real treat getting into their old skins," Fahey said.

They recite poetry, sing songs and discuss the famous 'War of the Words' in The Bulletin.

Cullen, a Gunning resident, is also a celebrated and awarded-Australian actor on both stage and screen.

Fahey is a regular on ABC radio and television and has been performing bush poetry for almost 50 years.

He authored the centenary edition of of Paterson's Old Bush Songs.

"I performed there [Dalton] more than a decade ago when the small township had suffered terribly from the social effects of the drought. It was good to bring the community together for a celebration rather than sadness," Fahey said.

The show was first performed in 2014 and 150 performances later, it would be safe to say that audiences love it.

"We must play Crookwell sometime," he added.

  • July 9, Dalton Public Hall at 7pm bookings at Dalton Post Office or call Rob on 4845 6207, tickets $35 concession for a family of three. A light supper will be served.
This story Australian actors bring famous poets back to life first appeared on Crookwell Gazette.