Skip to main content

About The Shifting Heart

Performed from 27 October to 4 November 1967

  • Genre: Drama

  • Playwright: Richard Beynon

  • Director: Maria Bacsak


Roy Thompson

Poppa Bianchi

Sandra Gasell

Leila Pratt

Gino Bianchi

Rees Irvin

Maureen Christie

Momma Bianchi

Don McIntyre

Clarry Fowler

Dorothy Higgins

Maria Fowler

Geoff O’Donnell

Donny Pratt

Edwin McLenehan



From BNT newsletter July 1967

Producer, Maria Bacsak, will hold auditions for our fourth play for this year The Shifting Heart by Richard Beynon at the theatre on Tuesday August 8 at 7.30pm. This well-known play about Italian immigrants living in Melbourne, will be given at the theatre in October.

  • Players required:
  • Poppa Bianchi – between 50 and 60 years, strong Italian accent
  • Leila Pratt – 30 to 40 year
  • Gino Bianchi – young man 21 years
  • Momma Bianchi – 50 to 60 years, strong Italian accent
  • Clarry Fowler – 35 to 40 years
  • Maria Fowler – 30 to 35 years
  • Donny Pratt 40 years
  • Lukie – Policeman

From BNT newsletter September 1967

Please Note!!! Owing to unforeseen circumstances the season for The Shifting Hard will open on Friday 27 October not Thursday 26 October as previously advertised.

Our fourth production for this season The Shifting Heart by Australian author Richard Beynon is now in rehearsal, with producer Maria Bacsak.

National Theatre is pleased to include a good Australian play in this year’s programme. The Shifting Heart takes an authentic close look at some of the problems of migrants who have come to this country in their thousands during the past two decades, and who now constitute a large proportion of our population. Although we may not like everything that is said and done in The Shifting Heart it is nevertheless a true picture of certain people in a certain environment here in our country and deserves to be presented honestly. The strong cast of The Shifting Heart are above.

We thank all persons who participated in the auditions. Owing to some of the content of this play, there will be no student concession admission prices for this production. Students who wish to see The Shifting Heart will be charged adult admission price.

It is of interest to note that in the original London production of The Shifting Heart, the role of the policeman Lukie was played by Alex Scott who was an active member of Ballarat National Theatre in the late 1940s. Alex went to England becoming a successful professional actor appearing in British television production as well as live theatre.