Official Guest

Alison BellThe Henry Lawson Festival Committee would like to welcome Alison Bell as the 2018 Henry Lawson Festival of Arts Official Guest.

The committee are excited to have one of Grenfell’s own as the Official Guest for 2018. Alison was born in Grenfell in February 1978 to Graeme and Margaret Bell. She attended Grenfell Preschool and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School while here, then the family relocated to Canberra in 1984.

Since graduating from the VCA in 2004, Alison Bell has worked consistently in theatre and television. Most recently Alison was the co-creator/co-writer/associate producer and star of The Letdown, an ABC/Netflix International co-production. The Letdown is the first Australian comedy commissioned by Netflix International. The pilot episode won Alison and Sarah Scheller (co-creator/writer) the AACTA Award for Best writing for Television in 2016.

Prior to The Letdown Alison, a multi-award winning actress was perhaps best known for her work on the MTC, Belvoir, STC, Malthouse and STCSA stages. She has also appeared in many Australian television series and starred in the AACTA award winning Comedy, Laid.

Before pursuing acting she graduated from the ANU with an Arts/Law degree, majoring in history. Whilst studying she worked as a researcher/editor for Butterworth’s Publishing. Alison has worked as a script editor, dramaturge and screenwriter. She has worked for production companies, Giant Dwarf and Madman. And she has been an informal script consultant on many projects, working closely with Matthew Whittet (Old Man for Belvoir);and screenwriter’s Luke Ryan, (Dave’s Dead) Darius Devas (Meeting Susan) and Helen Frank (Purcell Purcell). She starred in and co-edited the screenplay, Meeting Susan, a short film that premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in 2014.

She has worked as a reader for Playwriting Australia; participated in the Playwright’s Festivals of 2006 and 2009; and has been part of countless play development workshops for the major theatre companies providing dramaturgical feedback on new work. She is currently working on several projects, both comedies and dramas, in the early stages of development.

Other television credits include HBO’s The Leftovers, Upper Middle Bogan, Tomorrow When the War Began, House Husbands, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Laid, Mr & Mrs Murder, Mrs Biggs, I Rock, Offspring, City Homicide, Rush, Last Man Standing and Packed to the Rafters. Alison’s theatre credits include Three Sisters, Rabbit and Doubt (STC) - which earned her a Helpmann Award; The Beast (Ambassador Theatre Group); Betrayal, The Book of Everything, Constellations, Tribes, The Ugly One, Blackbird, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (which earned her a Green Room award) and King Lear (MTC); Betrayal and Hedda Gabler (STCSA) which earned her a second Helpmann Award; Conversation Piece, Old Man, As You Like It, The Book of Everything and The Promise (Belvoir); White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, Moving Target, Sleeping Beauty and The Spook (Malthouse).


Past Official Guests

2017 Tara Moss - Author, Journalist, TV Documentary Presenter
2016 Vanessa Grimm - News Presenter
2015 Roy Billing - Actor & Writer
2014 Mark Grentell - Director/Writer/Producer
2013 Chris Coleman - Broadcaster
2012 Dick Smith - Entrepreneur
2011 Gregory Bryan - Historian
2010 Juliettre Palmer-Frederick - Author
2009 Max Cullen - Actor
2008 Sandy Fussell - Author
2007 Hon Ian Armstrong OBE - National Party
2006 David Foster OAM - Wood Chopper
2005 Don McAlpine - Cinematographer
2004 Her Exec. Prof Marie Bashir AC - NSW Governor
2003 Alan Jones AO - Broadcaster
2002 Jan O'Neill (Lehane) - Tennis Star
2001 Colin Buchanan - Country Singer
2000 Peter Bensley - Actor
1999 Judy Nunn - Actor
1998 Paula Duncan AM - Actor
1997 Garry McDonald AO - Actor
1996 DrHilarie Lindsay OAM - Author
1995 Carol Willis - Camp Quality
1994 Geoff Lawson OAM - Cricketer
1993 Alan Moir - Cartoonist
1992 Leon Becker AM - Broadcaster
1991 Mike Hayes - Journalist
1990 Briget Goodwin - Film Maker
1989 Eric Rolls AM - Author
1988 Slim Dusty - Country Music Singer
1987 Di Morrissey - Author
1986 Thomas Keneally AO - Author
1985 Peter Lawson - Artist
1984 James Dibble AM - ABC News Reader
1983 Jennifer Murphy - Actor
1982 Peter Summer - Actor
1981 Malcolm Thompson - Actor
1980 Leonard Teale - Actor
1979 Steve Liebmann - Television Presenter
1978 Lorraine Bayly - Actor
1977 Clive Evatt QC - Labor Party
1976 Ted Roberts - Author
1975 John St Vincent Welch - Past Festival President
1974 Patrick White - Author
1973 Dr Hilarie Lindsay OAM - Author
1972 Hon George Freudenstein MLA - NSW Country Party
1971 Harold Goodwin - Founder of the Henry Lawson Festival
1970 Chuck Faulkner - Actor
1969 Leonard Teale - Actor
1968 Bill Peach - Television Personality
1967 Bertha Jago (Lawson) - Daughter of Henry Lawson
1966 Michael Sawtell - Author
1965 Neil Hutchison - ABC Television
1964 John Thompson - ABC Broadcaster
1963 Ald Harold Jensen - Lord Mayor of Sydney
1962 Eric Baume - Journalist
1961 Sir Eric Woodward KCVO - NSW Governor
1960 Olav Nordland - Norwegian Consul
1959 Hon Ray S Maher MLA - Labor NSW
1958 Prof Colin Roderick CBE - Author