Featured artist: Shannon Crees

Brent Thorpe

Featured artist: Shannon Crees
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Brent Thorpe

Brent Thorpe

Audio: Brent Thorpe talks about growing up and having relationships while male homosexual relations were still illegal.

 

Brent Thorpe was born and raised in Marrickville. He grew up in a house on Church Street in an Irish Catholic family. Schooled locally, Brent attended De La Salle (now Casimir College) until Year 10 and completed his education at Christian Brothers, Lewisham. After school Brent lived in various places in Sydney’s inner west, before returning to Church Street and living next door to the house he grew up in.

Coming of age in the late 1970s, Brent has described a formative youth spent travelling around Sydney’s suburbs watching bands such as a pre-fame INXS and Cold Chisel, and frequenting the burgeoning gay scene in Darlinghurst and along the Oxford Street strip. He has had a long, diverse career, selling textiles, teaching acting at Studio Q and the Actors Theatre, and recently working as a sole trader painting houses. He has also owned and operated an events company supplying props and sets for theatrical productions and shows. After winding this down at age 37, he attended Macquarie University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Writing. 

Brent’s entertainment career has been similarly diverse, taking in stand up comedy, plays, one-man shows, and drag work. His most recent work, Too Old For Television, received widespread critical acclaim upon its initial staging in 2012 and was revived for the Sydney Mardi Gras Arts Festival in 2013. The show was influenced by his experiences living in Marrickville and the changes he has seen in his 50-year history in the area. Since then Brent has continued to work on new material and returned to some of his past character work, including his infamous Mr Punch in The Fabulous Punch and Judy Show.

Brent says: ‘When we, as individuals, gays, GLBTIQ, the whole gamut – when we really tell our truth and our own story, I actually believe in my heart that the person on the other side of that, that is hearing how we are and how the world is, when it’s a genuine truth, that person has no alternative but to accept it.’