Cafe Caricatures

For more than 120 years, Her Majesty’s Theatre has presented some of the greatest names in entertainment from Australia and around the world. To honour some of those performers, we have commissioned caricatures, which are displayed in The Maj Cafe. These portraits have been created by well known Melbourne artist, Col Bodie. We currently have more than 20 caricatures in The Cafe and the collection will grow as we remember great performers from the past as well as recognising those who still grace the stage at HMT.

Below are just a few of the faces that you’ll see when you visit us. Others in the collection include Marcel Marceau, Marina Prior, Debbie Reynolds, Luciano Pavarotti and Jill Perryman. When next you’re passing, pop into The Cafe for a coffee with some old friends.

Sir Cameron Mackintosh

Sir Cameron Mackintosh

The pre-eminant theatre producer in the world for the last two decades, Cameron Mackintosh staged Cats at HMT in 1987 and created the production of Miss Saigon that was presented here in early 2007.


Mike Walsh AM OBE

One of Australia’s best known media personalities, Mike Walsh was the undisputed king of daytime television in the 70s and 80s before becoming a theatre producer and cinema owner. He purchased Her Majesty’s Theatre in 2000.


Dame Joan Sutherland OM, AC, DBE

After establishing her name around the world, Sutherland returned to Australia in 1965 with the Sutherland Williamson Grand Opera Company and appeared at HMT in Lucia di Lammermoor, La Traviata, Semiramide, La Sonnambula and Faust.



Katharine Hepburn

Better known for her film work, Hepburn toured Australia in 1955 with The Old Vic Company, appearing in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew and Measure for Measure. She was 96 when she died in 2003.



Dame Maggie Smith DBE

One of the greatest actresses in the English speaking world, Maggie Smith appeared with Margaret Tyzack in Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads in 2004.


Marlene Dietrich

Born in 1901, Dietrich appeared in concert at HMT in 1975. During that Australian tour, she fell and broke her leg on stage in Sydney and never performed again. She died a virtual recluse in Paris in 1992.



Googie Withers AO and
John McCallum AO, CBE

Googie Withers was born in India; John McCallum in Australia but it was in England that they met and began working together. In 1955, they came to Australia to work and made it their home. They appeared together in An Ideal Husband at HMT in 1998.



Nancye Hayes OAM

Nancye Hayes is one of Australia’s greatest theatre stars, first appearing at HMT in 1962 in My Fair Lady. She has returned to the theatre nine more times, most notably in Sweet Charity (1967), Guys & Dolls (1985), 42nd Street (1992) and Eureka (2004).



Sir Noel Coward

Coward was born in 1899 and died in 1973. He wrote and directed the production, Sail Away, which played at the theatre in 1963.


Reg Livermore AO

One of Australia’s most original performers, Livermore presented his own shows, Sacred Cow (1979), Son of Betty (1980) and Firing Squad (1983) at HMT. He was also the star of the musical, Barnum, which played at the theatre in 1982.


Sir Robert Helpmann CBE

Helpmann performed with The Old Vic Company in 1955. He returned with The Royal Ballet in 1958 and then directed three production for The Old Vic when they toured again in 1961. He was born in 1909 and died in 1986.


Stuart Wagstaff AM

Stuart Wagstaff appeared at HMT in the original 1959 production of My Fair Lady in a minor role. During the season, he took over the lead role of Henry Higgins and established himself as a major star of the Australian stage. He continues working today.


Vivien Leigh

Vivien Leigh toured Australia with The Old Vic Company in 1961, appearing in Duel of Angels, Twelfth Night and The Lady of the Camellias, all of which were directed by Robert Helpmann. She died in 1967, at the age of 53.