Australian actors team up in two-person play on Australian art

John Wood and Julie Nihill perform together in Bakersfield Mist.

John Wood and Julie Nihill perform together in Bakersfield Mist.

Two of Australia’s most experienced actors are bringing true life to stage in the new production Bakersfield Mist.

Julie Nihill plays Maude, a 50-something unemployed bartender who bought a painting for a few dollars from an op shop. She’s now certain it’s a Jackson Pollock piece worth millions. 

John Wood’s character, world-class art expert Lionel Percy, flies over from New York and arrives at her trailer park home in Bakersfield to authenticate the painting. Arriving at the ramshackle home he has no idea what he’s about to discover.

The duo, who previously worked together on the long-running TV series Blue Heelers, are the only cast members in the two-person production which plays on a collision of cultures and class attitudes that go beyond the subject of painting as art to become an exploration of authenticity in art and life.

The much-loved pair will perform the Stephen Sachs play, which was inspired by true events, at Her Majesty’s Theatre on August 23.