Hitchcock & Herrmann
||This article has an unclear citation style. (July 2011)|
||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (February 2011)|
At a time when Hollywood was ruled by studio moguls and movies were filled with stars, only one director was more famous and more easily recognisable than any of his peers. By combining a rare talent for self-promotion and producing films that were both personal and universally popular, Alfred Hitchcock succeeded in entrenching his position as one of the greatest Directors of motion pictures. No less of a talent in the world of musical composition, Bernard Herrmann was a child prodigy who had worked with Orson Welles before finding the supreme collaboration with the Master of Suspense. The Trouble with Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Wrong Man, North by Northwest, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds and Marnie - These films represented the pinnacle for both men at the height of their talent, and true classics of the mystery genre. But a greater mystery than anything ever filmed was why after ten years the two men ended their collaboration and arguably, neither again achieved anywhere near the same level of success.
Through what is essentially two intersecting monologues Hitchcock & Herrmann explores the relationship between these two geniuses and endeavours to explain in their own words why at the height of their creative talents they suddenly and inexplicably parted company and never worked together again. Interspersed throughout are examples of Herrmann's music - often taking the place for important dramatic points.
Production history 
The play was first performed in January, 2005 as a rehearsed reading at the 4MBS Performance Studio in Brisbane, Australia with Knijnenburg himself playing the part of Hitchcock and Yalin Ozucelik as Bernard Herrmann. This reading was somewhat of a rushed affair in order to accommodate Ozuceik who was soon to begin studies at NIDA and would subsequently be unavailable. Nevertheless the show was a success with critics and audiences alike, resulting in a three week performance season in March 2005. Knijnenburg again played Hitchcock, however this time the role of Bernard Herrmann was taken by Michael Priest. Further successes followed culminating in a nomination for Best Playwright in the 2005 Matilda Awards for Excellence in Live Drama. Other nominees in the category included world-famous playwright David Williamson.
In 2006 Knijnenburg was invited to perform the show at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. With Michael Priest unavailable a new actor was cast in the role of Bernard Herrmann - Jesse Rosenfeld, a talented young actor who had recently graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts but had been acting since the age of twelve when he appeared in Bruce Beresford's film Paradise Road alongside Pamela Rabe, Pauline Collins, Glenn Close and a young Cate Blanchett. Again the reviews were excellent.
Plans are afoot to tour the production throughout Australia and internationally with the only problems being to fit in with Knijnenburg's and Rosenfeld's acting schedules - Knijnenburg is very busy performing in the theatre and Rosenfeld has recently joined the cast of the revamped television series Neighbours.
- David Knijnenburg at the Internet Movie Database
- Jesse Rosenfeld at the Internet Movie Database
- Yalin Ozucelik at the Internet Movie Database
- Matilda Awards 2005
- ABC Radio Review of Hitchcock & Herrmann
- AJN Interview with Jesse Rosenfeld
- Melbourne's THE AGE Review of Hitchcock & Herrmann
- The Groggy Squirrel Review of Hitchcock & Herrmann
- Melbourne Stage Online Review of Hitchcock & Herrmann
- The Bernard Herrmann Society
- Sequenza 21 - The Contemporary Classical Music Portal