The Mockingbird Team
Founder, Artistic Director and Set Designer: Chris Baldock
Co-Artistic Director: Sophie Benassi
Financial Director: Stuart Roberts
Executive Producers: Chris Baldock, Sophie Benassi, Alexandra Pelvin,
Steph Roberts and Holly Ross
Resident Directors: Chris Baldock and Sophie Benassi with Alexandra Pelvin, Karen Vickery and Jarrad West
Mockingbird is the creation of renowned director and tutor Chris Baldock. Premiering in Melbourne in 2012, Chris, along with Executive Producer and Publicist Kris Weber, had the aim to produce high quality productions that honoured the best plays of the 20th Century and today, all the while moving, thrilling, challenging and transporting an audience. Eight highly lauded and successful productions later, Mockingbird very quickly established itself as one of the most respected and attended independent theatre companies amongst Melbourne's vast theatre scene, attracting some of the best actors and designers the city had to offer.
With the move to Canberra, Chris has quickly been sought after for his theatrical experience and talents. With this, he has realised there is a demand and passion here for his style of teachings and directing. And so Mockingbird has been reborn in our nation's capital, brighter and stronger than ever. Chris' belief that there is so much talent and potential in Canberra bodes well for the company's future as he seeks to create many opportunities for Canberra's acting community as well as to entertain local audiences with the quality theatre they deserve.
Artistic Director & Tutor - Chris Baldock
Originally from New Zealand and based in Melbourne for nearly 25 years, Chris arrived here in early 2017. His introduction to the Canberra theatre scene was bringing Out of the Flying Pan to the Canberra One Act Play Festival in 2004, winning Best Director and Production, and directing the monologue It’s All The Rage for the 2016 Short+Sweet Festival, winning the Best Production, Director, Actor and People’s Choice awards. Canberra credits include directing the highly lauded production of Arthur Miller's A View from The Bridge for Canberra Rep (receiving a Canberra Critics Circle award and a Canberra Area Theatre (CAT) award for his direction as well as making Canberra Times' Top 5 theatre productions for 2017), the exciting premiere season of Strictly Ballroom for Canberra Philharmonic (also making Canberra Times' Top 5 theatre productions for 2017 and receiving a Canberra Critics Circle Award for the production), Canberra Rep's Oh, What A Lovely War, Free-Rain's 42nd Street (CAT nomination for direction), Rep's One Man, Two Guvnors (12 CAT Award nominations and receiving the CAT Award for his direction), Supa's The Full Monty, Rep's The Art of Coarse Acting (CAT Award nomination for Direction), Mockingbird's The Laramie Project and its sequel The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later (Canberra Critics Circle Award for Production and Canberra's Top 5 Theatre Picks 2020 - Peter Wilkins of The Canberra Times) and Rep's The Grapes of Wrath (Canberra Critics Circle award for his direction). He also appeared as Hector in Everyman's award-winning production of The History Boys, Oscar Wilde in Mockingbird's Canberra staging of The Judas Kiss, Jack in Everyman's Queers, various characters in Mockingbird's The Laramie Plays and as Ronald in Canberra Rep's Absurd Person Singular.
He is the founder and Artistic Director of Mockingbird Theatre and a director of over sixty productions here in Australia and in NZ. He directed the acclaimed production of The Laramie Project at Chapel off Chapel, which won the Victorian Green Room Award for Best Independent Production, Melbourne theatre’s highest honour. The production received a rare five-star review in The Sunday Age and made many 'Best Of' lists at year's end including The Age and Theatre Notes. He revived the production to great critical acclaim as the inaugural production for Mockingbird Theatre and, for the company, followed it with the highly-lauded Blue/Orange, How I Learned To Drive, Equus, Kiss Of The Spider Woman, The Temperamentals and Quills.
Chris received critical praise for his productions of the tour of Black Diva Power: Nina Simone & Billy Holiday starring Ruth Rogers-Wright, Love! Valour! Compassion! for the Midsumma Festival, The Dining Room at the Victorian Artists Society, Burning for Mad As Us and starring two-time Logie winner Libby Tanner, the Australian premiere of Shining City for Hoy Polloy and the world premiere of Foreign Bodies for Sly Rat. Other acclaimed and award-winning productions include The Grapes of Wrath, Cloudstreet, One Man Two Guvnors, Twelve Angry Men, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Nance (Australian premiere), 33 Variations (Australian premiere), Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Old Wicked Songs, Kindertransport, The Drawer Boy, Three Days of Rain, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Master Class, Terra Nova, The Shoe-Horn Sonata, Dealer’s Choice, Amadeus, Blood Brothers, Of Mice and Men, Shirley Valentine, Under Milk Wood and The Heidi Chronicles. He has also directed many musicals and concerts including Chicago starring Logie winner Lisa Chappell, the NZ revival of Hair, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Mame and the hugely successful Victorian premiere of A Slice Of Saturday Night.
As an actor, his roles has been as varied as Oscar Wilde in both The Judas Kiss and Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, Roo in Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Gene in Side Man, Col. Jessup in A Few Good Men, The Actor in The Woman in Black, Henry in Cosi, George IV in The Madness of George III, The Bullfrog in Honk!, Tom in Farragut North, Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar, Ian in The Other Place, Michel in God of Carnage, Mathew in Scenes From A Separation, The Duke in Big River, Snoopy in both You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and Snoopy! The Musical, Arkady in A Month In The Country, Peck in How I Learned To Drive, Moonface Martin in Anything Goes, Lennie in Of Mice and Men and The Dentist (and others) in the NZ premiere of Little Shop of Horrors.
Winner of over 70 awards for his directing, acting, sound and set designs, Chris has been a theatre reviewer for Artshub, Theatre People and Theatrecraft and an adjucticator for the Victorian Drama League Awards, The Music Theatre Guild of Victoria Awards and various in-house awards. He has also been an acting tutor, both on a private basis and for First Scene in Melbourne and a casting director for television in Auckland.