13 episodes

Hosted by the talented and sassy Libby O’Donovan, the First 50 podcast series will provide 12 snapshot moments that cover Adelaide Festival Centre’s 50-year history. Hear stories, anecdotes and memories by those who have had their lives touched by live performance: performers, artistic directors, ushers, and Walk of Fame-ers.

The 12 episodes within the series will be published monthly across 2023. Be sure to subscribe for monthly drops.

The First 50 The First 50

    • Arts

Hosted by the talented and sassy Libby O’Donovan, the First 50 podcast series will provide 12 snapshot moments that cover Adelaide Festival Centre’s 50-year history. Hear stories, anecdotes and memories by those who have had their lives touched by live performance: performers, artistic directors, ushers, and Walk of Fame-ers.

The 12 episodes within the series will be published monthly across 2023. Be sure to subscribe for monthly drops.

    Episode 12: Jo Peoples & Helen Trepa

    Episode 12: Jo Peoples & Helen Trepa

    “Because of Jo’s work, we have a really good comprehensive collection and now it’s a matter of filling the gaps and moving forward. What else do we want to collect? How do we want to tell the story of South Australian performing arts fully?” – Helen Trepa, Adelaide Festival Centre Performing Arts Coordinator



    About The First 50 Podcast

    Hosted by the powerful and sassy Libby O’Donovan, The First 50 podcast series provides 12 snapshot moments that cover the Centre’s 50-year history. Hear stories, anecdotes and memories by those who have had their lives touched by the theatre: performers, artistic directors, ushers, and Walk of Fame-ers.

    Jo Peoples

    Jo Peoples is known and recognised in every theatre foyer in South Australia. People seek her out to ask  – Jo, do you know much about…  where can I find some information on… Not surprisingly, she often knows the answer off the top of her head and if she doesn’t, she will find it out. She is a walking encyclopaedia and recalls dates and names of performances faster than the database.  

    Jo’s own involvement in the performing arts spans over 50 years. She has acted with the Broken Hill Repertory, University Theatre Guild Ensemble, John Edmund Theatre, the Metropolitan Musical Theatre Company, Independent Theatre and Adelaide Children’s Hospital Charity Show. Her film experience saw her play the mother of Cate Blanchett in Parkland (1996), also appearing in Call Me Mr Brown and The Shiralee. Jo also plays the double bass and has performed with Flinders Street Chamber Orchestra, SA Youth Orchestra and still plays with the Unley Symphony Orchestra. She holds a Licentiate Diploma (Teaching) in Speech and Drama with the Trinity College of Music, London and has taught countless drama students.  


    Helen Trepa

    Helen Trepa is the Collection Co-ordinator of the Performing Arts Collection at the Adelaide Festival Centre since 2004. Mentored by the inaugural curator Jo Peoples, who passed on her stories, love and knowledge of the Collection. Helen has a Masters, Applied History & Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies.


    Libby O’Donovan 

    Libby O’Donovan is a “powerful and sassy performer” (Sydney Morning Herald), renowned for her nuanced interpretations and extraordinary voice. She is a critically acclaimed jazz and cabaret performer and an award-winning Musical Director. Libby has entertained audiences the world-over with her unique talents, performing in New York, Tokyo and Toronto as well as Australia-wide. Equally at home in small ensemble acts as well as solo performances, she has been a proud member of ARIA nominated Coco’s Lunch, Flat on Your Bacharach, and Women With Standards, for which she won a Green Room Award for Musical Direction. 

    Highly regarded as a solo artist, Libby has performed seasons for the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Edinburgh Fringe, Sydney Spring Festival, Perth International Arts Festival, the International Jazz Educators Convention, Adelaide Cabaret Festival (including working with Broadway composers Jason Robert-Brown and Andrew Lippa), Melbourne Fringe, Adelaide Fringe, Feast Festival, and the Wangaratta Jazz Festival. 

    Her theatre credits include Matthew Robinson’s Metro Street, Doppio Parallelo’s DJ Squat, Contaminations Lab and The Last Child, Vitalstatistix’s Way Dead Cool and Patch Theatre Company’s Sharon Keep Ya Hair On! Libby’s recent body of work in Cabaret includes The Story of Meredith Crocksley, Some of My Best Friends Are Single, Gady La La: Songs for the Sophisticated Fag Hag, Kate Leigh: The Worst Woman, UNSUNG and The Cowgirl and The Showgirl. 



    As a recording artist she has featured on numerous Jazz and Cabaret albums, as well as her critically acclaimed self-penned albums The Complication, Home to You and Back to Broken Hill. 

    Libby is also highly in demand as a composer, arranger and musical director. 

    Libby was the recipient of Adelaide Caba

    • 40 min
    Episode 11: Matt Gilbertson

    Episode 11: Matt Gilbertson

    In episode 11, Matt Gilbertson chats to host Libby O'Donovan about the inspiration behind his alter-ego 'Hans'.

    • 41 min
    Episode 10: Eddie Perfect

    Episode 10: Eddie Perfect

    In episode 10, Eddie Perfect chats to host Libby O'Donovan about his affinity with Adelaide Festival Centre and his experience as a former Artistic Director of Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

    "I feel like you have to do your duty and your hours of service at this place and then they show you another room or another little hallway that connects to another thing. I’ve been in the Banquet Room warming up in front of refrigerators and stretching between canapes and then there’s also all the production rooms that I got to see once I became the Artistic Director [of Adelaide Cabaret Festival].

    I think I’ve played pretty much every piano, I’ve rehearsed in every rehearsal space and now I’ve performed on every stage from up in the Artspace all the way through to the Festival Theatre stage itself. So through years I’ve developed this sort of nice relationship [with Adelaide Festival Centre] it feels like when I come back, it’s to an old friend."

    • 41 min
    Episode 9: Annette Shun Wah

    Episode 9: Annette Shun Wah

    In episode 9 of The First 50, host Libby O'Donovan talks to OzAsia Festival Artistic Director, Annette Shun Wah.

    "People talk about multiculturism and how wonderful it is because we get to eat a lot of different kinds of food, but I wanted to dig a bit deeper than just the cuisine. I wanted to dig into people’s history and their motivations to find things that make us different but ultimately what makes us the same. Our common sense of humanity."

    - OzAsia Festival Artistic Director, Annette Shun Wah.

    • 43 min
    Episode 8: Celia Coulthard, Nancy Bates & Temaana Sanderson-Bromley

    Episode 8: Celia Coulthard, Nancy Bates & Temaana Sanderson-Bromley

    In episode 8 of The First 50 podcast, Adelaide Festival Centre Programming Executive Celia Coulthard along with proud Barkindji song woman Nancy Bates and the youngest winner of Don Dunstan Foundation OUR MOB Emerging Artist Prize, Temaana Sanderson-Bromley talk about their artistic influences and the ability for First Nations music, art and story-telling to unite and heal communities ahead of Adelaide Festival Centre’s OUR MOB and OUR YOUNG MOB events starting this week.

    • 54 min
    Episode 7: Slava Grigoryan

    Episode 7: Slava Grigoryan

    In episode 7 of The First 50, Adelaide Guitar Festival Artistic Director, Slava Grigoryan, talks about his family’s musical history, his journey to Australia and how he navigated success at a young age.

    • 31 min

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