Richard Neville: ‘There’s a Great Heart at the Soul of this Performance’
February 19, 2011 1:27 am Last Updated: October 1, 2015 5:37 pm
SYDNEY—Richard Neville has been in the headlines as a champion of free speech and freedom of belief since the sixties when he took on the establishment in Britain by publishing the satirical Oz Magazine.
He is an author, social commentator and more recently described as a futurist and keynote speaker, with his clients including most of the blue chip companies in Australia and many overseas.
When he saw Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre on Feb. 18, it presented something new.
“I found it fascinating,” he said,” I was intrigued by the mixture of entertainment, spirituality … It’s unusual.”
Mr. Neville had found scenes in Shen Yun “absolutely exciting and unexpected. The images were terrific,” adding that he had found the production “courageous and interesting. I enjoyed it.”
The opera singers had particularly impressed him.
“I was very moved by some of the individual performers,” he said. "The baritone, the concert conductor, the pianist, and the people singing to microphone with spectacular voices. It was very moving, so I know there’s a great heart at the soul of this performance.
Mr. Neville said he was not an expert on China or on Falun Gong and “the discrimination” occurring there but added, “I’m very sympathetic to people who explore outside the mainstream, who are looking for more than just capitalism and material success. So I found it a really interesting mixture and I look forward to getting to understand some of the issues in a deeper way.”
Elaborating further, Mr. Neville said, “I think that even in Australia, which is quite a material country, people are eager to explore issues beyond just shopping, acquiring, vanity, wealth.
“I think a whole generation of people is exploring consciousness issues and, of course, this program touches on those consciousness issues, so I think … it adds to the general kind of curiosity of individuals to find out more than just what goes on in the mainstream; to extend the boundaries of our curiosity and interest.”
Mr. Neville said he appreciated seeing Shen Yun and looked forward to exploring the issues raised further.
Reporting by Jennifer Zeng and Shar Adams.
Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company will perform at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre through to Feb. 23. Next stop on the tour is Melbourne, March 1-6. For more information, visit