Sunday, May 27, 2018

Colourful Dorman aka Leo Schofield

Trina's celebration webber communion at Christopher and Lidka's ;-)

06.Vazec_dancers.jpgAs Leo gets older and more distinquish he lols more and more like his uncle Dr George Dorman

Leo Schofield 

Leo Schofield at his property Dysart House at Kempton in Tasmania's southern midlands. Schofield has listed his antique collection at the house for sale in October. Picture: Peter Mathew
The five places that made me: Leo Schofield -
Tales from the Travelling Culture Vulture, Leo Schofield ..


Leo Schofield on living in Potts Point: 'I just love it' | News Local - Daily Telegraph

21 hours ago - Schofield will tap into this chattiness as he joins the Wentworth Courier for a new series of interviews over lunch, introducing readers to eastern suburbs locals he knows and admires for their contribution ...

Leo Schofield in conversation with Nell Schofield. As Art After Hours goes retro, our celebrity speakers recall pop's ...


Leo and Anne Schofield in the late 1950s at a ball at the Australia Hotel in Sydney. Top: Portrait of Tess, Emma and Nell Schofield, painted by Evert Ploeg for the Archibald in 2013.

Leo Schofield AM (born 6 May 1935) not 16 May


Leo Schofield says 10 years spent living in Tasmania left him feeling bitter and depressed

 From a country pub in Brewarrina to a book-lined apartment in Potts Point, the journey has never been dull

Leo Schofield is fond of saying you’ll never die of boredom in Potts Point. Or loneliness.
“As you get older you can walk along the street, there are always people on the way to stop and chat,” he says. “People are very friendly and smile at you. It doesn’t happen in many other suburbs.”
Schofield will tap into this chattiness as he joins the Wentworth Courier for a new series of interviews over lunch, introducing readers to eastern suburbs locals he knows and admires for their contribution to the area, from actors to arborists, architects to hoteliers.
At 83, Schofield has himself played a large part in the cultural life of Sydney and beyond. Since beginning his career as a newspaper cadet at 18, he has worked as a journalist, advertising exec, restaurant critic, food guide editor, arts festival director, ballet impresario (bringing acclaimed overseas companies to Australia) and TV judge (on Iron Chef Australia).

He has also been on boards and trusts of the city’s major arts and cultural organisations, including the Opera House, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Powerhouse Museum and National Trust.

And he is a legendary luncher, interviewing countless people for newspapers, magazines, television and radio, among them Luciano Pavarotti, Tina Arena, Andre Rieu, Simone Young, Nigel Kennedy and Paul Keating (who lives around the corner from Schofield in Challis Ave).

He cannot recall anyone being difficult. “Everybody’s easy if they know you don’t have an agenda to ridicule them,” he says.

He does, however, concede that Pavarotti took some winning over during an interview on his last visit to Australia in 2005. The opera singer was edgy at first, but then relaxed as he realised he was talking to an opera buff.

“He really became charming,” Schofield says. “It was like an iceberg melting.”

Though Schofield has little interest in cricket, one of his favourite interviewees was iconic cricket commentator Richie Benaud. “He was a real gentleman.”

It was hard to hold a pen straight over lunch with the hilarious Kathy Lette, but Robin Williams was even funnier. “It was impossible to stop laughing,” Schofield says.

At his apartment in Macleay St, Schofield’s sense of humour is immediately obvious. Along with elegant statues, 18thcentury paintings and floor-to-ceiling
shelves full of books on subjects ranging from tiaras to Donald Trump, prominently displayed on the couch is a cushion with a big red lobster in needlework.

The hand-stitched gift from a friend in Tasmania was inspired by the notorious case when a Sydney restaurant sued Schofield for defamation in 1989, for his newspaper review that described a lobster dish, among other things, as “close to culinary crime”.

The restaurant won, but soon closed. Schofield is still going strong, though he now divides his dining mainly between three local restaurants, what he calls “the Potts Point triangle”: Fei Jai, the Fish Shop and Fratelli Paradiso, where he starts his day.
“I’m there every morning of my life at seven o’clock, I’ve got a seat,” he says. He also loves Gypsy cafe, in Manning St, but not their stools. 
“I went arse over tit on one of them once,” he says, amused in retrospect. “I don’t really want to be lying in the gutter because there’s no back on the chair, but they do very good coffee.”
Schofield first moved to the eastern suburbs more than 50 years ago, after returning from London in 1965, with his eldest daughter Nell and his wife Anne, then pregnant with twins, Emma and Tess. Though the marriage ended many years ago, the family remains close.
“Nell is in Elizabeth Bay, Anne’s in Edgecliff, Emma’s in Randwick and Tessa is in Bondi. It’s an eastern suburbs family.”
It’s a far cry from Brewarrina, the small NSW town 400km northwest of Dubbo, where Schofield grew up until the family moved to Sydney when he was 11. Before that, at the age of nine, he still remembers his uncle taking him to the big city to see a Gilbert and Sullivan show at the Theatre Royal in Castlereagh St, now long gone.
“It was the first fully staged show I’d seen and from then on I’ve been in love with all forms of performing arts,” Schofield says.
He saw many shows at Potts Point’s Art Deco beauty, the Metro Theatre, from Peter Pan and Hair to Ginger Rogers tap dancing.
The Metro became the headquarters for filmmaker George Miller’s production house for 35 years but is now back on the market. Schofield has a dream: that the City of Sydney Council buys it and restores it to a working theatre, giving local companies a place to perform and restoring some of the vibrant cultural life the area was famous for before the strip clubs moved in.
From Schofield’s perspective, the lockout laws introduced four years ago have made life as a local more pleasant, without the aggression he used to encounter on Friday and Saturday nights: “The area around Potts Point still hums but it’s not full of screaming drunks any more giving killer punches.”
Another bonus of living here is that everything is within easy walking distance.
“For people who live alone as I do — there are a lot of bachelors and single women who live here — it’s got all the services, everything you’d ever want,” he says. “I just love the place, it’s the most congenial place in Sydney to live, in my view.”

Trysts and turns of a Sydney identity