Kester Berwick (pronounced Berrick), 1903-1992 was born in Adelaide and died an expatriate on Corfu in the Greek islands. A minor Australian actor and writer, Berwick who was gay, spent the final twenty three years of his life in Greece. His life is the subject of one of the storylines in Robert Dessaix's novel Corfu.


Born Frank Perkins in Adelaide, South Australia, he founded the experimental Ab-Intra Theatre Company there in 1930. Berwick studied at Dartington Hall, Devon, England, with Michael Chekhov a former student of Konstantin Stanislavski, for four years from 1936-37. After World War II broke out he returned to Australia to spend this time teaching. In the 'forties he was involved in directing plays at The Hut, now part of the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild. He then taught for five years in London from 1955.

Berwick settled in Mithymna (Molyvos), on the island of Lesbos in 1960, later moving to Gastouri, Corfu in 1969 where he lived until his death at the age of 89 in 1992.

Plays and Publications

  • 1944, directed with Brian Elliott, Evening for Young Folk, a play at The Hut, Adelaide.
  • 1945, director, The Stronger, by August Strindberg.
  • 1946, director, Swirling, by Denys Ariel and Andre Obey.
  • 1948, director, The Rape of Lucrece, author Andre Obey.
  • His novel, Head of Orpheus Singing, was published in 1973.


Kester Berwick, Head of Orpheus Singing, Angus & Robertson, London, 1973.
Robert Dessaix, Corfu, Picador (Pan MacMillan), Australia, 2001.

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