"Somewhere between Orwell and Kafka and Ian McEwan, this frightening prevision of where Howard's Australia is taking our democracy purges and shocks as great drama should."
Bob Ellis (on Fear)
“The best Hamlet I have ever seen... If productions could be awarded six stars, this Sydney Shakespeare Company production would be given that honour... The choice of setting was inspired... The acting was superb. Steven Hopley directed himself in an understated and totally believable Hamlet... We were totally and absolutely a part of the performance from beginning to end... Not just a great production of a great play, but an experience that will stay in our memories forever.”
"The unbelievably accomplished Steven Hopley's play has a veritably Shakespearean, moralistic core. The twist and sting in the tale, that soon follows, is the unexpected surprise and the cunning, stunning device which makes the play, finally, really work. And when it kicks, it kicks as hard and accurately as Harry Kewell... Hopley is a brave, prodigious young man."
Sydney Stage Online (on Fear)
"Masterpiece... as relevant as Williamson in his heyday... one of this city’s best playwrights."
Tim Stackpool (on Monopoly)
"The play features some outstanding performances by actors you can't believe arent acting alongside Cate Blanchett and other Australian theatre royalty... director Steven Hopley's performance of Iago makes the cut. The chemistry between Hopley, Taufa and Richardson as the central trio of Iago, Othello and Desdemona is palpable, and makes for a very believable love triangle. Hopley brings a devious, Black Adder-like side to Iago and leads the story with alternating moments of dark plotting and spurts of comedy... Hopley doesn't let you leave without feeling completely unsettled, creating a death scene that feels like you're witnessing something through your neighbour's window... a very crystallised portrayal of Shakespeare that you definitely won't find on the shelf at Blockbuster Video."
Nine to Five (on Othello)
“Hopley’s skill, as in his previous productions, lies in his simplicity, in the clarity of his direction, in how he lets the words work their magic and lets the actors embody them... Simply staged, well-acted and well-directed, there is not much more you could want from this play.”
The Spell of Waking Hours (on The God of Carnage)
"And then there is Paradise, a saucy chocolate-covered treat by Steven Hopley that entices the audience with a wiggle and a wink to be naughty. The set-up gives the playwright the chance to dabble in some classic battle-of-the-sexes repartee, and venture into the realms of theology and philosophy. Remarkably, he pulls it off admirably in the space of 10 minutes."
The Singapore Straits Times
"Steven Hopley has high hopes. He's created The Sydney Shakespeare Company... Yet, like many impossibly ambitious schemes, his hopes, far from being dashed, have been substantially realised. He's adeptly and assiduously bent Shakespeare's arcane and archaic lingo into the shape of contemporary Australian inflections. Sometimes, such decisions can prove disastrous, but in Hopley's case it reflects a great depth of understanding of the text, no doubt borne of an unusually studious familiarity. But without a certain affinity, even this wouldn't be enough: it's clear Hopley really gets The Bard... performances that are close to note-perfect are those of Hopley, as the Machiavellian Iago... If youve never seen or read Othello before, SSC's production is a damn fine place to start."
"Hopley’s direction here, like the quality of mercy, is not strained – under his assured and gentle hand, the exacting justice demanded by [Mark] Lee’s Shylock is directly contrasted by the elegance of Portia and Antonio’s brand of forgiveness. This mercy must be freely given, and must be pure and free from any impediments; likewise, the playing style generated by Hopley and his company’s ethos is the living embodiment of this mercy, a testament to the enduring power of Shakespeare’s innate humanity and skill at writing people, not characters or cariacatures.”
The Spell of Waking Hours (on The Merchant of Venice)
"Fantastic... This play exemplifies precisely what great theatre should be – immediate, ephemeral, intimate, made for friends and properly engaged with a relevant conversation."
Lisa Thatcher (on Monopoly)
"The script is exceptional.”
Villages of Hawkesbury (on Convict Footprints on the Old Great North Road)
"I saw the 2011 film version of this show and didn’t laugh as much as I did through Steven Hopley’s production.”
The Buzz From Sydney (on The God of Carnage)
"Hugely imaginative, cleverly written."
Melbourne Stage Online (on Paradise)
"What we have are ‘Shakespeare’s’ words c/- Hopley, and they are magnificent, resplendent, clever, and witty, and do not feel forced or shoehorned into the scenes or situations at all; if anything, it makes the scenes come alive with a verve missing in Tarantino’s original... in Hopley’s adaptation, the words enhance the action, transport it into a state of word-drunk lofty grandeur and elevate the violent into a state of intoxicating transcendence... guarantees you leave the theatre with a grin on your face wide enough to keep you bouncing for days to come.”
The Spell of Waking Hours (on William Shakespeare's Reservoir Dogs)
“Adroitly handles all the multifarious threads of the narrative without it ever seeming laborious. It is deftly directed, beautifully performed, and all in all, a thoroughly enjoyable piece of theatre... Hopley’s cut of the script is neat and elegant… While it has gravity where gravity is needed, it is in other ways screamingly funny."
Theatre From The Back Seat (on The Merchant of Venice)
“Steve Hopley has brought an inspired version of La Ronde to Sydney audiences... an extraordinary opportunity to see La Ronde in all its naked glory, immaculately performed, and perhaps, deliciously too close for comfort.”
"The Committee, a clever little piece... is a chuckle to watch and a reminder of the realities of today's paranoid world."
Sydney Morning Herald
“La Ronde is a seductive and beguiling play which, under Steven Hopley’s direction, shines and crackles with a very real sexual frisson. Hopley’s staging here amplifies Schnitzler’s structural conceit; by staging La Ronde ‘in the round’... Hopley creates an intimacy which could easily have been lost in a larger, more conventional theatre space... Hopley’s cast of ten are all strong, as we have come to expect from his productions... As with all of Hopley’s productions, the focus is on the text and the words, the rhythms inherent in them, and the strength of this production (as with The Merchant of Venice) lies in its inherent simplicity... Clear and concise, it is smart, sexy, clever, seductive and irresistible.”
The Spell of Waking Hours
"Hopley’s script and direction are engaging, smart, and sharp."
Nightwrites (on Monopoly)
"Shakespeare’s Reservoir Dogs script is a thorough rejuvenation that shows an unusual flair and love for the Bard. Hopley’s direction of his own writing is mindful of audiences that might find the new text challenging, taking great care to utilise all his actors’ capacities to stage a show that is surprisingly accessible.”
Suzy Goes See
"[Hopley's] writing shows considerable wisdom and maturity beyond his age... an enjoyable display of fresh acting talent, direction and intelligent writing."
The Central Coast Herald (on Loneliness)
"Hopley's Iago was devilish yet surprisingly alluring... A great show for Shakespeare fans."
Australian Stage Online (on Othello)
“It is impossible not to connect deeply with the unfolding drama, and Hopley’s naturalistic style brings events even closer to personal experience... Steve Hopley is a witty, clever and understated Hamlet.”
"[Hopley] has a fine future ahead of him as a playwright."
Central Coast Express Advocate (on Loneliness)
“As Lancelot... Hopley discovers and exploits every possible comic nuance; as well, probably, as inventing a few.”
Australian Stage Online (on The Merchant of Venice)
“Solidly researched and written with that delicate balance of entertainment for a traditional theatre goer yet with detail enough for the lover of history... I laughed all the way home.”
Sydney Arts Guide (on Convict Footprints at the Farm)
"Had us squirming in our seats."
ArtsHub (on Theatre of Blood)
"Steven Hopley... proved a very devilish Iago... By the end of the night I was brought almost to tears... the Sydney Shakespeare Company has produced a beautifully simple and well-executed performance, for which I was captivated every minute. For you Shakespeare fans, it is well worth seeing."
Theatre People (on Othello)
"Like the apple, also delicious!"
Australian Stage Online (on Paradise)
"A must see for any fan of Shakespeare’s work.”
The Buzz From Sydney (on Romeo & Juliet)
“This production of Arthur Schnitzler’s play is fascinating... Steven Hopley’s direction is simple and highly effective.”
Theatre Red (on La Ronde)
"Spots is highly stylised but bluntly efficient in its cynical portrait of human instinct."
"The creative force behind this murderous, cloak-and-dagger show is artistic director, Steve Hopley, who, thanks to pronounced eyebrows and facility for adopting an implacably solemn visage, a la Rowan Atkinson, was veritably born into the genre, in the most comical, high-camp sense. For a young man, he's had quite a career already; directing a Shakespearean company for half-a-dozen years, winning gongs for writing & directing. Some of the very best and funniest entertainment is in his introductory and intermissive remarks, as the Reverend Doctor Gregory Mortiss... A novel idea with a tastily illegitimate heritage Theatre of Blood is a well-adapted, well-written, commendably produced and directed series of plays, sporting some very good actors. A bloody brilliant late-night entertainment, that should ensure you don't get a wink of sleep."
Australian Stage Online (on Theatre of Blood)