On this page, you can read about some of the most notable pieces of work done by Benton Productions. You can scroll through the page of jump to any of the following sections:

Tilting at Treadmills


Originally made as a pilot for a documentary series on energy efficiency, Tilting At Treadmills was the first empowering and positive environmental DVD ever made to tackle Global Warming . Originally shot around the world in 1996, the ideas and issues raised are still as current today as then. Hailed as a visionary, consciousness-changing piece of work, this documentary was recognised in 2007 and honoured with the LiFE (Literature for Environment) Award.

To watch the opening scenes of Tilting at Treadmills, please click here.


This is a light-hearted look at how young children perceive the world around them. Conducting interviews with 4 to 14 year olds, John explores the world of the young and uses their imagination to show us an innocent way of life

The Power of Sacred Places

Revolving around an interview with Dr James Swan in San Francisco, Vivienne explores what draws people to sacred places and the profound experiences people can encounter there

The Singing Stones

Once there was a civilisation that build huge stone structures such as Stonehenge, Avebury and the many megalithic sites that cross the world. Tracing the symbols commonly carved at many of these sites, this documentary seeks to understand the link between the symbols and a lost possible common ancestry. Why is it at these locations, ancient people have been inspired to worship with song, and what empirical evidence is there of the alignment of the stones and the variance of audible harmonics from the stones themselves at different times of the year.

Just A Bum

Originally written as a one-act short stage play, Just A Bum proved so popular that John made it into a short film. It follows the day in the life of a young aspiring actor, as he tries to convince his Italian-born mother that acting is a legitimate occupation and has as much to offer as his brother's occupation as an undertaker.

Murder in The Cathedral - Sydney Theatre Company (Cellblock Theatre, Sydney)

Set on a giant chessboard, this production of TS Eliot's Murder In The Cathedral plays out in a stylised production with a chorus of women, priests, knights and pawns. Trapped in the boundary of the board with a silent king observing his every move, Thomas A'Becket strategically manoeuvres to his own martyrdom.

The Pittwater Floating Theatre Company Charity Pantomimes

Over a period of 5 years, the Bentons in partnership with comedians Sean and Judy Kramer, produced a series of Pantomimes designed to reunite people with the spirit of Christmas. Many of the cream of Sydney’s acting and variety entertainment fraternity offered their services free of charge to appear in the shows. Masks were made by professional make up artists, lighting and sound technical assistance was donated by leading practitioners in the field and music was arranged and supplied by the leader of a famous Sydney Orchestra. Instead of charging admission, buckets were passed around toward the end of the performance and the proceeds donated to a nominated charity.

Buy Australian Owned Concert (Sydney Opera House, Sydney)

Realising that jobs were being lost due to the propensity for the Australian public to buy cheaper imported goods rather than those manufactured locally, the Bentons set about raising public awareness of the long term affect of such choices and the advantages of buying locally. The campaign ran in the Mirror and was picked up by the Sunday Telegraph during December 1982. A contest was set up to find an Australian jingle that would encourage people to buy Australian goods and culminated in a concert of the final entries sung by many leading entertainers at the Sydney Opera House on Australia Day 1983. 

Seeds of Discontent - Play Reading (La Mama, Melbourne)

Starring well known actor John Stanton and young actors Felicity Burrow and Tom Hutchings, John’s play about Genetic Engineering was given an initial play reading at La Mama Theatre, the great launch pad of many of Australia’s most successful playwrights. It is now in its final draft and soon to be performed by a professional theatre company.

Plays for young performers

Between the two of them, the Bentons have written 27 full length plays for young actors and hundreds of short scripts. These will be compiled into a book of scripts suitable for teaching drama in schools.

SKIDS Drama School

Sherbrooke-Knox Independent Drama School first opened its doors toward the end of 1984, when John and Vivienne returned from a study trip to Europe. During the 11 years of its existence, it supported the emerging talents of many fine young actors who have taken their place in the entertainment industry. They include Radha Mitchell, Ben Steel (now producing and directing in Europe), and Rodney McLennan (child star)

SKIDS Kids Charity Ensemble

A group of multi talented young performers selected from the SKIDS drama school were given the title of SKIDS Kids. They willingly gave their services for not-for-profit events.

SKIDS Agency

Provided a professional outlet for aspiring young actors to enter the industry. It also mentored its talented students.

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