So last week we performed at Wagga Wagga Christian College and the players had the most amazing time. The year 4 class were inspirational and followed along with the story of A Midsummer Nights Dream so well, they should be very proud. Adele and Nathaniel said their workshop on As You Like It was probably one of their favorite experiences all year and could sense there was a lot of budding talent. On top of all this here is a photo of the amazing morning tea we received!! It was homemade by their very famous chef at the canteen.
Thanks for making our day!!!!
– Teresa (and The Fools)
Hobart, I have already decided after being here for four days, is the most beautiful city I’ve been to in this country! What a treat to wake up to a beautiful harbour, Georgian architecture and amazing hospitality! The seafood is amazing, Port Arthur terrifying and the coffee as good as any I’d get back in Melbourne or Sydney! After our two-week break from the Actors at Work tour, it’s nice to be welcomed back to our Macbeth Intensive and Midsummer Madness shows with the appreciation and hospitality of these fine Tasmanian folk! Our students have across the board been incredibly responsive to our work and as always, it’s a joy to perform Shakespeare to enthusiastic learners; teenagers open to the possibility of live storytelling.
Today, whilst visiting the Clarence High School in Bellerive, I had a few minutes to browse some framed photos hanging along the hallway of the school. Various alumni were proudly staring at me and I couldn’t help but smile when I came across a picture of one of Australia’s most celebrated stage and screen actresses, Essie Davis. Here she was, in all her glory, with an inscription that told me she had attended the Clarence High School from 1982-1985. I had to take a photo of it! Tasmania, it seems, boasts some of the greatest talent. I first saw Essie Davis perform in 1993, when she played the title role in Bell Shakespeare’s first production of Romeo and Juliet. Since then I have seen her in a handful of films, several more times on stage, once, most notably in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Our theatre talent comes from such a wonderful variety of places across this country. So, Essie Davis began her career and perhaps love for Drama in a humble public school down here in Tasmania. It’s nice to be reminded that even though we often see Melbourne and Sydney as the hubs of Australia’s theatre world, our creatives, our actors, our performers come from all over the place. Talent is not confined or limited to the bigger cities! It made me wonder how many current students are out there, beginning their passion for theatre in high school, private or public, in Drama Classes and extra-curricular performance experiences. Chances are, so many of Australia’s future actors and theatre practitioners we have already met, at one school or another as we travel the country taking Shakespeare to the new generation. If those students are out there reading this, you better believe it. The theatre world has room for you and it doesn’t matter whether you hail from a state capital or small regional town, island, coastal village or outer suburb. Essie Davis would surely agree!
Well, our Melbourne season of Romeo And Juliet has come and gone in the blink of an eye!!! It was an absolute joy to re-mount this production for a new space and new audiences. The National Theatre in St Kilda has been our home for the last week, while we performed two shows a day, and what a glorious old theatre she is (if a little creaky on those original audience seats).
It had been about five months since we performed Romeo And Juliet in Sydney, but all the lines and blocking came back to me, as if Id been performing the show this whole time. It’s strange how memory prioritises things, after 5 months I could bust out all Juliet’s lines without a hiccup, and yet when checking into a hotel, I need a moment to remember my own address!
Revisiting a role like Juliet was a true gift; it was like all this time between productions the character never actually left, but had a little room of her own in some part of my consciousness, where she settled in and became embedded in my everyday life. Opening that door and letting her out in Melbourne, seemed the most natural and effortless of things…except for the dancing in the sand, that did actually require A LOT of effort, my calves are still recovering …and bits of red sand are still turning up, no matter how many times I shower!!!! It’s like they have a mind of their own.
So it’s goodbye to Melbourne and Romeo And Juliet and hello Albury and Midsummer Madness.