Pamela Rabe | Joan Ferguson returns to Wentworth for Season 8

Kate Atkinson interview about Pamela Rabe’s return to Wentworth

There’s a new interview with Kate Atkinson about the Wentworth season finale on NT News. Here’s the part about Pam:


Apparently there is no coffin that can hold Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson. She is alive and well and living rough on the streets of Melbourne.

That’s how season seven of Wentworth ended, with The Freak surfacing just before the end credits, lurking around in a hoodie, keeping warm around a fire, no doubt plotting her revenge.

Fans of the show had closure on one of Australian TV’s most iconic characters of all time when what was believed to be Ferguson’s corpse was shown in this series.

Ferguson, played to perfection by Pamela Rabe (she joined the show in 2014), was being buried alive by prison guard Will Jackson (Robbie J Magasiva) in last season’s cliffhanger.

However Rabe will return to Wentworth for series eight, which starts filming in Melbourne in October.

Kate Atkinson, who plays The Freak’s one-time mentoree and full-time nemesis — prison governor Vera Bennett — is delighted.

She’s also delighted Vera, who spent the last episode of season seven pregnant and at gunpoint in a siege, made it out alive, with a daughter (born, of course, in the prison’s boiler room).

“I knew quite early on the writers had been strategizing to somehow work The Freak back into the story,” Atkinson says.

Pamela Rabe returns as Joan Ferguson for Wentworth Season 8 | Photo: FoxtelPamela Rabe returns as Joan Ferguson for Wentworth Season 8 | Photo: Foxtel

“Pam Rabe and I have a very happy collaborative relationship. I don’t quite know what’s in store for us, but the Vera and Ferguson story is not finished. We’ve stayed in contact since she left the show but to have her back in the prison is beyond exciting. I can’t say anything but the writers pull off the most implausible things. How do you literally bring someone back from the dead? But they will. They’ve got some cunning and clever storylines for The Freak. It’s fascinating stuff.”

While there’s been some fan backlash to The Freak’s return, Atkinson says viewers should wait until the new episodes air next year to judge.

“The Freak brought a different dimension to the show. Wentworth has never pretended to be a documentary or social realism, it’s heightened, heightened drama. She just brought a whole other kind of theatrical height to this show. The writers loved playing with it. They’re teetering on the edge of the logic of how you make these things work but it works because they’ve told me how they’re doing it. And I think people want to go for the ride. If that means having Pamela Rabe back on your screens we should all be very happy.”

Atkinson says that final scene, with The Freak’s return, was kept deliberately top secret.

“There’s a few other people in that scene, but they’re all crew or writers or staff, so that no one would know The Freak was coming back. All it takes is one loose cannon. That was a very closed set.”

The full interview is available at ntnews.com.au


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Pamela Rabe Interview about Wentworth and The Hunting

Pamela Rabe’s Big TV Comeback

It’s been more than two years since Pamela Rabe’s Wentworth character, Joan “The Freak” Ferguson was buried alive in the season-five finale. That’s a long time to come to terms with The Freak’s death.

And yet even the most cynical Wentworth fan will admit that every time the lights get low and the music drops, they’re half-expecting the character to come back from the dead.

So haunting was Pamela’s portrayal of the governor-turned-prisoner that Wentworth fans remain convinced The Freak is unkillable. Turns out, maybe they’re right.

“Well, is she gone?” Pamela asks with a laugh on the phone to TV WEEK, her voice still carrying hints of the menace that made Joan so unforgettable.

“I have no idea. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to say anything about it or I’d have to kill you.”
Pamela is joking – we hope – but for now, secrets around the future of Wentworth remain tightly guarded. But if the acclaimed show has taught us anything, it’s never say never.

“She was buried alive in the box, and who knows what will become of her? Who knows if she’s really gone?” the 60-year-old teases.

It’s clear, just listening to the actress talk about Wentworth, that the TV WEEK Logie Award-winning show still holds a special place in her heart.

 

 

Pamela Rabe in “The Hunting”, Video by sbs.com.au

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime job,” she says. “I know that – I think we all knew that.”
So even if The Freak is no more, she’s still very much alive in Pamela’s head, and the women she left behind remain in her thoughts.

“I have such admiration for the producers, directors and actors,” the actress says. “Particularly the writers for crafting with such care. And delivering narratives that place women front and centre – women of all shapes and sizes and moralities.”

With the season-seven finale having just aired, and another batch of episodes on the way next year, Pamela is tipping some familiar faces might bid farewell.

“People come, people go, people die, people get released – Wentworth is great because there’s a constant refreshing of characters and stories,” she explains.

“But there’s also a threat of constant danger for the few who’ve been there from the beginning.”

Backstage with Pamela Rabe and Hugo Weaving

Backstage with Pamela Rabe and Hugo Weaving

Join Pamela Rabe and Hugo Weaving backstage as they take a moment to reflect before hitting the stage as Big Daddy and Big Mama in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. From their admiration for Tennessee Williams to their observations of each other, it’s a window into the work of two STC stalwarts.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof closes 8 Jun. Tickets → http://bit.ly/STCCat

Backstage with Pamela Rabe and Hugo Weaving

Join Pamela Rabe and Hugo Weaving backstage as they take a moment to reflect before hitting the stage as Big Daddy and Big Mama in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. From their admiration for Tennessee Williams to their observations of each other, it's a window into the work of two STC stalwarts. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof closes 8 Jun. Tickets → http://bit.ly/STCCat

Gepostet von Sydney Theatre Company am Montag, 27. Mai 2019

 

Source: Sydney Theatre Company (Facebook)

Pamela Rabe: Out Of Wentworth And Onto The Stage

Interview by Liv Steigrad / lotl.com

We talk the difference between Joan Ferguson, Draco Malfoy, and King Joffrey.

Note: I had the chance to chat to Pamela Rabe, of Wentworth fame (or infamy). There was a small mix-up, and she called the Editor, Silke’s phone instead of mine. When I told Silke who she’d accidentally answered the phone to, she nearly fell off her chair.

You’ve got a bit of variety under your belt – what’s the difference between acting on stage or for film or TV?

Not much! It’s all the same, it’s all about working out what the story needs, how you bounce off your fellow collaborators whether they be the fellow actors, writers, or directors, designers. In the end it’s just a matter of scale sometimes. The biggest difference really is if you work on screen you’re just putting everything out there for other people to put together. If you work on stage, you’re in control of where the story goes. The director goes and it’s just the actors on stage guiding the audience. Read More

Photograph 51 | Hear from Nadine Garner and Pamela Rabe

Photograph 51 | Hear from Nadine Garner and Pamela Rabe

MTC released a new video for Photograph 51 (directed by Pamela Rabe) today.

Rosalind Franklin was one of the great scientists of the 20th Century. In 1952 she used X-ray diffraction photography to examine the intricate structure of DNA, but her trail-blazing work was never recognised. The scientific establishment at King’s College London simply could not cope with her genius, her self-confidence or her stern disregard for authority. Threatened by her brilliance, Franklin’s rivals scandalously stole her research and were awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering the double helix.

A massive hit on the West End, Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51 relives the chase to find ‘the secret of life’ amidst all the inherent ambition, sexism and isolation of the 1950s, while shining a spotlight on an unsung hero. This intriguing new play is a moving portrait of a brilliant British scientist, and a delicate exploration of what is sacrificed in the pursuit of science, love and a place in history.

MTC favourite Nadine Garner (Di and Viv and Rose) returns to the stage as the fiercely independent Rosalind Franklin, directed by Pamela Rabe (Jumpy) for this Australian Premiere production.

 

Photograph 51 | Hear From Nadine Garner And Pamela Rabe

Pamela Rabe & Maggie Kirkpatrick about Joan Ferguson

Diva Magazine: A Tale of Two Freaks

MAGGIE KIRKPATRICK AND PAMELA RABE TALK ABOUT THE LEGENDARY CHARACTER, PRISON OFFICER JOAN “THE FREAK” FERGUSON

Slipping on those famous leather gloves and stalking the corridors of Wentworth Detention Centre, Prisoner’s Joan Ferguson instantly became not only an iconic television villain but also a rare occurrence of a lesbian character in early 80s television. Making her debut in episode 287, broadcast in Australia in June 1982, officer Ferguson – nicknamed The Freak – quickly got to business at the female jail, performing questionable body searches, involving herself with gambling rackets and taking a shine to new inmate Hannah Simpson. Indeed, until the final episode – number 692 – aired in December 1986, there was very little untoward activity that she wasn’t involved in, until finally getting her comeuppance. But that’s not the end of this “sadistic, corrupt, bull-dyke screw”, as the character was originally pitched to actor Maggie Kirkpatrick. The series gained a new lease of life when sold overseas, following the success of exports such as Neighbours and Home And Away. Kirkpatrick travelled the world as the fanbase grew, also appearing alongside Paul O’Grady’s drag alter-ego Lily Savage in a West End musical production of Prisoner: Cell Block H – as the show was renamed in the UK.

Pamela Rabe & Maggie Kirkpatrick in Birmingham July 2018Photo by Paul Schnaars / Screen Star Events

Yet that still wasn’t the end for Ferguson. In 2013, a reimagining of the series, Wentworth, began in Australia. Swiftly becoming one of the best drama series of recent years, a familiar name joined the ranks of Wentworth Correctional Centre. Joan Ferguson returned to screens, The Freak reborn and reimagined by actor Pamela Rabe. She’s been so successful in the role that she’s been nominated for, and won, several awards – including having recently picked up a Logie for Most Outstanding Actress. Read More

Pamela Rabe in Fucking Adelaide

All Rules Are Off For Pamela Rabe

Landing Logie and AACTA winning actress Pamela Rabe for iview series F***ing Adelaide was quite a coup for filmmakers Sophie Hyde & Bryan Mason but the 6 x 15 minute shorts were part of the reason Rabe was attracted to the work.

“All rules are off now and we’re in the post-VCR environment where you don’t have to have an hour with ad breaks at 12 minutes, and wrap it all up at 46 minutes,” Rabe told TV Tonight.

“Some of those HBO and Netflix series can have one episode for 45 minutes and the next can run for an hour and ten minutes. So the story takes as long as the story needs to take, now. If it’s good people will watch. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gem of 11 minutes duration (or not).

“It cracks open the whole form.” Read More

Pamela Rabe | TV Week Magazine 2018

TV WEEK Interview (July 2018)

Wentworth’s Pamela Rabe on fans and playing Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson

Freak in a box | Pamela Rabe takes us through THAT scene

In last year’s season five finale, Joan Ferguson was buried alive in a coffin in the bush by Will Jackson, played by Robbie Magasiva.

What was going through The Freak’s mind in her final moments?

“There was an extreme anger with herself for not seeing this coming,” Pamela says.

“Joan is proud of being the smartest person in the room. She’s the one who can see all eventualities and be prepared for them.

“She would think she’d trapped herself – that she hadn’t anticipated something and now was going to suffer the consequences.

“Filming that scene was intense. There’s the imagined box you put yourself in, knowing it would be the ultimate nightmare for people, particularly Joan.

“And there’s the real box, which has an open side and is surrounded by 30 members of the crew. It’s a mad kind of chaotic war zone.”

‘I was excited they would consider me!’

People can’t get enough of Pamela Rabe. And not just here, but around the world.

You can put that down to the fascination – and in some cases, obsession – with her Wentworth character, Joan “The Freak” Ferguson.

But not everyone loves The Freak. Canadian-born Pamela, who won the 2018 TV WEEK Logie Award For Most Outstanding Actress, says one of her siblings has stopped watching the show.

“One of my sisters found it too distressing seeing a family member do terrible things,” Pamela, 59, says.

Pamela was born into a large family near Toronto and was raised in Vancouver, The actress trained in her homeland before moving to Australia in her early 20s. What would motivate a young woman to move to the other side of the world?

“Love,” Pamela says. “I met an Australian (theatre director Roger Hodgman) in Canada. He was offered a job back in Australia and asked if I wanted to come, I said, ‘Sure.’

“That was the beginning of this adventure. We have since married, we’re still married.”

Moving to Australia wasn’t a tough decision, she says. It was the 80s, and in the US and Canada there was a fascination for all things Aussie.

“Australian movies were popular,” she says. “And Men At Work were on top of the charts.”

From Canada to Oz – and now to the UK. The rabid love for Pamela’s character Joan will this year take her to a Wentworth fan event in the UK.

“They’re incredibly loyal and protective of Joan there,” Pamela explains. “I couldn’t be spending my time with a nicer group of people.”

Such is the level of fandom in the UK that some excited Wentworth fans yell “Joan!” at Pamela from across the street.

In general, however, she calls the fans “really respectful” – although, she adds, “that may be a version of fear”.

Read More