On television she is known as Wentworth’s Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson. Actor PAMELA RABE, 61, splits her time between Melbourne and Tasmania and is starring in the world premiere of The Last Season as part of Sydney Festival
Before this interview I actually felt a bit nervous and realised it’s because I just binged season eight of Wentworth. How does it feel to play a character who provokes such a visceral reaction?
By the time my work meets its audience it’s always a good 6-12 months after it’s finished so I’ve generally well and truly moved on and [the reaction] takes me by surprise. Generally speaking, people are pretty good. Just occasionally I see a shift in eyes. Some people hyperventilate a little bit but I’m not sure if that’s more to do with the fact that somebody they’ve had in their loungeroom for a binge session has suddenly materialised in front of them or whether it has something to do with the terror Joan Ferguson wreaks.
Thinking about one’s ability to change, is it a case of once a villain, always a villain?
Well, that would be sad, wouldn’t it? We all have a — probably never more so than now in the middle of a pandemic — a desire for things to be normal and not to change. So maybe if people want to put things in a box. I haven’t found that personally. If it’s a question of a professional “once a villain, always a villain”, that’s certainly not been the case. I’m lucky enough to work across a lot of different media doing a lot of different roles that stretch me in different ways. But I don’t ever take for granted the great gift and privilege it was to play that villain. I’m certainly not the first person to say villains are wonderful to play. Read More
From the acclaimed dance theatre company Force Majeure and director Danielle Micich comes a provoking work created in extraordinary times.
Inspired by the music and themes of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, this world premiere production explores themes of ageing, environmental destruction, speculative paths to human survival, and asks: ‘How did we get here? What have we built? How can we continue?’
With original text by Tom Wright and music by Kelly Ryall, The Last Season brings together Australian stage icons Paul Capsis and Pamela Rabe, the powerhouse Irish actor Olwen Fouéré, and an ensemble of 13 young performers in a vibrant intergenerational conversation.
At this critical time in human history, Force Majeure continues its commitment to making work exploring and questioning contemporary culture.
You can book your ticket here
Pamela will be the narrator next year again for Melody Eötvös’s Ruler of the Hive:
The season doesn’t just showcase brand new works, it also features recent compositions – like Melody Eötvös’s Ruler of the Hive, which will see narrator Pamela Rabe join with the MSO in a concert conducted by Johannes Fritzsch – as well as established works, such as Ross Edwards’ Bird Spirit Dream, and neglected classics like Margaret Sutherland’s Violin Concerto, which Concertmaster Sophie Rowell performs in March alongside Ravel and Mendelssohn.
Click here to listen to the 2018 version
The woman who was cheated of DNA glory goes deeper for Pamela Rabe
It can be mesmerising to see the beauty of what is known, rather unimaginatively, as Photo 51. The photo – resembling a monochrome, mandala-like artwork – was crucial to the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is also a pivot around which Anna Ziegler’s 2008 play Photograph 51 revolves.
At one point the central character, English scientist Dr Rosalind Franklin, stands with the photo in front of her face, staring into its mysteries and potential revelations. Well might we all: as Pamela Rabe notes, this photo is about the secret of life – and the play, which Rabe is directing for the Melbourne Theatre Company, explores that secret at both the scientific and more personal, philosophical level.
The photo, taken in 1952 as part of Franklin’s investigations, is an X-ray “diffraction image” of crystallised DNA. It was vital evidence to identify the structure of DNA – but, in what remains a controversy, Photo 51 was shown without Franklin’s knowledge to another scientist.
The 1962 Nobel prize for medicine went to James Watson, Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin’s colleague, Maurice Wilkins – the man who had shared the photo. The three men – and the play tells us a lot about men of those days – used the image to develop their prize-winning chemical model of DNA while Franklin, with quiet, professional dedication, had unknowingly persevered with her own meticulous work on the problem.
Pamela Rabe and Nadine Garner during a break in rehearsals. Photo: Eddie Jim
Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958 when she was 37 – five years after Crick, Watson and Wilkins published their findings in Nature, and four years before they received the Nobel. In the play, these men and two others convene with Franklin to discuss “her place in history”. In one unbroken, energetic act, the play slips between locations and scenes; our imaginations conjure the worlds evoked by the words, especially Franklin’s. Read More
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
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