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
Mark Poole uploaded his 1986 movie “A Single Life” featuring Pamela Rabe on his Vimeo channel. A Single Life screened on the BBC and ABC in 1987. It stars Tina Bursill and Steven Jacobs. Written by Mark Poole and directed by John Power.
Pamela Rabe | The Last Season rehearsals (Photo by Force Majeure)
Pamela Rabe moved to Australia from Canada in the early 1980s and quickly became one of our most celebrated stage and screen actors. In the last decade she’s won three Helpmann Awards. At the 2021 Sydney Festival she’ll perform in Force Majeure’s The Last Season alongside Paul Capsis, Olwen Fouéré and a company of young performers. Later in the year she’ll feature in her fourth production of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, this time at Belvoir.
Broadcast: Tue 8 Dec 2020, 10:05am
Presenter: Michael Cathcart
Producer: Kim Jirik
Supervising Producer: Rosa Ellen
Here’s a snippet of the upcoming new episode 2 of “Face to Face with David” Season 2 with Pamela Rabe. There’s still no new date when it will be out on Amazon Prime but I’ll let you know as soon as there’s any news! Thanks again to David Oulton for letting me share a snippet… You’re the best! xx Sarina