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
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
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
APAM posted a new photo of Pam by James Green today. It’s for The Last Season, a new major work by multidisciplinary company Force Majeure. Inspired by Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and directed by Danielle Micich, the project is a timely reflection and call to action on the critical effects of climate change.
Featuring a trio of remarkable performers – Paul Capsis, Olwen Fouere and Pamela Rabe – alongside an ensemble of fifteen young performers, The Last Season is a conversation between our older and younger generations that explores what our world will be like for generations to come. The Last Season features original text by Tom Wright and music by Kelly Ryall.