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…
Pamela Rabe Interviews from the early 1980’s – today
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.”
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…
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. (more…)
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…
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.
Photo 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. (more…)
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.” (more…)