Stage set for a star

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Ben O’Shea

THEATRE lovers will get the chance to sit just me­tres from Grey’s Anatomy star Kate Walsh, with the ac­tor to play the lead role in the maiden pro­duc­tion of the newly-formed Fre­man­tle Theatre Com­pany next month.

The star of Net­flix hit The Um­brella Academy will play Ju­liana, a neu­rol­o­gist, in the Perth premiere of Sharr White’s Tony-nom­i­nated Broad­way play The Other Place. And no one is more sur­prised by this turn of events than Walsh, pic­tured right, her­self.

“If some­one had said a year ago, ‘I reckon you’re go­ing to be in WA, do­ing a play in Fre­man­tle’, I would have been like ‘What’ — I didn’t know Fre­man­tle, I didn’t re­ally know WA, let’s be hon­est,” Walsh laughed.

When a brief visit to Perth at the start of the year turned into an ex­tended stay due to COVID, the New York­based Walsh looked for things to do.

Ini­tially, this saw her coopted by lo­cal film­mak­ers to lobby for much-needed stu­dio fa­cil­i­ties, which led to the

State Gov­ern­ment for­mally seek­ing pro­pos­als last month. Then a chance meet­ing with lo­cal ac­tor Lucy Kate West­brook re­sulted in an in­tro­duc­tion to FTC direc­tor Renato Fabretti, who was look­ing for a play to put into Fre­man­tle’s his­toric Vic­to­ria Hall.

Hav­ing done a readthroug­h of The Other Place on Zoom ear­lier this year for char­ity, Walsh con­vinced Fabretti it would be the ideal way to launch WA’s new­est theatre com­pany.

“I moved back to New York to do more theatre and then all of that shut down, so I’m just happy to be here do­ing it,” she said.

The Other Place runs from Oc­to­ber 17 to Novem­ber 8. Tick­ets are avail­able through Tick­etek.

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