Thriv­ing in a ratty role

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story - AN­DREW FEN­TON

ROWENA Wal­lace has ex­pe­ri­enced more highs and lows than most — from be­ing a Gold Lo­gie win­ner in the ’ 80s for her role as Pat the Rat on Sons and Daugh­ters to her crim­i­nal con­vic­tion for so­cial se­cu­rity fraud and a num­ber of brushes with home­less­ness.

So it’s great to hear an up­beat Wal­lace on the phone from her new home in Won­thaggi, en­thus­ing about her role in Eleven’s com­edy Mi­cro Na­tion along­side Roz Ham­mond and Lliam Amor.

‘‘ My jaw was drop­ping in laugh­ter be­cause they were all so funny and so quick,’’ the vet­eran ac­tor, now 65, says. ‘‘ I ended up in ab­so­lute ado­ra­tion of them all.’’

Mi­cro Na­tion is an un­usual project. It’s a sur­re­al­is­tic com­edy that plays out in fiveminute blocks be­fore Neigh­bours each night.

Wal­lace plays ‘‘ an­cient fox’’ Tot­tie Nes­bit, grand­daugh­ter of the is­land na­tion’s founder. She’s opin­ion­ated and com­pletely bonkers.

‘‘ She’s an­tag­o­nis­tic to ev­ery­one with­out ex­cep­tion and then she’ll sud­denly break into song for no rea­son what­so­ever,’’ Wal­lace says.

Com­ing from a drama back­ground, Wal­lace ad­mits the on-set im­pro­vi­sa­tion was dif­fi­cult — ‘‘ I stood out like a sore thumb’’ — but loved the char­ac­ter.

‘‘ I en­joy play­ing an­tag­o­nis­tic roles. They’re en­er­getic. And more fun,’’ she says. Mi­cro Na­tion, Eleven, 6.25pm, week nights

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