Went­worth girls to reap re­wards

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY -

Pris­oner’s

IF Went­worth is a mas­sive hit, it will have more to thank the 1980s TV se­ries Pris­oner for than just in­spi­ra­tion. The new pay TV se­ries needs to achieve just half the suc­cess of Pris­oner and the Went­worth cast will be in for a fi­nan­cial wind­fall. This eluded the cast mem­bers of Pris­oner.

It was not un­til af­ter some of the ac­tors of Pris­oner, via the union, went to court did Aus­tralian soapie stars get paid resid­u­als, ex­plains Co­lette Mann.

Mann, who played teddy-hug­ging Doreen An­der­son for more than 290 episodes, was also the union rep at the time – and she took up the fight for resid­u­als with the Reg Grundy Or­gan­i­sa­tion, which made Pris­oner.

‘‘The Pris­oner girls went into bat for resid­u­als and I was the union rep who had to rep­re­sent them in court,’’ says Mann. ‘‘Grundy’s never paid any­one resid­u­als but they agreed to pay resid­u­als af­ter Pris­oner fin­ished.’’

Mann now reaps the re­wards of her well-fought har­vest as a cast mem­ber of Chan­nel 10’s long-run­ning soapie Neigh­bours. ‘‘ Neigh­bours – Ja­son and Kylie, have a lot to thank me for,’’ she laughs.

El­speth Bal­lan­tyne, who ap­peared in ev­ery episode of Pris­oner as war­den Jack­son, also bears no grudge about miss­ing out on what could be tens of thou­sands of dollars.

She is grate­ful for hav­ing a per­ma­nent job as an ac­tor that al­lowed her to raise two chil­dren as a sin­gle mum.

Went­worth is a ‘‘reimag­in­ing’’ of Pris­oner and con­tains most of the lead­ing char­ac­ter names in­clud­ing Bea Smith, Franky Doyle and Doreen An­der­son.

It’s also set within the grey walls of Went­worth Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre where Meg Jack­son is now gover­nor and in-mate Lizzie Birdsworth is the peace­maker be­tween pris­on­ers and the screws.

Among those in the lead roles are New Zealand ac­tress Danielle Cor­mack (who plays Smith), Cather­ine McCle­ments (Gover­nor Jack­son) and Celia Ire­land (Birdsworth).

Went­worth: Wed­nes­days, 8.30pm, SoHo. The Wit­nesses 1.30am, SBS1

M. 2007. A group of friends con­tend with the first out­break of the AIDS epi­demic in Paris, 1984. Re­fresh­ing French take on a sub­ject most of­ten tack­led by Hol­ly­wood. An­dre Te­chine di­rects an en­sem­ble cast that in­cludes Michel Blanc, Em­manuelle Beart and Sami Boua­jila.

Went­worth’s

– DAR­REN CARTWRIGHT

Co­lette Mann with Sha­reena Clan­ton.

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