In­side story on The Eisteddfod

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Theatre - Tanya Macnaughton

THE desta­bil­is­ing na­ture of heart­break is rich ground to lure any ac­tor to a role, which is ex­actly what hap­pened to Mel­bourne-based Natalie Holm­wood and the char­ac­ter Ger­ture in Lally Katz’s play The Eisteddfod.

Along with re­turn­ing home to stay with her mum and re­unit­ing with WAAPA class­mates in di­rec­tor Jef­frey Jay Fowler and ac­tor Bren­dan Ewing, Perth-raised Holm­wood said she was drawn to the roller­coaster of emo­tion in the play pre­sented by Black Swan State Theatre Com­pany at Stu­dio Un­der­ground from June 22 to July 9.

“It’s a very dark com­edy that kind of looks at our idea of love and the imag­i­na­tion and emo­tional bag­gage from the past and a sense of ar­rested de­vel­op­ment within the char­ac­ters,” Holm­wood said.

“It’s a two-han­der about a brother and sis­ter whose par­ents died when they were teenagers and they be­come ago­ra­pho­bic from this trauma.

“They were imag­i­na­tive kids and this car­ries on into their adult life where they cre­ate these worlds to keep them en­ter­tained be­cause they can’t go out­side.

“The imag­i­na­tion is a very fruit­ful place but can be a very dark place when these peo­ple have no out­let ex­cept to each other.

“What comes from that are the de­struc­tive ten­den­cies that can evolve when you let your imag­i­na­tion have free reign over your re­al­ity.”

Both sib­lings are in their early 30s and while Ger­ture is wal­low­ing in the heart­break of a re­la­tion­ship she had, her brother Abalone is con­cen­trat­ing on his ob­ses­sion for am­a­teur dra­mat­ics, where he wants the pair to present a ren­di­tion of Macbeth at an eisteddfod.

Holm­wood said al­though a por­tion of au­di­ence mem­bers might be con­fronted by some as­pects in Katz’s play, oth­ers would love it.

“It has been a pas­sion project of Jeff’s (Fowler),” she said.

“He’d al­ways loved the script and I’d read it and thought it was re­ally in­ter­est­ing.

“Lally is quite pro­lific through­out Aus­tralia (she wrote the li­bretto for The Rab­bits) and has been based in Mel­bourne while I’ve been there. I have seen her ris­ing star and loved all her works.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d470191

Ac­tor Natalie Holm­wood in The Eisteddfod.

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