Catherine Davies plays Natalie in Going Down
Catherine Davies spent most of 2017 touring with Bell Shakespeare’s contemporary take on
The Merchant of Venice, but in 2018 she returns to her first passion: new Australian plays. Michele Lee’s Going Down – which Davies compares in style to the US TV comedy Broad
City – follows Natalie Yang, an Asian-australian writer thrown into an existential crisis, seeking to break free from the expectations of writers of her cultural background. “I want to think it came into my life right at the moment when I was questioning and interrogating everything to do with displacement and identity, but the truth is that could have been any time in my lifetime,” says Davies, who like Natalie is a second-generation Asian woman. The play, a co-production between Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company, is full of sexually explicit humour that might seem daunting to deliver on stage. “An excellent clowning teacher once told me to be a good clown you had to ‘sit in the shit’,” Davies says. “Natalie is that personified. In fact, she’s neck deep in the metaphor. And I’m going to have to be right in there with her. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sweating at the thought of having the spotlight on not just me as an actor, but areas of my life that really affect me on a deep, personal level.” The one thing I admire most about Natalie: “I’m often overly apologetic about my ideas, presence and lean on far more self-deprecating humour, whereas Natalie is a completely open vessel ... I think she’s incredibly brave.” Òmalthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt St, Southbank 3006. 03 9685 5111. malthousetheatre.com.au. $35-$72. May 10-Jun 3.