Your Say | Queensland Theatre
WHEN DID YOU FIRST BECOME A SEASON TICKET HOLDER?

I had to look up my diary to find this out. My first season at QT was in 2012. WOW! I didn’t realise it was that long ago. As Gilbert and Sullivan wrote:
“How time flies when one is thoroughly enjoying oneself!”

HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN THE PERFORMING ARTS?

Yes, for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of the theatre is of my parents taking me to see a production of Peter Pan. I was so small that I sat on my mother’s lap throughout the whole performance. I remember being amazed by the world which was created on the stage. A world with magic spells, gigantic crocodiles and flying children. However, the best part was still to come.

My dad had organised a surprise for me for after the show. I got to go backstage to meet the cast. They even let me go onto the stage to see the set. The first thing that I noticed was that the seemingly endless, starry night sky into which the children had flown was actually a painted sheet hanging barely fifty centimetres behind the window (which itself was only cardboard). When I looked up, I could see the scaffolding, spotlights and rigs that were used for flying. Glancing sideways, into the wings, I saw the props table, sound equipment and hastily discarded costumes. Although I was very young, I realised that it was in these dark, cramped areas off-stage that an army of unseen backstage artists made the real magic happen. Far from disenchanting me about the beauty and wonder of theatre, from that moment on, I knew that this strange world-between-worlds was the only place where I would ever truly feel at home.

TELL US WHY YOU SUBSCRIBE TO QUEENSLAND THEATRE SHOWS?

You mean, apart from the fact that QT is fantastic? Unfortunately, I have a serious health condition called S.M.A.1. It is a rare variation of Motor-Neurone-Disease. This means I can’t travel long distances. So, even though my friends and family can go to see all of the newest shows in Sydney and Melbourne, or even at the Adelaide Festival, Brisbane is the farthest I can travel. Having a world class company like QT based in Brisbane means that I do not feel like I am missing out on the amazing range of new theatrical experiences that are available throughout the rest of Australia. For this I am very grateful. Thank you.

WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE EXPERIENCE/S WITH QT?

As a self-described Shakespeare-Nut, I must, of course, choose my favourite story of all time (in any form): TWELFTH NIGHT (OR WHAT YOU WILL). I loved QT’s dynamic new interpretation of this classic. Christen O’Leary’s re-imagining of the character of Malvolio brought tears of joy and heartbreak to my eyes. The new songs written by Tim Finn had a visceral and vibrant energy. The intricate production design and beautiful revolving stage-set held me captivated for the entire performance. Although I’ve seen this story many times, in many ways, QT gave me the pleasure of feeling that I was seeing it for the first time. A true joy.

WHAT’S ONE THING YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT?

One thing? Easy! The theatre, of course! Honestly, even with television, cinema, books, etc., my life without theatre would be incomplete. The excitement of feeling that I could reach out and touch the world being created in front of me, of feeling that I could step forward into that world, is something I get nowhere else in life. Now that I have graduated from university and begun working as a scriptwriter with a community theatre group, I feel that I have finally come full circle, back to that moment on the stage of Peter Pan. Although I could never perform on stage, now I watch others taking my words and my thoughts out to the audience and I feel as if I am right there, on stage, with them. I cannot describe how happy this makes me.

WHICH PLAY ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2019?

That is a silly question! I’m looking forward to all of them, of course! But, if I must narrow it down, then it is a tie between STORM BOY and ANTIGONE. This is because the field of writing that most interests me is the art of adaptation. I love to see how writers can take a much-loved story and make it fresh so that the audience sees it with new eyes. The skills required to successfully adapt another work are often under-appreciated as many people think that creating “something completely original” is what all writers should do. People often forget that, without the art of adaptation, William Shakespeare would never have written a play in his life!

Helen Anderson
QT Subscriber