Marta Dusseldorp still remembers how “totally surreal” it felt when the ABC told her it wanted her to star in a spin-off of its popular legal drama, Crownies. The responsibility of having an entire television show revolve around her character, formidable Crown prosecutor Janet King, overwhelmed the theatre veteran, and she questioned whether she was up to it.
“I’d never spearheaded anything,” she explains. “Especially being a woman, I wasn’t used to it. In the unconscious prejudice that had been thrown at me in my life, I always felt like I was there to serve a man’s story, and to be there in relation to a man, as well.”
“Australia’s sexiest period soap…must-watch” (Entertainment Weekly). “I couldn’t stop watching…a cross between Dynasty and Downton Abbey with a twist of Mad Men” (Parade). Acorn TV’s addicitive Aussie period drama returns with more secrets, passion, romance, and intrigue.
Against the backdrop of post-World War II Australia, A Place to Call Home stars Marta Dusseldorp (Jack Irish) as Sarah Adams, a nurse who becomes involved in the affairs of the wealthy Bligh family. This rich, meaningful, and lavish production deals with themes such as anti-Semitism, sexuality, and social class.
The series has been nominated for three Logie Awards: Most Outstanding Drama Series, Most Popular Actress (Dusseldorp), and Most Popular New Talent (Earl).
RLJ Entertainment’s Acorn brand has announced the April 5th release of the Australian drama A Place to Call Home – Season 3 on DVD. This 3-disc set comes with all 10 episodes, plus a bonus in the form of a new Season 2 ending: episode 10 of the second season (45 min.) in its original intended cliffhanger-ending version. A Photo Gallery is also included, and English subtitles are expected to be on board as well. The price will be $59.99 SRP, and here’s the package cover art along with an Amazon pre-order button link:
Senior Prosecutor Janet King returns from maternity leave to confront a high-profile murder, and a conspiracy which will have shocking ramifications throughout the judicial system.
Heading up a Royal Commission into gun crime, Janet King believes solving the murder of Todd Wilson will uncover what’s fuelling the violence. CAST: Marta Dusseldorp
Thrilled to announce I’m a part of “GLORIA” a play BY BENEDICT ANDREWS 26 AUGUST – 8 OCTOBER 2016 @ GRIFFIN THEATRE pic.twitter.com/Wwi1kCnD0l
— Marta Dusseldorp (@martaduss) August 31, 2015
Benedict Andrews “misses terribly” the actors he has worked with in Australia. The 43-year-old Adelaide-born director and writer is now based in Reykjavik, with his partner, the Icelandic choreographer Margrét Bjarnadóttir.
So he is pleased that Marta Dusseldorp, who he directed as Queen Margaret in The War of the Roses for Sydney Theatre Company in 2009, sought the lead in his latest play, Gloria, which will open at Sydney’s Griffin theatre in 2016.
Gloria will premiere with an eight-strong cast directed by Griffin artistic director Lee Lewis. Dusseldorp, a “very brave and captivating and muscular actress”, plays a fading actor aloft in a penthouse as a civil war breaks out in the street below. The location is unspecified, with actors changing roles, says Andrews, in a kaleidoscopic rather than linear narrative.
Lewis insists Gloria is more than yet another meta play about theatre: for her, it’s an allegory for Australia’s “widening gap between the haves and have-nots”, and the potential of any society to tip into authoritarian control.
Andrews is less interested in binary debates or fashions for directors’ theatre versus writers’ theatre – Griffin hews to the latter, with its focus on exclusively Australian writing – aspiring instead to theatre that gives actors the chance to do “extreme and interesting” new work.
“I don’t write well-made, easily digestible plays,” he says. “All my plays have a kind of proposition about the theatre. The play will demand or suggest or invite with big questions from the people making it.”
Why premiere Gloria at the roughly 105-seat Griffin and not in bigger theatres such as Belvoir or STC’s Roslyn Packer?
“It’s been read by different companies. I think it’s important the play stand on its own two feet, so I don’t want to direct it in the first instance. I had conversations with other directors who really loved it, but Lee had a great passion for it and we both agreed the extreme intimacy of Griffin could offer wonderful things to the play.”