HEATHER MITHCELL – SIGNS OF LIFE

Georgie Jutland (Heather Mitchell) is recently widowed and living alone on a farm during a devastating drought. An Aboriginal man named Bender (Aaron Pedersen) approaches her house asking for help while his sister (Pauline Whyman) screams in the car. Should Georgie help them? Should she trust them?

Tim Winton fans will be excited to re-encounter the character Georgie, one of the protagonists from the Miles Franklin award-winning Dirt Music. Although, Winton virgins should keep in mind that the play is more spin off than sequel and works as a stand-alone.

Like many Australians, Heather Mitchell is a Winton enthusiast. “I had readDirt Music and was fascinated by her character,” she explains. “He writes in a way that feels like you are going on a journey with him. I feel quite close to him even though I’ve never met him.”

Mitchell, who also performed in Sydney Theatre Company’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses, has described the script as powerful, insightful and funny and is excited to be working with Indigenous actors Pedersen (East West 101City Homicide, STC’s The Club) and Whyman (Windmill Baby, The Secret Life of Us). “Their stories are very important,” she says. “I hope audiences will not stereotype and realise that people have strong powerful stories regardless of culture and background.”

“The play is about healing,” she continues. “It’s about reaching out and recognising ourselves in other people’s stories and through that working out how to change things. It’s not political. It’s basically people needing each other.”

Published in City News online and in print on Oct 27, 2012

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