5 Questions with Rowan McDonald

rowanmcdonaldWhat is your favourite swear word?
Fuck only knows. They’re all so useful in different contexts. I like ones that put a new spin on the old. Arsehat. Cockgoblin. Felchmaster. Or if I really want to insult someone, really disgusting phrases like “choke on my shit” or “go fuck a dead dog’s eyeball”. But sometimes less is more, so it can be just as effective saying something like “he wears the full-fungal jacket downstairs, if you know what I mean”. It’s al about knowing your audience.

What are you wearing?
I’m currently wearing out from the constant barrage of fashionistic pressure to fit in with societal expectations. It’s wearing thin.

What is love?
Love is a symptom of that great irreversible universal condition: gravity. It’s a myth that love is hard to find, don’t let anyone fool you – it was there all along. But whole industries are built around the idea that it’s elusive, so naturally that’s the perception we’re told and that’s what most of us accept. So people go around thinking they haven’t got any, or if they do they need to keep it to themselves, or take someone else’s. Which you can’t do, for love to be any use at all you need to put it out into the world. Because it’s in all of us. It’s what holds us together. The trick is knowing that’s something you give, not something you can have or hold or keep for yourself.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
Cristina In The Cupboard, by Paul Gilchrist with subtlenuance. It’s fascinating, full of ideas and implications about history and human behaviour and hermitude. I’m still turning over some of the philosophical nuggets in my mind. I don’t really do star ratings, but if it were mine to give, I’d give it the planet Neptune, because it’s small and beautiful and far out and mysterious and probably overlooked for all its hidden secrets.

Is your new show going to be any good?
Decadence? It’s a new Australian play, written by a British writer (Steven Berkoff) in the 1980’s – also we’ve done it before and got an award from the Sydney Fringe Festival, which doesn’t necessarily make it good. Or Australian. Or New. But if you haven’t seen it then it’s a new work for you, right? And it has Australian actors and an Australian director, so that’s good. And it has some great swear words you hardly ever hear any more, like “bleeding” and some I would never say to anyone in real life, like “slut”, which is very bad. It’s a lot of fun to play, we really throw it out there for the audiences, who seem to have a good time. So that’s good. And I have to wear one of those ridiculous moustaches everyone seems to get these days, so that’s bad. Although my hair is very retro, which if you’re into fashion, is very good. But I get to play two characters, both of whom are very bad. And it’s very physical and verbally demanding, which is good. There’s some terrible eighties dance music, which is bad, but I have an excellent co-star in Katherine Shearer, which is good… well, anyway – you get the idea. We’re doing a short run in Sydney before hitting the Adelaide Fringe Festival in February. You can book tickets through our pozible page (link below), so come and see for yourself!

Rowan McDonald is appearing in Decadence.
Show dates: 4 – 7 Dec, 2013
Show venue: The Old 505 Theatre