Ben Prendergast: What is your earliest memory of performing?
Rosie Lockhart: I have a vague recollection of playing the Virgin Mary at my preschool Christmas concert. I think I was about 2? Or maybe I just remember the photos? I think I was wearing an old blue sheet on my head. Indie theatre needs more funding people!
If you had to karaoke for your life, which song would you choose and why?
“Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. The Wizard Of Oz was one of those films (like Annie, Mary Poppins and The Sound Of Music) I used to watch over and over but fast forwarding through the “scary bit with the monkeys”. As a teen I sang the Judy Garland song at a Tamworth Eisteddfod. I can’t remember but if I won or not. Then at Sydney Uni, I sang the Eva Cassidy version at an inter-college music competition. I came second that year, bummer. I guess you could say that it’s been with me through the ages…
What’s the most memorable piece of advice a parent/mentor has left you with?
“Do what you love. If you stop loving it, do the thing you love.” My parents have always encouraged my creativity and to pursue a life of an artist. They’ve held my hand a lot of the way but I wouldn’t be living this artist life if it wasn’t for them. Legends.
If you could dine with any person living or dead, who would it be and why?
Ooh hard one. Probably Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren. They seem like the kind of woman who’d be up for “pot luck/bring whatever/whoever and a bottle of wine” kinda vibe. No fuss. No expectations. Good chat.
What’s Sydney’s most underrated feature?
Rosso Pomodoro. Ssh it’s Sydney’s best kept secret. A family owned pizzeria down on the docks in White Bay, just next to Rozelle. It’s the only restaurant at the base of an apartment block, BYO, no corkage, no half half toppings, genuine Italian fare. My brother and I inhaled many a margarita (each) when we lived in Lilyfield during my Sydney Uni days. Best. It’s my favourite place to visit whenever I’m in town.
Rosie Lockhart: Would you rather be a) renovating your house b) making personally scented soy candles c) designing websites & software d) acting?
Ben Prendergast: The notion of making personally scented candles appeals, for example you could have a Kanye West or Cathy Freeman or Ryan Gosling and really move some units, but it could be fraught, so I guess I’ll just stick with d) personally scented acting.
What are you reading at the moment?
I have about 20 books on the go at once, piled next to my bed. The one on the top of that pile at the moment is the Laurence Olivier biography by Philip Ziegler, and I’ve also just started The Moth by Catherine Burns; 50 true stories captured from the famous storytelling event where guests from Bill Clinton to the Sultan of Brunei’s concubine give an impromptu speech.
What do you love about being in the Red Stitch ensemble?
For as long as I can remember I’ve been a creative fella, and being creative sucks in a vacuum (see what I did there?), so it really feels for the first time that I’ve found a group of creatives who are all as driven as I am to make something and shine a light on things that matter. So whether we’re slugging it out on a Tuesday night to decide which of the 50 plays we’ve read should make it into next season, or we’re cutting a rug together during a launch event, or sharing anecdotes of an audience member touched by one or our shows, it’s like a family. A big, incestuous, somewhat creepy, but ultimately good looking and wholesome acting family.
What excites you most about Sydney?
An unexpected vista of the water, the shiny people, not so shiny bridge, colonial flashes, the one way streets. Any city I’ve ever spent time in I’ve always brought my runners and explored. We’re staying with a friend who lucked out buying a Penthouse Bondi apartment a number of years ago, so we’re living large. So I have a month to explore the city by day, and put up a wonderful show at night. Maybe we shouldn’t leave?
If you could invite 5 people to dinner, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
I was going to say the Beatles and George Martin, but then I realised that I’d be missing a huge opportunity to understand something about everything. So firstly I’d like to stipulate that each of these guests must be alive (you could get me on a technicality and then I’m having dinner with four dead people and the Dalai Lama), but they would be: John Lennon, Albert Einstein, The Dalai Lama, Adolf Hitler, and My Nanna Betty. Music, science, religion, and stupidity, and my Nanna Betty (who would hold her own).
Rosie Lockhart will be appearing in Dead Centre by Tom Holloway and Ben Prendergast in Sea Wall by Simon Stephens, a double bill presentation by Red Stitch Actors Theatre.
Dates: 20 October – 14 November, 2015
Venue: Old Fitz Theatre