Actor/Director Leah Purcell talks to Life Music Media about character, coming home, and the joy of performing in The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table.
In 2008 actress Leah Purcell was honoured with Australian theatre’s highest recognition the Helpmann Award (Australia’s version of the Tony Award) for her role in Wesley Enoch’s The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table. Produced in Sydney as a Hothouse Theatre/Griffin Theatre Company production and directed by Marion Potts, the play was critically acclaimed, making its mark as an important piece of contemporary Australian theatre. Now a new production, presented by QPAC and staged by Purcell’s Bungabura Productions, brings this quintessentially Queensland story home.
While deep into the plays rehearsal period, the actress, who is also directing this version, took time to answer some questions for Pepa Wolfe.
What is the play about?
Well there’re two story lines. There’s the history of the table – it was my Great-great Grandmother’s birth tree. When settlement happened on this island they cut down that birth tree and turned it into a table. As a little girl she followed the table and got a job as a cook in the house where the table ended up. And throughout the lifetimes the table has been passed down…
…To the present day story about my character Annie and her estranged son Nathan. They’ve been estranged for 25 years. She had him when she was 13 and she left because of the talk around the incident where she fell pregnant, and the lies around that. [Annie’s] mother Faith passes away, which brings Nathan and Annie back together. The surface story is to argue and discuss who gets the table, but though that discussion we learn more about each individual character.
Continue reading Dreaming Up The Vision: Interview with Leah Purcell, 11th October 2010 – LifeMusicMedia Interviews