Rachel Quilligan chats to actress Johancee Theron about staging an iconic play in a historic hall.

Classic Australian play Away by Michael Gow is coming back to the stage in a new production to be performed in heritage-listed Trinity Hall.

Actress Johancee Theron says staging such an iconic show can be quite a challenge.

“There’s always a little bit of pressure when you’re doing any play, regardless of how well-known it is, because you’re representing that playwright’s work and story so you want to be true to it,” she says. “I do get nervous and feel pressure for having to portray it in a
certain way.

“There’s quite a bit of footage I could look at, but I’d rather stick to what my impression of the script is.”

Set in the Summer of Love in 1967, the play follows three families as they go on holiday and work through their personal struggles.

“I’m playing Meg, a 17-year-old girl who is growing up in a time that was very influential,” says Theron. “There’s a lot of context and political stuff going on. It’s been really interesting and exciting for me to find out what this particular girl would’ve gone through in this context.”

Theron is looking forward to performing in the historic Trinity Hall after stage managing a production there in 2012. “Stage management and performing are two very different experiences in that hall,” she says. “I don’t mind if I’m behind the scenes … as long as I can be part of telling the story and in some way influencing my community, then I’m all for it.”

And yes, she is related to that other famous Theron, Charlize — second cousins once removed!

See heartBeast Boutique Theatre’s Away by Michael Gow on now until mid March. For more details and to book, check out our event guide.