What would you do differently to what you do now?
Rather than differently, I would like to be more present and aware moment to moment and to go through life with an open heart. And on a practical note, to clear my home of clutter.
Who inspires you and why?
My mother, who at 94 has lost an eye, doesn’t complain, has taken it in her stride and is fully engaged with life, spreading kindness wherever she goes.
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Remove the sense of ‘otherness’, so that people all over the world could realise their essential oneness as human beings. There could then be no war, no discord, no fear, no separation. As E. M. Forster famously said ‘only connect’.
Favourite holiday destination, and why?
India, for its chaos, beauty and spirituality, for the way it confronts and seduces the traveller. And New York, for the theatre, the galleries, the delis, the melting pot nature of the people, their humour.
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Melbourne lane ways to explore and discover the many and varied treasures, my favourite coffee shops and cafes, and if at the right time of the year, the Melbourne International Film Festival, my favourite thing in the world.
What are you currently reading?
The Book of Strange New Things by the wonderful Michel Faber, Nora Webster by the wonderful Colm Toibin, and books galore by and about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.
What are you currently listening to?
Paris Sessions, Tierney Sutton, Last Dance, Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden, Nostalgia, Annie Lennox, Popular Problems, Leonard Cohen and old albums of Tom Waits.
For me, the supreme joy of friendship. The soul communion and laughter and inspiration and glorious connection I experience with my beloved network of close friends.
What does the future hold for you?
In the short term, a little later in the year, a production of North By North West at the MTC. But in the larger picture, of course I don’t know. As an actor, one seldom knows what lies ahead on the work front. And as human beings we can’t know either. I would hope to be ready for whatever eventuates and to cope with the challenges of inevitable change.
Deidre Rubenstein has had an extensive career in the theatre, appearing nationwide with most of the major theatre companies. Highlights and favourites over her long career include: Mother Courage, Three Sisters, Cloud 9, Top Girls, Wild Honey, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Winter’s Tale, Absurd Person Singular, Broken Glass, Life X3, The Seagull, The History Boys, Night Letters, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, August Osage County, Richard 111, Circle Mirror Transformation, The Glass Menagerie, His Girl Friday, the world premiere of Thursday and most recently A Murder is Announced.
Music theatre includes The Boyfriend, Candide, Variations, Improvement: Don Leaves Linda, Bye Bye Birdie, Bat Boy, Menopause The Musical and Dear World. She has created and performed three highly acclaimed solo shows: Dorothy Parker Says, What’s A Girl To Do and Confidentially Yours which was written for Deidre by 7 of Australia’s top playwrights and toured internationally.
Deidre’s television work includes Neighbours, MDA, Secret Life of Us, Blue Heelers, Kick and City Homicide among others, and leading roles in Breaking Through and the series Palace of Dreams for which she won an AFI Award for Best Actress. Her film work includes, Siam Sunset, Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueberger, Salvation and the still to be released Force Of Destiny.
Deidre will be appearing as Gertrude Stein in Loving Repeating at Chapel Off Chapel from 22 January. For more information, visit: www.victheatrecompany.com for details.
Image: Deidre Rubenstein