On the Couch with Jackie Rees

AAR-MTC-Jackie-Rees-On-the-CouchWho is Jackie Rees?
I’m a Welsh girl who always wanted to see Australia, came here for a year, started working in the Performing Arts, and have basically been here ever since. This year is my 50th year in the industry that I love.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I’d be a photojournalist for national geographic. I love taking photos of nature, especially macro because you see how amazingly perfect the natural world is. I was in the Little Desert taking photos of the spring flowers and almost stepped on a flower the size of a pinhead. I macro-photographed it and it was wonderful to see its perfection, which wasn’t visible to the naked eye.

What inspires you and why?
All the people who practically work to change cruelty and injustice – especially working for change for animals and nature. Jill Robinson for her rescue work with the China Moon Bears, Jane Goodall for her ground-breaking work with Chimpanzees and her organisation Roots and Shoots, setup to educate and empower young people to make a difference in this world, Ondine and Brian Sherman who set up Voiceless here in Australia and Peter Singer – who wrote Animal Liberation back in the mid seventies, which changed my whole outlook on life (and my diet!) I could go on. There are so many people and organisations working towards change.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Practice kindness. I remember hearing the Dalai Lama say when asked what his religion was, he said Kindness.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I have two. Italy and Greece. I love the people, the scenery, the history, and the food. I love walking and cycling around the countryside – about to do that in Puglia in southern Italy, once we finish our Bloom season.

When friends come to town what attraction would you take them to and why?
Sandringham beach. It is as if you are worlds away from city life there. Stunning beach and amazing cliffs. A walk through the Melbourne Botanical Gardens to the National Gallery for the latest exhibition, dinner at Funghi e Tartufo in Hardware Lane, a favourite gourmet vegan restaurant, then a visit to the theatre.

What are you currently reading?
The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye. It’s set in the 1800’s just after the Indian Mutiny in the time of the Raj – which fascinates me – it’s an adventurous, romantic tale packed full of history written by a woman born and brought up in India, with a family background of those in the Raj, told with a very deep understanding and love of the country and its people.

What are you currently listening to?
Moon by Bronwyn Kirkpatrick – she plays the Japanese flute – it’s very soothing and meditative. When I am rehearsing my head is full of words and music from the show (not always my own!) and her music helps me to relax and sleep well.

Happiness is?
Spending time in nature – walking with my husband and our dog Mollie – beach or bush or mountains – watching her run and play with other dogs. Spending quality time with friends and family.

What does the future hold for you?
Travel – I love seeing new places and meeting people. And I might take a crack at travel journalism. My husband has just bought me the latest Nikon SLR digital camera and he is a writer so I’d get lots of help there. Concentrating on perfecting my harp playing, time to spend in my garden, and the occasional show to keep my hand in!

Jackie can be seen as Lesley in Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Bloom – currently playing in the Playhouse – Arts Centre Melbourne until 19 August 2023. For more information, visit: www.mtc.com.au for details.

Image: Jackie Rees (supplied)