On the Couch with Kate Mulvany

AAR Kate Mulvany - photo by Daniel BoudWho is Kate Mulvany?
A woman. A writer. An actor. A cat owner. A cancer survivor.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’d try to take more holidays.

Who inspires you and why?
Anne-Louise Sarks. Not just because she is directing me in An Enemy of the People at Belvoir at the moment, but because I have never met someone with such genuine curiosity, empathy and passion for the world and its people – and that energy is inspiring and infectious. She turns despair into determination, anger into action, onstage and off. She is one of countless female artists in this country that inspire me constantly. I’m so honoured to work alongside them.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
If I had the money and the resources, I would clean up the dioxins (Agent Orange) that were sprayed during the Vietnam War that continue to leave their horrific legacy across generations of families. Mine included.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Geraldton, Western Australia. Because it’s my wild, windy, salty, seaweedy home.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Any Australian theatre that is playing in Sydney – at Griffin, at the Old Fitzroy Hotel, at Belvoir – so that our stories are shared, and so there’s a good bar that we can sit in afterwards and ruminate on what we’ve seen.

What are you currently reading?
Anything on Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth. I’m adapting Mary Stuart for the Sydney Theatre Company at the moment and so these two extraordinary women are taking up a lot of my head space. Dreams of gilded gowns and sharpened axes…

What are you currently listening to?
You Must Remember This – a podcast by film historian Karina Longworth. Each episode deals with the “secrets and forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century”. It sounds like fluff, but it’s dark, political, gruesome and hilarious. I’m utterly obsessed.

Happiness is?
Watching a creative team build a story together. Each one brings their own jigsaw piece, their own lived experience… And when the audience arrives with their own jigsaw pieces of lived experience, the picture starts to really become whole. That’s happiness for me. That’s joy.

What does the future hold for you?
No idea. And I’m ok with that.

Kate can be seen as Katherine Stockman in An Enemy of the People by Melissa Reeves (after Ibsen) at the Belvoir St Theatre: 11 October – 4 November 2018. For more information, visit: www.belvoir.com.au for details.

Image: Kate Mulvany – photo by Daniel Boud