On the Couch with Meredith Penman

Meredith Penman Arts Review On the CouchWho is Meredith Penman?
A Sydney-based actor who cut her teeth at VCA (Victorian College of the Arts), and in the independent theatre scene in Melbourne.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Buy less, create more. Be in the business of laughter.

Who inspires you and why?
Front of mind is Kate Mulvany, for her work ethic, her generous wisdom, her advocacy, her artistry, her ability to overcome physical pain without complaint, her disinterest in the trappings of success as well as her immunity to the inevitable wounds of the industry, her personal story, her cheekiness and her heart. I’ve always admired how much she gives to the industry. Right now we’re rehearsing at Bell Shakespeare and she brings all this to the room every day, as well as a rather thrilling interpretation of Richard III.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Change the date. Introduce universal diversity quotas.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Anywhere near a river or a beach in the tiny house truck my partner made. I love a sunburnt country.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
You can’t beat the Manly ferry. It’s daily life for a lot of Sydneysiders as well as the cheapest tourist ticket in town.

What are you currently reading?
Zadie Smith’s novel Swing Time.

What are you currently listening to?
ABC Radio’s Tokyo Hotel podcast – funny, and Steve Toulmin’s sound design for Richard 3. The Giggle and Hoot CD, over and over again. And again!

Happiness is?
So many things. A rehearsal room. A swim in the ocean followed by spicy food. Watching my daughter dance. Friendship that grows richer with every year. Being cast. My dad’s cooking. My mum’s humour. A stable home. Fleeting.

What does the future hold for you?
Robots, from all accounts.

Meredith is currently appearing in Bell Shakespeare’s production of Richard 3 at the Sydney Opera House until 1 April, before touring to the Canberra Theatre Centre (6 – 15 April), and Arts Centre Melbourne (20 April – 7 May). For more information, visit: www.bellshakespeare.com.au for details.

Image: Meredith Penman (supplied)