On the Couch with Virginia Gay

Hayes-Theatre-Rewired-Virginia-GayWho is Virginia Gay?
A beardless Viking, who sings occasionally.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Literally nothing. I am extraordinarily lucky to be doing exactly what I have always dreamed of. It’s mad. If you’d told my 14 year old self (braces, glasses, a home-made buzz cut, and playing the trombone), she wouldn’t have believed you.

Who inspires you and why?
Zoe Terakes is a POWERHOUSE actor and an activist with so much more energy and drive and self-determination than I had at that age (or … ever??). They’re a deeply impressive human being, and a complete delight to have a couple of beers with too. High recommend.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Christ almighty, that’s a big question. Maybe … artificially ratchet up everybody’s empathy settings? I think … I think things might be better then. Maybe there would be fewer self-serving, exploitative, horrifically blind and damaging decisions made then.

Favourite holiday destination and why?

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I’d take them to Killcare on the Central Coast because damned if that place doesn’t do exactly what it says on the tin.

What are you currently reading?
Oh SO many exceptional things. I just finished Actress by Anne Enright – which I adored. Extraordinary prose, and not so much about actress-ing, more about a beautifully observed, extremely complicated relationship between a mother and daughter. Excited to read The Drop Off (by Mike McLeish and Fiona Harris) and Jessica Dettmann’s new book, This Has Been Absolutely Lovely – three powerhouse comic Australian writers. Both of them are going to be charming, funny and astute beach reads. The perfect combo!

What are you currently listening to?
Hadestown on repeat. Holy hell that show is the BUSINESS to me.

Happiness is?
Sea Shanties. Big burly men singing in close harmony and whacking something to keep time. I can’t get enough of ‘em.

What does the future hold for you?
I’ve written two plays – so if theatre continues to exist this year *FINGERS CROSSED* one’s going on at the MTC in the middle of this year, and one’s going on at Belvoir at the end of the year. They’re both big, joyful, heartful romps – just what we need as a reward for surviving 2020.

Virginia will host Rewired: Musicals Reimagined by Hayes at the Seymour Centre as part of the 2021 Sydney Festival: 22 – 24 January. For more information, visit: www.sydneyfestival.org.au or www.hayestheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Virginia Gay