The Guide spoke to Kate Raison just as she is about to start a national tour of the Ensemble theatre company’s production of Jim Cartwright’s TWO with performances at Mackay on the eastern coast of Queensland.
The play, for those unacquainted with it, is set in a country pub, TWO invites the audience to pull up a stool for a night and meet the regulars – a motley crew of eccentric and hilarious individuals, each with their own story to tell. In particular, the publicans themselves – a married couple with an unspoken secret. Kate and Brian play all 14 characters.
Kate said that the best of the play is that it is so easy to relate to all of the characters as they open up in the warmth of a pub environment and audiences get to know their stories. Kate spoke about how the play has universal appeal, it could be any pub, anywhere in the world, with people just being themselves.
Kate is thrilled to be on tour, even more thrilling is TWO is a two hander and the person who joins her on stage is her real life husband, Brian Meegan. They’ve worked together before and enjoyed it and with her husband being around, Kate sad she won’t feel like she is missing home.
Kate and Brian performed the play first at the Ensemble back in early 2017 and Kate said that Ensemble’s Artistic Director Mark Kilmurry always had in the back of his mind that he would like to do a national tour of the show. (Kilmurry had previously arranged a national tour of the show Frankenstein. The play lends itself to touring with the show only requiring two actors and a simple bar setting). It has taken a bit of time to come to fruition with the Ensemble working in collaboration with Arts On Tour.
TWO will travel to 28 venues all over Australia, playing in venues in Queensland, NSW at Parramatta Riverside and Glen Street, Victoria, Western Australia and Darwin.
I asked Kate what have been her favourite roles in her long acting . She said her favourite performances have been in Heidi Chronicles and Mary Stuart where she played very strong women.
I wished her good luck for her opening night performance of the national tour which takes place tomorrow night in Mackay.
Kate Raison and Brian Meegan can be seen playing in TWO at the Riverside Theatre, Parramatta between the 5th and 7th March. They will also end their national tour with performances at the Glen Street Theatre, Belrose between the 7th and 12th May.