Lure of Lally Katz’s The Eisteddfod too strong for Natalie Holmwood

Natalie Holmwood. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Natalie Holmwood. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

THE destabilising nature of heartbreak is rich ground to lure any actor to a role, which is exactly what happened to Melbourne-based Natalie Holmwood and the character Gerture in Lally Katz’s play The Eisteddfod.

Along with returning home to stay with her mum and reuniting with WAAPA classmates in director Jeffrey Jay Fowler and actor Brendan Ewing, Perthraised Holmwood said she was drawn to the rollercoaster of emotion in the play presented by Black Swan State Theatre Company at Studio Underground from June 22 to July 9.

“It’s a very dark comedy that kind of looks at our idea of love and the imagination and emotional baggage from the past and a sense of arrested development within the characters,” Holmwood said.

“It’s a two-hander about a brother and sister whose parents died when they were teenagers and they become agoraphobic from this trauma.

“They were imaginative kids and this carries on into their adult life where they create these worlds to keep them entertained because they can’t go outside.

“The imagination is a very fruitful place but can be a very dark place when these people have no outlet except to each other. What comes from that are the destructive tendencies that can evolve when you let your imagination have free reign over your reality.”

Both siblings are in their early 30s and while Gerture is wallowing in the heartbreak of a relationship she had, her brother Abalone is concentrating on his obsession for amateur dramatics, where he wants the pair to present a rendition of Macbeth at an eisteddfod.

Holmwood said although a portion of audience members might be confronted by some aspects in Katz’s play, others would love it.

“It has been a passion project of Jeff’s (Fowler),” she said.

“He’d always loved the script and I’d read it and thought it was really interesting.

“Lally is quite prolific throughout Australia (she wrote the libretto for The Rabbits) and has been based in Melbourne while I’ve been there. I have seen her rising star and loved all her works.”


What: The Eisteddfod

Where: Studio Underground

When: June 22 to July 9