Making most of a bum deal

The Subiaco actor found inspiration in the most unlikely of places – seven months nursing a polonidal cyst on her upper buttocks – to write, produce and perform her Fringe World debut Pain In My Arse.

“It was completely random. I was in Melbourne for my sister’s 21st last year and assumed I had just drunkenly fallen over on my coccyx,” the 26-year-old said.

“It was just getting worse and worse the whole weekend.

“I couldn’t sit, couldn’t walk. I couldn’t sleep even with Valium. I literally waddled into the emergency department. They looked at it and said: ‘Yup, that’s not going away with antibiotics’. So they chopped it out.”

A few weeks later, just after moving to Vancouver – ‘the Hollywood of the north’ – in Canada to pursue acting internationally, the cyst came back.

“When I found out I had to come home and have surgery again, I thought: ‘A show needs to be written about this, I need to vent my frustrations’,” Maclean said.

“It has been a really embarrassing, frustrating but ultimately positive thing.

“You have to laugh about it; there really is no other option. Some of the situations I found myself in … like having to bend over and pull my butt cheeks apart for 20-plus doctors to look at. Dignity was gone.”

Maclean said she was looking forward to watching the audience’s reaction and hearing them share stories about their own embarrassing bodies.

“I hope people will get something out of it, even just to pick up some handy hints if they happen to get a cyst on their buttocks too,” she said.

“Just have some fun with it, have a drink, have a laugh and support my butt that’s healing in recovery.”

Although her Canada move was cut short, Maclean still had time to mark her mark – scoring work in Star Trek Beyond and new TV shows Minority Report and The Magicians.