Georgie Parker first joined the cast of Home and Away in 2010, replacing Justine Clarke as Alf Stewart’s daughter Ruth ‘Roo’ Stewart. The star is considered a main cast member but occasionally leaves Summer Bay for temporary exits during the year.
Her absences are often explained by scriptwriters, with Georgie’s character occasionally visiting her mother, Martha Stewart in Merimbula or going on holiday. During a candid chat with Yahoo Lifestyle this week, the star reveals that she is currently taking a break from the soap.
Home and Away films approximately five months in advance, so viewers can expect Georgie’s character to disappear around August. However, she isn’t gone for good but is simply returning to the stage to star in the David Williamson play Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica for the next seven weeks.
The star, 58, makes it very clear that she is thankful for the producers who allow her ample time off each year to return to the stage.
“I’m lucky that with Home and Away or any other TV productions I’ve been involved with, I’ve been very fortunate that I kind of put it out there — if it’s going to be long term, that I need time out for plays,” she explains. “Channel Seven has always been very generous with letting me do that and ask for [time off]. I just get it written into my contract.”
The Aussie actress says the show tends to “revolve around the younger cast members”, so her character is easily written out.
“It doesn’t break any storylines in half if I take time out to go, so I’m lucky in that way,” she adds.
Georgie spills about her newest project
The double Gold Logie award winner has racked up a huge amount of theatre credits, with a strong creative partnership with the Ensemble Theatre in Kirribilli, Sydney. She previously starred in Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica 13 years ago with co-star Glenn Hazeldine but reveals that audiences can expect a new take on the Mark Kilmurry-directed show.
Not only has the director at the helm of the romantic comedy changed from their last run, but the veteran theatre actors are also tackling the source material with a different perspective.
“Now that we’re 13 years older, the whole play resonates in a very different way, because things mean different things to you when you’re older…the comedy hits in a different way,” she says. “It’s matured into a really interesting and fun, volatile [play], with two people who are completely ill-matched together, finding a way to be together.”
While the former All Saints star adores working on TV productions, she admits that there’s something special about getting back to her roots and stepping on stage.
“It’s the most natural medium for an actor because you start at the beginning of the story and you end, at the end. It suits my energy levels [and] I love the connection with the audience,” she explains.
“It’s the immediacy of [theatre] that I love, and always have, I started in theatre.”
‘Wouldn’t that be fun?’: Georgie teases theatre collaboration with co-star
Many past Home and Away stars continue to work on stage, with Jake Speer (Oscar Maguire) recently chatting to Yahoo Lifestyle about his theatre show in November, and Kirsty Marillier (Rose Delaney) penning an original play Orange Thrower that premiered at Griffin Theatre Company last year.
Georgie admits she has had some conversations with co-star James ‘Jimmy’ Stewart, who plays Justin Morgan, about getting on stage together.
“I would definitely [collaborate] with Jimmy, [if] Jimmy wanted to do something. Wouldn’t that be fun?” she muses. “Jimmy and I talk about it a bit.”
Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica is on at Ensemble Theatre from 10 March until 29 April. For tickets and more information head to Ensemble’s website
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