A Quick Chat With Pippa Grandison

One of our very own green girls, Pippa Grandison stole our hearts as Elphaba in Wicked during the first Australian run.

Now exploring an entirely new avenue – a Michael Gow play produced as part of the Reginald season at Sydney’s Seymour Centre – we sent her our questions to find out more about the woman beyond the green. Europe - Pippa Grandison. Photo credit Kurt Sneddon, Blueprint Studios

How would you describe yourself? Five words or less.
Mother, wife, friend, lover – blessed.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still don’t! Happy was always the aim though. I’m still on that journey – happily.

What was your first theatre project – and how old were you?
My first professional theatre project was ‘A Little Night Music’ with the STC. I was 19.

Best (or worst) onstage mishap?
There was one particular and rather personal mishap which is tricky to describe without potentially grossing people out. Let’s just say I was in the ‘lady way’ and whilst belting out a rather long note at the end of my song, I pushed out more than I bargained for. For more details please see me at the bar after the show.

Who is your performer hero?
Pamela Rabe.

What was the best piece of career advice you ever received – and who gave it to you?
“Have fun” said Steve Le Marquand. Gold! A seemingly simple idea, but for a perfectionist like myself, so challenging.

Are you superstitious?
I am a little superstitious. Less as I get older it seems.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
There are so many places I’d still like to visit. Thailand particularly. A road trip around Australia has always been a dream of mine though.

Which five songs would you include in an “about me” playlist?
That’s really difficult. I’m not sure if they’re ‘about me’, but these are some of the many that have stuck with me throughout my life… ‘Don’t Stop’ Fleetwood Mac, ‘High Voltage’ ACDC, ‘When You Come’ Crowded House’, Wuthering Heights’ Kate Bush, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ The Beatles.

What’s your favourite post-show snack?
Wine and cheese.

What’s the best thing about Sydney audiences?
They let you know how they feel.

What’s the worst thing about them?
They let you know how they feel.

When was the last time you took a leap of faith?
When I became a mother.

Things you can’t live without?
Love and creativity.

Perfect way to spend a day off?
Snuggles and breakfast in bed with my husband and daughter. A spot of gardening. A lovely lunch down at our local on the beach. A swim in the ocean. A spot more gardening. A movie and pizza on the couch. A bath by candle light. 9hrs of peaceful sleep with no wake ups. Well that last bit is a fantasy, but the rest is achievable.

Name something on your bucket list.
Get my motorbike license.

Musicals or plays?
Plays.

What was the last book you read?
Old Hat New Hat.

What’s your life motto?
Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Describe your current project.
I have a couple on the go, but let’s talk about ‘Europe’. A thrilling challenge is the first thing that springs to mind. To quote Sondheim I’m ‘excited and scared’! It’s a wonderful play, by a great writer, with two really interesting and troubled characters stumbling about in a dark and funny dance of human interaction. There is passion and pain tangled up on both sides of romantic love gone astray.  Does that make sense? I haven’t really figured it out yet. I’m hoping all will be revealed in rehearsal.

Europe is at the Reginald from 10 – 27 September. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.seymourcentre.com/events/event/europe/.

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and is the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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