A Quick Chat With Helen Dallimore

Helen Dallimore is one of our brightest stars. From Wicked (even on the West End) to Legally Blonde to the wickedly clever Tartuffe, and a bunch of other glittering credits, she will next appear in Darlinghurst Theatre’s Daylight Saving at the Eternity Playhouse. We caught up with Helen and asked our 20 of our fun and informative questions about her life and her current show.

How would you describe yourself? Five words or less.
Fat girl waiting to happen.

Helen Dallimore.
Helen Dallimore.

What was your first theatre project – and how old were you?
I was Marsinah in a school production of Kismet. I performed it predominantly by semaphore.

Whose advice do you always take?
If I took advice I wouldn’t be in this business.

What’s your best party trick?
Interpretive Dance.

Best (or worst) onstage mishap?
I went through a coffee table with another actor in a West End flop. He quit the next day and we closed in two weeks.

What makes you laugh?
My friends. I have hilarious friends.

What’s the most used app on your phone?
Grindr. It keeps me in touch.

Which directors do you admire?
Neil Armfield, Gale Edwards, Sam Strong, Adam Cook, Jerry Mitchell, Susan Strohman, Trevor Nunn, Peter Brooks, Elia Kazan… how long have we got?

Who is your performer hero?
Tina Fey.

What’s your life motto?
Dance like nobody’s listening.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I warm up my voice in the car and wee 47 times.

Helen Dallimore and Mike Snell. Image by Jeff Busby
Helen Dallimore and Mike Snell in Legally Blonde. Image by Jeff Busby

What’s your favourite post­-show snack?
Cheese.

What’s the best thing about the Australian theatre industry?
It’s growing confidence in it’s own identity.

What’s the worst thing about it?
The Tall Poppy Syndrome.

Which live performance (theatre, musical theatre, cabaret, concert) should everyone drop everything and see ­ and why?
Daylight Saving. If you don’t laugh I will give you your two hours back.

Peter Phelps and Helen Dallimore in CRUISE CONTROL. Photo by Clare Hawley
Peter Phelps and Helen Dallimore in CRUISE CONTROL. Photo by Clare Hawley

Which five songs would you include in an “about me” playlist?
Oops I Did it Again
Another One Bites the Dust
I will survive
Que Sera Sera
Boogie on Reggae Woman

Name something on your bucket list.
To go up the Nile on a boat and then to the pyramids by camel.

What’s your favourite theatre in the world? 
The Stables.

Talk us through the premise of Daylight Saving.
It’s the last night of summertime and Felicity, with a ticking biological clock, has her marriage sorely tested by an old love and a collection of self-indulgent interlopers.

Tell us a little bit about Nick Enright.
He was one of our greatest writers, sadly gone too soon. His kind and gentle nature defined the sweet warmth in all his work. From Lorenzo’s Oil to Blackrock to Daylight Saving, love shines through.

See Helen Dallimore in Daylight Saving at Sydney’s Eternity Playhouse from 31 October. For more info and to book tickets, visit http://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/. 

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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