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Homecoming for MTC star

12 Jun 2012

Homecoming for MTC star Image

When globetrotting theatre actor Grant Cartwright landed his latest acting gig at the Melbourne Theatre Company’s upcoming performance of  ‘National Interest’ he knew getting to work on time wasn’t going to be much of a challenge.

Grant recently moved into Southbank as a resident and, through good planning and a dash of luck, he lives almost exactly between the rehearsal facility at MTC and the Arts Centre, where the show will be performed.

“It’s really nice. I get out of bed and just roll down to rehearsals. And when the show starts it’s even closer!” Grant said.

Grant has lived in Southbank for almost a year now. He moved here for a production of Hamlet, but admits it has seemed like home for longer than that, through his time studying at the Victoria College of the Arts (VCA).

“I lived here for three years while I was studying, because I spent more time at the VCA than I did at home. My wife will attest to that!” he said.

After finishing at VCA, Grant continued his affinity with Southbank through the MTC.

“There’s something about the MTC. It is where I got my first gig, it’s always been like coming home,” Grant explained.

“There is something easy about working in Melbourne, there’s quite a family feel to the MTC,” he said.

Grant went on to explain just how lucky Southbank residents are, not only being home to the arts precinct of Melbourne, but having such high-quality institutions here.

“We’ve got the major theatre company, the major training company, the Arts Centre and a number of other facilities, all right here in the precinct. As an actor it is great.”

The show follows the story of the family of Tony Stewart, a journalist who was one of the Balibo Five – five TV reporters killed by Indonesian troops in the 1975 invasion of East Timor. Aidan Fennessy, who is an extended family member, wrote the show.

Grant plays fellow Balibo Five member Gary Cunningham and it is the first time he has played a non-fiction character.

“The character is actually a recreation of Gary in the Stewart family’s minds, but obviously there is still a level of respect you have to pay to the real person you are playing,” Grant explained.

National Interest is playing from June 6 to July 21 at the Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfaix Studio. For more information on the show go to www.mtc.com.au or check out our Arts column on page 12.

This month Kevin McGreal has given his expert opinion on the much-anticipated show.

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