NIDA in the 1990’s produced a group of great actors, strong women and men who were soon playing leading roles in Australia and abroad. Jacquie McKenzie was a petite and handsome young actor who would often ask for a helpful comment on her work in a play production. ‘Come on, Clarkie, don’t fuck about. Tell me exactly what you thought’ – and I did.
There was Susie Porter and Sacha Horler, Robin McLeavy, Miranda Otto, Susan Prior and Annalise Phillips. Cate Blanchett and Essie Davis played mother and daughter in a NIDA production of Sophocles’ Electra with Daniel Lapaine, who moved to Hollywood after playing a leading role in Muriel’s Wedding … while Olivia Pigeot, whom I remember as a funny and sexy Australian Lucille Ball, reignited her career after creating a family.