So familiar, Miriam Margolyes seems like one of us. Well, she is actually, because she took out Oz citizenship and lives here (at least at Robertson, NSW) for part of the year. Whether in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on television (for which she has just recorded another series) or in Harry Potter movies as Professor Sprout, she is a welcome presence. But never more so than on stage.
Ms Margolyes is back there soon in a new one-woman show The Importance of Being Miriam. It’s a similar format to her hugely successful show Dickens’ Women with associate artist John Martin. She will bring famous literary characters to life including Lady Bracknell (after a professional lifetime of playing Miss Prism), Jane Austen’s awful Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and from Sheridan’s The Rivals, the irresistible Mrs Malaprop. Most of us discovered malapropisms at secondary school but they are still popping up. Dan Quayle was good at them, so was George Bush but neither was a match for Tony Abbott with his ‘suppository of all wisdom’ which brought him world-wide attention.
Content, variety, pace, personality; these are some of the key elements. She will have all of them and then some. The show is devised by Peter J. Adams who has form with successful theatre shows for David Attenborough and Brian Cox. With costumes by Marion Boyce, the designer for Miss Fisher, even your eye will be delighted.
The premiere is at the Victorian Arts Centre March 19.
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