Words by Athalia Foo

To most people I seem pretty well adjusted and sociable. If I'm going to be completely honest, though... I'm actually pretty freaky. My closest friends know it best. I make weird noises, start speaking in different accents, pull uncomfortably strange faces and pretend to be someone else (let's just say the phrase "you're strange" has escape many people's lips in my presence). Even though my antics are reserved for my nearest and dearest I'm still definitely a more different person when I'm alone (you don't really want to know what I get up to)!

Enter Maureen O'Hara Spends a Quiet Night at Home - a play about how we are when we are by ourselves, with our own thoughts, in our own spaces. It's truly a topic that fascinates me. Who are we when we aren't on show with all our bells and whistles? When there's no one to impress and no one to influence the way we act or think?

We had a chat with the creator, director and performer of the piece, PhD Candidate and local theatre maker Belinda Locke, about the topic of 'being alone', who Maureen O'Hara is, being in the nude (oh dear!/oh yes!) and her show that opens T O N I G H T:

If one luxury item were to represent you as a person, what would it be and why?
I like wearing pearls – they are sentimental, timeless, romantic, always striving for perfection, the unattainable.

Tell us about your upcoming show ‘Maureen O’Hara Spends a Quiet Night at Home’? Where did the inspiration come from?
Maureen O’Hara Spends a Quiet Night at Home questions how we are when we are alone and where our thoughts may take us. I am currently undertaking a PhD at QUT to investigate the use of magical realism in visual theatre. I wanted to create a performance where the reality of everyday living and one’s mental life collide on stage. I use the persona of Maureen O’Hara – a fusion of the Hollywood actress and my own self, to drive the narrative journey.

Sum up the plot of the show using only 6 words?
Bathing, 1940s, physical, nonverbal, female, nude.

What is one sneaky/sexy/unforgettable thing that we can expect to see as part of the show/take away with us as part of the show?
Come prepared to see more than a peep of a bare body!

What is the best thing about your art practice?/What makes it oneof-a-kind?
I’m still discovering how to describe my art practice. There is no other artist I know of who exemplifies what it is I’m striving for. This can be very challenging, but also gives me strength to keep struggling with the beast of my creations.

What would you change in your area of work if you could?
I often think I would like to be a curator or a restoration artist for a major gallery.

Who/what most inspires you and why? OR if you could create a show/collaborate with one person living or dead who would it be?
So many people! To both questions! One of my favourite artists is Yayoi Kusama, I would love to collaborate with her. She has an amazing sense of aesthetic and a unique perspective.

One piece of advice you’d give to budding artists?
See as much art as you can, whether it is live performance, visual art exhibitions, film, music, poetry etc. Immerse yourself in it and you will find a stronger sense of where you exist within that world.

Parting words to get us wet for the show?
Maureen O’Hara Spends a Quiet Night at Home has been created for an intimate audience. I recommend you book to avoid disappointment!

Maureen O'Hara - June 19th to 29th
Judith Wrights Centre of Contemporary Arts
More info and Tickets H E R E