July 6, 2022

Actor Harriet Gordon – Anderson & Two Unemployed Actors - Episode 97

Max interviews Actor Harriet Gordon – Anderson 

-       Hamlet v the plague

-       From academic graduate to WAAPA

-       Navigating through the industry

-       Approaching a character from featured guest in Television to a lead on stage.

 Episode Page:

An Add Kulcha Production

 Max interviews Actor Harriet Gordon – Anderson 

-       Hamlet v the plague

-       From academic graduate to WAAPA

-       Navigating through the industry

-       Approaching a character from featured guest in Television to a lead on stage.

 Episode Page:

An Add Kulcha Production


Max Belmonte 00:12
Welcome back to Two Unemployed Actors. I'm Max and joining me today is Actor Harriet
Gordon-Anderson with credits across television, film and theatre. Harriet, welcome to the show.

Harriet 00:24
Hi, it's very nice to be here. Thanks for having me.

Max Belmonte 00:26
You're welcome. And why don't we start with your most recent role playing one of the world's
best known characters in Hamlet for the Bell Shakespeare Company here in Australia, because I
actually went to both Sydney opening nights, which says it all really, the fact that it was... there
were two opening nights in it. Yeah. And it was a little strange with a pandemic in between, but
it must... you must feel like you were playing Hamlet for about 10 years.

Harriet 00:57
It does feel a bit like that. I'm sure that's something that a lot of your listeners can relate to.
Time feels pretty warped. Looking back on roles over the last three years. It's hard to know.
Yeah. what went on in my memory?

Max Belmonte 01:13
Because I remember talking to someone who was an artistic Director for a theatre company
saying, oh, perhaps we should have like a Plan B, just in case this whole plague thing blows up.
And that was the first conversation on the first opening night. And then of course, it was the
thing was two weeks or a week in?

Harriet 01:31
Yeah twelve shows. Well, yeah, so just a couple Yeah, a couple of weeks into the season in
2020. And that was in March. And it was the 17th of March, I remember when the that the
Opera House closed, and everything that was on at the Opera House closed on that day, we all
got told. And we had to come in and pack up our stuff from the dressing rooms, clear mountain
and leave.

Max Belmonte 01:54
So you found out on the day?

Harriet 01:56
It was pretty crazy. Luckily, I was working with a company that really took care of us really put
our well being I mean, it was such a crazy time. No one knew what to do. But we just all
gathered in the bell Shakespeare offices on that day and had some booze and talked about how
brokenhearted we were and how good it was that we were brokenhearted because that means
that we were in love with the show we were doing and that that is something that we're going
to need to hold on to while the lights are out in order to sort of be able to bring it back. And we
knew we would be bringing bringing it back. And that's...

Max Belmonte 02:36
That's great.

Harriet 02:37
I know that's not a privilege that some artists were able to enjoy. I know that some shows went
dark and went dark entirely. And that's harrowing. But knowing that the company always
wanted to bring it back. And that had it had luckily already been reviewed, and well received.
So it was in that respect, quite an easy show to bring back because there was already a bit of
hype, like hype and sort of warmth around the show. So coming back to it two years later
eventually felt like a nice homecoming.

Max Belmonte 03:07
Yeah, well, how when rehearsals start, is it do you... do you get four weeks? Or is it six weeks?

Harriet 03:13
Yeah, is it four or five? I get a bit confused, i

Max Belmonte 03:20
it is two years ago too...

Harriet 03:22
four weeks... four weeks rehearsal in the room. And then we've got a week of tech and then
four previous I think and then, or maybe three? Gosh and then opening night Yeah, so it ends
up being five weeks when you're continuing to work and change and also things over the tech

Max Belmonte 03:37
And we were you living with it prior to rehearsal starting in the room. Were you off book, for
example, coming into rehearsals.

Harriet 03:46
Yeah, yeah, mostly that, I'm sure everyone's process is different. But it's obviously a very large
play, it's a long play, there's a lot of text, it felt important to at the very least get all of the
soliloquys down very confidently before stepping into the room because that's an easy task to
learn by yourself. And I was very familiar with the scene work. But you've got to sort of strike
that balance, don't you between knowing the words but not not making any choices yet or
committing to any artistic kind of patterns before working with your fellow teammates. So
yeah, I would say I was very very, very familiar with the text before coming in that just felt like
a necessity because for weeks is such a short time for such a big play.

Max Belmonte 04:38
And I think to to be able to free yourself up a little to focus on blocking or to try things a bit
differently and have a bit of fun with it or, you know, change things up a little.

Harriet 04:50
Yeah, that's a great point. Having like, something in your hands can be, can become a bit of a
crutch. and can really... I had a teacher at drama school who said you really need to get get rid
of it as soon as possible because she notices students and actors making choices with only one
hand, because they've learned it using only one hand. Because they've had this object in their
other hand the whole time they've rehearsed. And because I come from a physical background,
and I do enjoy making choices through a physical creative point of view, particularly with this
role with inhabiting a body that people will be reading as different to my own being a, you
know, a male character, I really wanted to be free to use my body to its full extent and play.
And yeah, make offers physically, to sort of find him in that way. Because he does move
differently to me. So yeah...

Max Belmonte 05:48
And to that point, it was amazing to see you just absolutely own the stage, like, there was an
actor in absolute command of the stage. Because I remember afterwards at drinks, and you're
so small in stature, and it's like, looking up at this amazing presence on stage, this huge
presence. Every time you walked onto the stage, and and I'm just like, Oh, my God, you know I
had to do a little double take.

Harriet 05:50
Thank you. That's very kind of you. Yeah, yeah, I think, you know, I remember feeling that way
about other actors. When I was in high school and drama school and training, you know, there
is something about that space, that magical space that allows people to grow and sort of seem
larger than life. It's pretty special.

Max Belmonte 06:36
And so we had to have a break. And then it was... was there rehearsals prior to the secondopening night? It sounds weird to say but yeah.

Harriet 06:47
Oh, yeah. We, you know, we tried three times, not just two...

Max Belmonte 06:50
Oh really?!

Harriet 06:51
to get this show up. Yeah, we did. So after the cancellation, and the first Sydney lockdown. That
was a prolonged period of time, obviously, of lockdown the first one, and then things started
easing. And remember, there was that sort of amazing window in maybe sort of March, April of
2021, where everything was lifted, the numbers were back to single figures, and things opened
again. And I remember doing a different show in that window. And it getting like sold out before
it even opened, like people were so hungry for theater.

Max Belmonte 07:27

Harriet 07:28
And then delta hit.

Max Belmonte 07:30
Yes. That's right.

Harriet 07:31
So In July, we started rehearsals for the second time for Hamlet, with some new cast members,
but mostly the same cast. And the delta wave shut us down again, we got three weeks into
rehearsal. And we didn't even get to tech week. And we knew that was the one that was the
most harrowing experience of it all, I think, because we already were a little traumatized. We
were a little fearful coming into the room, because we had already experienced the
cancellation and we weren't sure.

Max Belmonte 08:07
And its not as though you can afford to get sick for a day or two, you know, or, you know,
anyone having the slight sniffles everyone's freaking out, you know, Yeah, yeah, yeah, totally.
And to Canberra to Melbourne as well.

Harriet 08:17
The company weren't letting us take public transport. They were paying for us all to drive
ourselves or you know, like it was very regimented. There's this hard to feel trusting of the
world when everything is a bit uneasy, and it's hard to open your heart to be it to taking risks,
and all the things that are required, enacting when there's so much fear around, but it was an
amazing experience. And thank God, we all had each other and we were a very tight ensemble.
So it was a very strong love in the room that kept us going but we knew before the end of week
three that it would never go up. So we decided to just continue to the end of the week for
ourselves and we did a company run for I think there was only, because of restrictions, there
was only allowed two or three members of staff to watch it. But we opened up a little YouTube
private YouTube channel for our family to watch it. I'm gonna cry it oh man, it was so upsetting
and very difficult to get through and there was a lot of tears in that run. It was a pretty, pretty
weird run. And then we went dark again. And then came back a third time at the start of this
year and thankfully got through a full tour. Yeah.

Max Belmonte 09:37
Wonderful, brilliant. And I think it was amazing just the sense of relief on the second opening
night, or your third really to see everyone again and just to be there with masks on and you
know behaving as we've been tought to now. Not getting too close but still enjoying the the
arts again which which kept a lot of us going during lock down and iso.

Harriet 10:03
It feels pretty special doesn't it? Getting back into a room with people and enjoying art. It's it
took on the play became deeper and better and darker but funnier and just more wonderful
because of all the experiences we've lived through, I think, yeah.

Max Belmonte 10:21
Did you find yourself making some different choices for that?

Harriet 10:25
Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, I think I as has anyone I met, I feel like I aged about 10 years over
the last two years.

Max Belmonte 10:40
Certainly character building.

Harriet 10:44
Yeah, my trust in everything working out. Okay, changed. Not to say that I'm, I'm an optimist
through and through, but I think it's maybe akin to having your heart broken for the first time.
Like, it just was an experience I had never been through before. And, and so the sort of, oh,
well, this happens, you have rehearsal, and then you have tech and then you open and then
you close, the rules went out the window. And so when you don't trust that everything's gonna
go a certain way you question everything. And as a result, I think you you learn a lot and you
knit yourself back together again, as a different person who, you know, so Hamlet, my Hamlet
became wiser, darker, more bitter, more angry. I had a lot of anger. Harriet had a lot of anger,
to get through related

Max Belmonte 11:37
Saved you some therapy playing Hamlet.

Harriet 11:39
Yeah, it was, it was the perfect role for that catharsis truly was because funneling in my distrust
for the world. And, you know, I definitely sat down at my computer at some point in the first
lockdown and went like 'other jobs', like jobs, job careers that are not acting like, you know, we
all did it, we all thought, Oh, this is not going to be viable, I have to rethink my entire life. And
so through those experiences, and that sort of weird heartache and stuff, I connected on a
much better level with this character who everyone is betraying him constantly, and he doesn't
trust anyone. And that's not to say that that's the right point of view, or that, you know, another
individual might not have handled these things better, but it really gave me a deeper
understanding of him and allowed me to go further into his ugly, vicious bitterness, which I
think was some of my favorite. Because if you don't have that, then what's the point and all the
beautiful poetry. Soaring love that he also expresses. Like, it's such a beautiful dark and shade.
So yeah, that's cool.

Max Belmonte 12:52
That's fantastic. And I guess technically too like, at the start of a production because you've got
certainly some experience in thetheater and more than most, let's say, and to be able to
convey the same emotions at the end of the run as you were at the start, are you finding on
that journey that you you're choosing different substitutes or motivations to help convey that
then you were, you know, at the start?

Harriet 13:22
Yeah, yeah, that's something that was a great learning curve, because I have not... although I
have played many characters who are heartbroken before Yeah. I've had a lot of dead parents.
And so I thought, Oh, this isn't new territory. I've had parents before in in my professional
imagination. But it was I've never had to do it for three months before every night eight times a
week. Yeah, yeah. So it is true that you can find an image that is incredibly palpable for you
and that really has a strong emotional connection but I think it's just a reality that after
however many weeks or months you know, sometimes maybe it doesn't for some people, but
sometimes I definitely some nights I felt or that image isn't really sparking for me tonight and
I'm not it's not I'm not feeling myself well up in the way that I know I easily can in this scene or
in this soliloquy, so it was an amazing masterclass in like having a whole toolkit, I suppose and
thinking about things that were maybe more present in my life like because we were on tour I
was away from my family I was away from my friends and my partner and other things and
other images became more palpable to me than they did than what I was using in rehearsals,
for example. Just to help sort of initial connections because this character starts his first scene
and so it can be kind of tricky doing some of that work backstage in isolation and coming out
with that quite hot energy, rather than once the play starts. It's a runaway train. It's so
amazingly written, you just listen to your co, like your scene partners, and they break your
heart for you and they mend it for you. And you can just react to them. And as long as you're
open and responding, then all of a sudden, it's curtain... but like, that first scene was very tricky
after a while, like maintaining the maintaining the sort of palpable image that helps you
connect to, to the tragedy, I suppose.

Max Belmonte 15:38
And your background, there's a lot of improv. In fact, you're teaching improv, as well. So it's
like, you've got one of the world's best known characters, and then you've got this improv
background. I mean, are you able to stretch in perhaps choices you make in the rehearsal
space and find yourself a bit freer because you've got improv background? Or is it just a totally
different way of thinking way of approaching work?

Harriet 16:09
They're so connected? Yeah. I'm very grateful for Improv Theater Sydney, in Redfern, Sydney,
Australia, little plug, great school. Because I've done a fair bit of improvisation, before I started
teaching with them, but through other means, a lot of it just figuring it out with friends on our
own, because we wanted to do it and we wanted to perform at uni and stuff and sketch
comedy. But... and then we do a fair bit in training with acting training, because I think they're
so interconnected. But then when I started working through improv theatre, Sydney, and
teaching with them and learning their philosophy through the teaching of it, it's so I mean, I'll
just I'll talk forever about it. It's, it's not a, it's, it's so important to get your ego out of the way.
And I'm sure that people say this all the time, it's a little bit wanky to talk about it. But improv is
just this, like, There's no hiding, there's no, you can't just like do a bunch of fancy homework
and try to dazzle people, it's just, the only way to do it and do well is to bring your fears and
your insecurities with you and sit with them and bear them and, like be vulnerable with each
other. And that's where the laughs come. And that's where you know, and not playing for
laughs not trying to be anything other than just what it is that your initial impulse is right now.
And all of that I use every day at work. enacting I think it's extremely interconnected. And I
think I think all actors benefit from improv training. Definitely.

Max Belmonte 17:50
Yeah, that's, that's really interesting. I totally, and I think like I remember, on set at one stage,
and the Director has just come up to us and said, look, I don't actually like the way that that
sounds, what else would you character, say? And I'd said something else. And it's okay, let's
run with it. But that changed the whole conversation there was, you know, half a dozen lines
between the two of us and other actors, quite a bit stressed, 'well, well, wait a minute, what are
you going to say', you know, and 'then I've got to say something', but they're just approaching
it with the blinders on and going, this is what I'm supposed to do. And that's what I'll be doing.
Yeah. And the minute it shifted, for whatever reason, it was just, I'm just like, just relax, we'll
have a conversation. And then, but we've got to do it again, for the other camera angle. And
you know, it's like, do it if it feels good, we'll do that again. You know? Yeah. And it can be a
challenge for some actors who take comfort in a lot of prep. And, and in the words on the page,
and it can be quite the challenge to change things up a bit. Take some direction that pushes
them a little.

Harriet 18:58
Yeah, yeah. But I mean, I like to think about being the best. I want to be the best asset that I
can be for the person who is opposite me as well. And so when I think about what I'm what I
love, in a generous partner, and so that they're listening to me, and they divide, do you know
and maybe I've interpreted this in different to them or whatever, and and if they can see that
and I take that in a place that I didn't expect? What a thrill.

Max Belmonte 19:34

Harriet 19:34
like, if I you know, to... and that's when you find the spark and something feels kind of real
because it is because you're actually listening to each other and I just couldn't get it just can
feel a little bit stale. I think if, if you're just parroting your homework and you would think with
things like Shakespeare or texts that are quiet, you know, there's a meter we have to stick to
but it's, there's so much improv in it Yeah, and I mean every night in the way that you listen to
something or the intonation or the way that you hear someone say something differently, and
that sparks a different idea, I heard the text a million times over, like, because the the, like the
people that I was working with, they're just so incredible. They've been doing it forever. They
know exactly what they're doing, and you never hear the same thing twice. And that's not to
say that I think it's cool to be a cowboy and like, rock up and just do things wacky to trick other
people into bullshit. Yeah, sorry for swearing, I think it's important to have a generosity of spirit.
Yeah. I mean, it isn't doesn't it just make it more interesting and fun if it can be connected to
the real moment that we're breathing and experiencing right now, rather than maybe what I
thought was important last night, when I was looking over my script, maybe that's not true

Max Belmonte 20:50
And that's really interesting that you mentioned your generosity. I've found that people who
come from or have improv is a large part of their background, where it's all about, you know,
you're giving something to that scene, and then someone else builds on that. And then you,
you know, you give something like that, that can really help frame that sort of generosity, that
that generosity of spirit that you talk about. It's really interesting. And so, at university, you
were doing lots of sketch, lots of improv, and then you went to study at WAAPA.

Harriet 21:25
Yeah, yeah, I went to WAAPAin 2012. I believe...

Max Belmonte 21:30
A couple of drinks ago. And what was that like that, was it straight into the fire? Or was it
everything you thought it would be? Was your mind blown? What....

Harriet 21:34
yeah. So I had done a full... I left high school and went straight to university because I was a big
nerd. And I really wanted to do an academic degree. I wanted to do a media degree because I
thought I'd be a journalist. And I knew very quickly into that degree that I wasn't going to be a
journalist. Those of you listening, I can't even work a Zoom meeting, let alone any kind of
website or online portal.

Max Belmonte 22:09
We got there.

Harriet 22:09
But I did fall in... Yeah, I knew that I wanted to keep performing, which I had been doing in high
school, and badaba... And so as soon as that degree finished, I was accepted into WAAPA,
which was amazing. So I think I just was, I was 22. I think when I started, which was in the older
side of the students, in my class, there were lots of school leavers. Yeah, we had a 17 year old
to 18 year olds and 19 year olds, you know, I think it's very common in the major schools to be
seeking young talent. And there's a lot of marketability in young graduates. And I understand
that from a business point of view, but I am I wouldn't do it any other way. I'm so grateful that I
knew exactly where I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to be there. I worked so hard. I was able to
I had been living out of home already since I was 17. I was able to live in another state and not
sort of Yeah, I don't know I really threw myself into it. I did and I had the most incredible time I
really, I think it was like some of the best three years of my life I really wrapped up I think it
was an incredible training it felt important for me to get out of my hometown which is Sydney
to go and fail... fall on my ass learn clowning, be bad at it, learn acrobatics, be bad at it, like all
of that stuff. So that I could become a more bold performer and, and and be okay with failure,
you know, whereas I didn't think personally that I would be able to have that robust relationship
with trying things out and being risky if I had gone to school in a place where a there's much
more attention on not yet graduated people, which is crazy to me. You know, if you're trying to
be a fully formed performer, but while you're still in training, but also while having to balance
the load of being a good family member and a good friend and a good partner. And all of that
was I was grateful that I could kind of just crawl into this hole in WA and like come out three
years later and be like alright, I fucked up 100 times I'm ready.

Max Belmonte 22:32
Really? It's great that you could...

Harriet 24:32
Honestly go to WAAPA its the best.

Max Belmonte 24:34
Yeah, and you were able to bring some life experience there at 22 and really commit 100% to
it. And it's I mean, you're living and breathing the craft for three years. Was it a challenge when
you finished or did you go straight into you got an agent and work and all the rest of it?

Harriet 24:54
Yeah, I got lucky. I mean, it's always challenging. I don't remember, we call it showcase at
WAAPA It's probably the same in a lot of different Yeah, we sort of, we bring our scene we're at,
you know, our showcase to Sydney and Melbourne.

Max Belmonte 25:07
Oh right.

Harriet 25:08
And we have meetings with agents afterwards. And everyone's comparing notes, like, how
many people did you get a meeting with, and it's so traumatic, like, it's, and we're all little
babies, like, we're all in our 20s. I remember trying to, like, fit myself into, like, I didn't even
know how to dress myself. And I'm trying to let you know, I've got like, curled hair, and I'm all
like, trying to be like, hey, and it's like, that's not me, but I didn't. Anyway, I was lucky enough
to Matt Lutton from Malthouse Theatre Company in Melbourne came to Perth, towards the end
of our final year, and he was casting a production of Picnic at Hanging Rock, which was a cast
of five women that he wanted to work with. And he wanted to find someone from Perth. And I
was really lucky to get that part. So I walked out of drama school already knowing that I would
be going into a mainstage show in February, which if I didn't have that... oh God its bleak. like,

Max Belmonte 26:14
it can be a time where you can be a challenge because all of a sudden you're living and
breathing for, you know, 50 hours a week, whatever the schedule is like, and then you're into
the industry. And yeah, it's quite a shock.

Harriet 26:30
Yeah, and you've got all different people telling you different sets of advice, which is awesome.
I'm so glad that there's so much advice out there. But it's so hard to know what's going to work
for you. And I guess it's just trial and error. Like, as I said, I tried to be what I thought was

Max Belmonte 26:45

Harriet 26:45
And it's only like, after starting to work, and working with amazing legends who, just like I don't
know, gave me perspective and made me feel comfortable in myself, I have also been very
lucky to almost exclusively have professional experiences, where I have felt that it is the best
thing to be myself. And that that's a great thing to be and that that's accepted. And yeah, so to
yeah, anyway. Because I mean, that lesson of learning to be yourself. And that is the most
marketable thing is one that maybe you just have to learn by trial and error,

Max Belmonte 27:28
Until you feel comfortable with it. Because I mean, that's your point of difference. Really,
there's only one you you know, and if everyone's trying to be a certain type or a certain style or
a certain whatever.

Harriet 27:36
Yeah, yeah, if someone had told me, I would have been grateful. That would have been great,
maybe I would have, but I think I had to go through that. So that I can feel the joy of being like,
Who knew that my like big, like, first big sort of mainstage lead role would be playing a bloke
who I get to be in total control of who he is, and how he, it's just me. And it's just like, Thank
God, I don't have to, oh, my God, thank God, I don't have to spend hours in hair and makeup
and like trying to like get my tits up to touch my chin and all this stuff that is like, there are so
many difficult expectations put upon women in this industry. And I don't need to go down that
path. But the comparison of like, other shows I've had to do, where I had to spend two hours
getting ready just to look, the way that this character is supposed to look compared to being
able to walk in warm up. And like, kind of put a bit of gel in my hair and walk out is like, man,
we really appreciate if you can, if you can find work where they're just like, be you. It's like, oh
my god, it's so good.

Max Belmonte 28:46
Well, across television and film, I mean, how do you approach a character when you've got a
part on television or film where they're shooting several minutes a day? And how is that
different to perhaps the stage?

Harriet 29:05
Look, I'm only coming from the perspective of someone who has worked as kind of, at most a
featured guest in a television series. I've never been a lead in a television series. And I think
that I say that because I think that informs my experience of screen. Apart from film work,
which is I think, different. But in terms of television, as you said, in these long running series,
especially it can be really hard to know how you fit in because everyone's got their community
they've got their way they know where everything is their mates with the second eighth day,
you know, and especially this party, and perhaps weren't even invited. That's kind of how I feel
sometimes. Yeah, so yeah, I have definitely as a new graduate I found it really tricky to back
myself into like, No, I auditioned for this part, and I am meant to be here. And I just have to look
after myself and make sure I do the work that they have employed me to do and that I to the
standard that I want to do it. And I don't know, like, be a good person and a nice person on set.
And that's kind of it, just do your job. And be nice to everyone. And if you make friends, that's
amazing. But I think I turned up thinking that, because my experience in theater is that you will
become a family and you will become best friends. And then you all hang out all the time. And
it's just not the same in in screen, particularly in television, unless you are part of, as I said,
that core group and you're going along together, you sort of in there for a couple of days a
week for a period of months, maybe and then your your character dies or gets pregnant or
whatever it is, you know, and leaves. So I can understand now that the leads, I can't be best
friends with every single guest that walks onto set, because they're going to leave again. So I
think I wasted a lot of energy on set trying to be everyone's best friend, and it didn't serve my
work, to be honest, perhaps it comes down to confidence in yourself. Yeah, and just taking care
of yourself, allowing yourself some space to not be chatting all that like give yourself some
private space, whatever you need, I am often I seem to be casting tragedies a lot. So I'm often
a character that needs to come in quite hot with a lot of emotion. And unlike theatre, there's
sometimes no rehearsal whatsoever, depending on which director you're working with. It's just
expected that you auditioned for this. So you are able to entirely have your own accord.
Generate that as soon as they say action. And so my advice to my younger self, and to anyone
who still feels a little bit like they don't know what they're doing on a set is you're there to
work. And please be nice to everyone and be a good person. But also be nice and be a good
person to yourself, which might mean at least for me, it meant take some time and space for
myself to prepare in whatever way I need to. It's great if you've got a trailer. And don't be
afraid to be like, hey, really nice to meet you. Like can't wait to work with you and our next
scene or whatever, I'm just going to take a minute and do whatever it is you need to do to
make sure the work is strong. And yeah, that's that was my biggest challenge. Just want it to be
everyone's best friend on set and then being like, Oh God, I'm so tired. It's the end of the day.
But I've been here since six. And now it's my scene. Yeah, it's because you're often gonna be
waiting around a really long time and days.

Max Belmonte 32:48
I know, right? I know. That's hilarious. But but fantastic advice. Yeah, that's really great. That's
great. So have the courage to say, Look, I need a minute or just park yourself somewhere quiet
for a moment and get yourself organized. Because no doubt they'll they'll thank you when the
scene works.

Harriet 32:53
That's the thing, isn't it? That's sort of the job. You're there to do a Yeah.

Max Belmonte 33:11
Well, what's, what's next for you, if you've got anything on your bucket list that's coming up?

Harriet 33:17
Um, I'm gonna head back to Bell to do a little bit more Shakespeare as if I hadn't had enough.

Max Belmonte 33:23
I was gonna say

Harriet 33:26
We... it's coming around. In a couple of weeks, we're going to start rehearsals for... Bell
Shakespeare finally has its own space down at Pier two, three. And with that comes their own
theater, which they've never had. And while we were working on Hamlet, Pete and Jill and the
team thought it would be nice to make a show a sort of special little one off that could sort of
christen in the new space. So we'll be working on that soon. It's called "In a nutshell". And it's
really just like a best of real. It's like a bunch of like, killer hits from Shakespeare like scenes
that are really fun. And we're just throwing them all together a bunch of friends. Like

Max Belmonte 34:09
that's awesome.

Harriet 34:09
Yeah, yeah, it'd be good to have just some like good actors in the room just like trying all the
roles we really wanted to play and throw it against the wall. That's really messy. It might be a
bit on board. Like it's really scrappy. Even for an actor I'm pretty excited about Yeah,

Max Belmonte 34:24
Yeah, that's great. And congrats on the new space. That's awesome. Because I think it finished
even ahead of schedule there's one positive thing but with the plague anyway, the wharf
theatres. It'll be great fun to play with other actors on all the juicy bits of Shakespeare. That'd
be great.

Harriet 34:42
Yeah, I think so. I'm looking forward to it.

Max Belmonte 34:44
Wonderful. Well, thank you very much for your time, Harriet Gordon-Anderson. much

Harriet 34:50
It's my pleasure, thanks for having me.

Max Belmonte 34:52
You've been listening to Two Unemployed Actors

Harriet Gordon - AndersonProfile Photo

Harriet Gordon - Anderson


Harriet is best known for her role as the titular character in the Bell Shakespeare production of Hamlet.

Harriet was cast by director Matthew Lutton in the Malthouse/Black Swan Theatre Company tour of Picnic at Hanging Rock. Harriet received Green Room Award nominations for ‘Best Ensemble’ and ‘Best Production’ and was also nominated for the Performance WA award for Best Newcomer. She went on to perform its international tour at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh and at the Barbican in London. She is set to appear next in Bell Shakespeare’s 2022 In A Nutshell which features Artistic Director Peter Evans favorite Shakespeare plays.

Harriet’s other stage work, The Museum of Modern Love (Seymour Centre/Sydney Fringe), The Miser (Bell Shakespeare Company) You Got Older and Leaves (Kings Cross Theatre), Lifestyle of the Richard and Family (Next Wave festival), Kindertransport (Darlinghurst Theatre Co) and the award-winning Moving on Inc. for the Perth Fringe Festival.

On television, Harriet currently appears in the Nine Network Series of Amazing Grace and will also shortly appear in the ABC Kids Series, Mikki Versus The World. Other credits include Mr Inbetween S2, Love Child, The Secret Daughter and WA Screen Academy’s short, Splendours of a Mind. Her film credits include The Greenhouse, directed by Tom Wilson and shorts, Swiss Avalanche, Love Birds and Your Mob.