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I, Claudia

Nicole Nabout (OW1987) as Queen Claudia in ‘Because the Night’ at the Malthouse in Melbourne

Last year was difficult for everyone. For actor Nicole Nabout (OW1987), who has consistently worked on stage, film and television since her acting days at Wesley, it was a strange break from the everyday stress of securing the next gig, as there was simply nothing to do – no work
and no auditions.

But as the industry found its feet again and started planning for 2021, the remote auditions started to roll in again. Like many actors stuck at home with only their families to audition with, a plethora of self-tapes made with children and partners (or, if single, fellow actors and friends on speaker phone reading the other parts) became the norm for Nicole. Like many, she turned a walk in robe into a sound studio and ordered lights from Amazon to create her own mini film studio.

Nicole was very lucky and found herself coming out of Lockdown 2.0 with a year’s worth of work. Of course she has held her breath every time a new COVID-19 case is announced, wondering if work would be cancelled. Her first return was a fill-in Jack Irish episode which premiered on the ABC in mid-June, where she played the role as Evie Mansour, the mother of Jack’s child Sami (yes, Jack has been very busy between Seasons 2 and 3). ‘I had a wonderful month filming with the cast and crew of this marvellously Melbourne creation, and I hope you will also support this local production by watching it!’ Nicole exclaims.

She recently starred in Because the Night at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne, an incredible large-scale immersive theatre experience written and created by the extraordinary Malthouse team led by Matt Lutton. The show is based on the basic tenets of Hamlet but set in the 1980s logging town of Elsinore. Audience members were invited into the town to watch its inhabitants struggle with the consequences of their actions and inactions. Nicole plays the new Queen Claudia, based on King Claudius from Hamlet, and (spoiler alert) having killed her brother she struggles to defend her actions in the name of the greater good.

It has been a tough time for the Arts, but as Nicole says, ‘I have no idea what next year will bring – do any of us? – but I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to use craft again in 2021.’

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