LOTL.com interview with Anita!
June, 09 2017        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on LOTL.com interview with Anita!

Inspector Bianca Grieve – Capturing The Heart Of Janet King

We spoke with Anita Hegh about the developing relationship between the King and her Queen.
By Sanya Franich

It is always such a pleasure to talk to renowned theatre performer, Anita Hegh, the charming and amiable actress who plays Inspector Bianca Grieve opposite Marta Dusseldorp’s Janet King. She was recently very generous with her time during rehearsal for her upcoming play, and we had a long chat about her future projects, as well as, of course, all things Janet and Bianca.

“So, right now I’m in rehearsals for Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine for the Sydney Theatre Company. It’s the third play I’ve done of hers, and I’m a big fan, so I’m very excited!” Hegh enthuses. “It was written in the ‘70s, although we’re putting it in more of a modern context, because we thought if Caryl Churchill were writing it now, that’s what she’d do. It originally looked at the parallels between racial and sexual oppression, starting in colonial Africa in the 1800s, then cutting to the ‘70s. Ours skips forward to the present and looks at the parallels and the changes that have happened in terms of acceptance to do with sexuality. It’s a really fascinating piece of work.”

Soon after Cloud Nine opens, Hegh will go into rehearsals for The Father, playing opposite Australian theatre royalty, John Bell, founder of Bell Shakespeare. “I’ll be performing one at night and rehearsing another one in the day, so you gotta be match-fit for that,” she says laughing. “But I just love the theatre, it’s great.”


Sydney Theatre Company Archive: Anita Hegh
May, 16 2017        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on Sydney Theatre Company Archive: Anita Hegh

Anita Hegh has been a greatly admired performer on STC’s stages since 1995, when she joined us for her first professional gig straight out of NIDA.

But Anita wasn’t always destined for the stage. She was studying teaching at The University of Sydney when she auditioned for NIDA on a whim. Since then, she has appeared in many more STC productions, winning a Sydney Theatre Award for her role in our 2009 production of The City. In 2017, Anita returns for two shows – Cloud Nine and The Father – so, it seemed fitting to sift through our archives and recall some of Anita’s previous STC performances.

See the full article at sydneytheatre.com.au

Photos: King Lear & 3 Tall Women (1995), As You Like It (1996)

The West Australian article with Marta about Janet King season 3!
May, 15 2017        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on The West Australian article with Marta about Janet King season 3!

Some interesting things about Janet & Bianca (Bianking):
– On the personal front, King, girlfriend Bianca (Anita Hegh) and King’s young twins are coming to terms with the new family dynamic. The appearance of King’s father Graham (John Bach) doesn’t help matters.
– Then there’s her nascent family unit. “Janet and Bianca are in love. They’re also working together. What does that mean to their relationship? Bianca also wants to move in with Janet but one of the twins isn’t so keen on the idea. So we explore what it means for children to have a new parent.”

Janet King season three starts on May 25 at 8.30pm on ABC.
#Bianking #JanetKing #BiancaGrieve

Magazine scans from 1995 to 1999
May, 02 2017        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on Magazine scans from 1995 to 1999

Click on the photos below to see them full size:

The Sydney Morning Herald (19 March 1995):

The Sydney Morning Herald (23 June 1995):

The Age (31 August 1996):

The Age (13 September 1996):

The Age (28 September 1996):

The Sydney Morning Herald (22 February 1997):

The Sydney Morning Herald (11 August 1997):

The Sydney Morning Herald (23 August 1997):

The Sydney Morning Herald (9 August 1999):

Smaalenene.no: Øvre-journalist met Anita Hegh (2003)
September, 10 2016        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on Smaalenene.no: Øvre-journalist met Anita Hegh (2003)

A very big thanks to Ine (@Bianking4Life) for translating!

“When I get older I hope to travel a lot, and I’d love to travel to Europe where my family comes from.”

That’s what young Anita Hegh (15) from Sydney, Australia, said when she was interviewed by Øvre Smaalenene in 1987.

Now she’s finally here, the Australian actress we know as Ellen Mackenzie in the TV series “Stingers” – on an Easter visit with her aunt Else in Askim.

In October 1987 the “Øvre Smaalenenes” journalist Bent Roni Oterholt visited Australia where he met the Hegh-brothers from Askim; Walter and Harald, after a tip from their sister Else Ingstad in Askim.

Brothers Walter and Harald travelled from Askim to Australia with their father on the passenger ship “Maloya” in 1938. The last 25 years they’ve both lived in the Sydney area, but for many years they moved around because of work. E.g. for logging work in the wet tropical forests in the north of Queensland, where nature seems as cut out of the blockbuster movie “Crocodile Dundee”.

Our dad died as an old man in the small mining town where he lived. Lead, silver, zinc and copper were extracted from the mines, says Harald, who in 1987 was a carpenter.

Harald with his wife Maret and children lived in Willoughby, north of Sydney. Harald’s wife Maret originally came from Estonia.

“Anita goes to high school and is a knowledgeable girl. She can fill you in on forms of political governance, house prices and education. In Australia you start school when you’re five years old”, it said in the article in the local paper.

Maybe you want to send Anita a letter describing what it’s like to live in Norway? You can get the address by contacting the editorial staff. So ends the article from Friday the 13th of November 1987.

I wonder if anyone sent her a letter?


Some older magazine scans
September, 10 2016        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on Some older magazine scans

A big thanks to Leese (@LJKwriting4life) for sending these magazine scans! Click on the photos to see them fullsize

Black + White (June 2002):

Melbourne Theatre Company – Duchess of Malfi Programme (2001):

The Herald Sun (17 April 2002):

TV Week (2002):

Unsorted Scans (2001/2002):

Woman’s Day (2001):

lotl.com Interview
August, 10 2016        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on lotl.com Interview

Warm-Hearted Cop Bianca Grieve Melts Ice Queen Janet King
In the second in a series on lesbian and bisexual representation on Australian television, we speak with Janet King’s Anita Hegh.
By Sanya Franich

Despite her busy schedule, Anita Hegh is brimming with friendly enthusiasm when she squeezes me in on very short notice for what turns out to be a warm and lengthy chat. She is near the end of the run of All My Sons at Sydney Theatre Co, while by day she is deep in rehearsals for Twelfth Night at Belvoir St Theatre. This is a woman who doesn’t often rest. She is under no illusions about the discussion we are about to have: what was it like stepping into the role of AFP Sergeant Bianca Grieve, and playing opposite Marta Dusseldorp as the new love interest for Janet King, one of Australia’s most prominent TV lesbians.

“Marta is pretty easy to love!” she laughs. “She’s great and she’s really smart. There’s no bullshit, and the work’s really clear. She’s formidable, but she’s also quite playful, so we were able to try scenes in different ways until we felt we had them right. And really, all you need to bring is yourself, and love. It’s about creativity and imagination, like any role.”


Older magazine scans
July, 07 2016        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on Older magazine scans

I added some older scans to the gallery from Anita. Click on the scans below to see them full size.

New Idea (1999):

NW (1998 & November 2000):

TV Week (2014):

Unsorted Scans (1999 & 2012):

Woman’s Day (1998, 1999 & 2002):

Articles & Interviews
June, 22 2016        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on Articles & Interviews

I made an Articles & Interviews section where you can read articles and interviews Anita has done, categorized by year. Here’s an interview she did in 2012:

Anita Hegh plays against type. Photo: Tamara Dean

In her new stage role, Anita Hegh must play a woman whose capacity for love has been destroyed, and who will walk over anyone to get what she wants. Talk about casting against type: her character Marlene in the play Top Girls is straight out of the Thatcherite ’80s, but Hegh is of introspective, postwar Scandinavian immigrant stock: for years she was painfully shy, perhaps still a little so.

The Sydney-born Hegh says she would ”lock up” whenever a teacher asked her a question in class. She went on to the University of Sydney to study English and modern history because her parents, despite their own artistic leanings, wanted her to plump for the job security of teaching. But after being mesmerised by a performance of Michael Gow’s Australian play Away as a teenager, Hegh remained quietly attuned to acting’s possibilities.

She found herself caught up with the crowd at the Sydney University Dramatic Society.

”I liked being an actor because I had full sentences written for me,” she says. ”I had the ideas [provided in a script] that I felt, but couldn’t say.” On her first audition, she was accepted into the National Institute of Dramatic Art. But what did she do when called upon to improvise a scene? ”I wagged every improvisation class that was there,” she says. ”I went across the road and hid.”

Hegh has an easy laugh and a kind face. It will be intriguing to see her play cruel. Top Girls director Jenny Kemp saw Hegh in Simon Stone’s adaptation of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck at the Malthouse earlier this year, a role for which Hegh won a Helpmann Award for best supporting actress. She cast the actor because, she says, she has an ”incredible sense of truth”.

”She works in a deep way, both with what is going on externally or socially,” Kemp says. ”But she is able to have a deep and solid connection with an inner world.”

The modest Hegh has to be asked twice what a Helpmann means for her. ”It’s a nice acknowledgment,” she finally ventures. ”But people do such good work … all the time; who’s to say who’s the best person – it’s nice for your mum.”

She says she works to understand her roles ”from the outside in”, with ”broad brush strokes”.

”My biggest fear is being a fraud, so I always know that if something is not connecting right, I have to work a bit harder to find the place of truth that it comes from. There are thousands of different Marlenes, and you have to bring yourself to it as much as possible so the audience believes the journey of that character.

”But at the same time it is a transforming role for me publicly – I’m practising walking around in heels again because for the last six months I’ve been walking around in sneakers and a trakkie top.”

Working among an all-female cast provides a different energy, she says. ”You have the kind of conversations about things … that in a room with a male director are just taken for granted.”

Kemp says Top Girls, by British playwright Caryl Phillips, is as relevant today as when it was first performed in 1982. Can women have it all? What is the personal price of clawing your way to the top?

”When Top Girls was first suggested to me as a play, I thought, ‘Is that dated?”’ Hegh says. ”But it’s proven to me that it’s not at all: the struggle that women are still having, and men are probably still having, as well.”

Hegh points to academic and former US State Department director of policy planning Anne-Marie Slaughter’s April cover story in The Atlantic magazine, which argued women can’t have it all, and the public debate that has followed.

Growing up, Hegh’s family was ”very quiet”: her Norwegian father is a former deep-sea diver and a photographer who in retirement makes jewellery; her Swedish-Estonian mother is an artist. ”I don’t really come from an argumentative, robust, say-what-you-think-and-feel kind of family.” The family appreciated the artistry, but didn’t talk about the arts.

And yet there is an enigmatic family history: her maternal Estonian grandfather was an army bureaucrat who had to travel regularly to Russia to meet Stalin. The family has a photograph of Hegh’s grandfather with the murderous Russian dictator.

”When he went back to Estonia and war broke out, he had to go underground and disappear,” Hegh says. ”He was one of the first people they were after. His brother was tortured and killed. My mother, who was three months old, and his wife had to go to a refugee camp in the British sector of Germany. They didn’t know where he was, but he found them years later.”

Her grandfather brought the family to Australia, where he began work in a chocolate factory.

Hegh, who was for the best part of a decade married to Australian theatre director Peter Evans, has been back to Europe a few times, and takes historical walking tours wherever she can.

She can imagine herself living and acting in Berlin, and laughs when I suggest her father, who had lived in German-occupied Norway, might not be so keen on the idea.

But for Hegh there’s a deeper engagement. ”It’s such an extraordinary place, and everyone goes: ‘Oh, the Germans, all the terrible things that happened.’ But culturally they own what happened, not like a lot of countries.”

SOURCE: theage.com.au

themusic.com.au: All My Sons interview
May, 29 2016        Posted By Veronique        Comments Off on themusic.com.au: All My Sons interview

Questioning The Role Of Capitalism

Anita Hegh, who plays Sue Bayliss in Sydney Theatre Company’s production of All My Sons, tells Cyclone about letting audiences draw their own comparisons between the play’s 1940s setting and now.

Arthur Miller wrote a play for our times back in the late 1940s. All My Sons exposes capitalism’s latent corruption, the bleak side of the American Dream. Based on a real story, it revolves around two families torn apart by a shocking disclosure over 24 hours in a suburban backyard. Industrialist Joe Keller has allowed his (offstage) partner Steve Deever to take the rap for knowingly providing defective aircraft parts to the US Air Force during World War II, resulting in multiple casualties. His own serviceman son Larry is still MIA.

Acclaimed Sydney actor Anita Hegh plays neighbour Sue Bayliss in Kip Williams’ new Sydney Theatre Company production opposite John Howard (as Joe) and Robyn Nevin (Joe’s wife Kate). “I’ve got a bit of a break,” Hegh says down the phone between final rehearsals. “It’s not particularly demanding, this one for me, so I’ve been able to enjoy watching a lot of rehearsals and have a bit of time. It’s easy for me to sneak out of the room.”

All My Sons gave Miller his breakthrough. These days the drama tends to be overshadowed by Death Of A Salesman and The Crucible (in which Hegh appeared for the MTC in 2013), yet it could be the most pertinent for modern audiences. “They’ll recognise themselves probably!” Hegh laughs. “It’s the kind of world that we live in… There’s a real disillusionment and questioning of the role of capitalism, just as we are in our society now.” Hegh quotes the “phenomenal” Kate Tempest’s recent outburst on Q&A — “We are in the middle of a barbarous time and greed is at the root of it” — adding, “We’re getting greedier and greedier and greedier, but at what cost?”

Williams’ production is “very faithful” to Miller’s text. “I think there are certain pieces that speak more to the audience by actually keeping it as a time piece. You leave it really up to the audience to draw comparisons — to look at a piece like that and go, ‘Oh my God, that’s kind of just like now!'”

Hegh took up acting to conquer her shyness, securing a place at NIDA. “I’m not particularly confident speaking full sentences,” she reveals. “So, as an actor, to get up and have words be given to me, all the things that I feel inside… that was a real liberation for me.” Today she’s a stage veteran. Hegh is also known for her small screen roles in Stingers and, lately, Home And Away and Janet King.

In All My Sons, Hegh’s character Sue is a brash nurse married to Jim, a doctor. While he’s “an idealist”, she is “pragmatic”, an aspirational woman “trying to make that American Dream work.” The “tension” between them mirrors the play’s larger themes.

Miller has long been criticised for his disdainful representation of women (though he created a credible part for wife Marilyn Monroe in his screenplay The Misfits). But, as Hegh notes, in All Our Sons, Miller “puts the political into a domestic area” — one where women are at least present. “I don’t think that he’s particularly a feminist writer,” Hegh says. “It’s very much a world of men… I think he was writing of his time. He was interested in the political arena and it was mostly male-dominated — let’s face it. So that’s where his brain was.”

SOURCE: themusic.com.au