What do you do when you dreamed something and held onto it for a long, long time?
What do you do when the tide of your own talent, fate and happenstance swept you from your source, from the innocent days of talent quests and school plays, up through the stratosphere before you even had time to recognise it, hungry and naive, ambitious, cautious, driven? Following the stars, imbued with a sense of destiny, but in your heart always carrying the vague sense of things lost as you soar? What do you do, in the glare of the spotlight but smile, smile, work and smile, ride the wave with a joyousness, and a steeliness – relish the work, the friendships, the fame? Holding on tight. Learning how to be the thing you dreamed of being – before you even had time to digest its arrival. Growing and changing, full of the fever dreams of creative possibility. Making it. Killing it. Riding high. A darling, a star, a creative force… but always harbouring a melancholy grieving for the things left behind. For Home Country, for Heartland.
What do you do when the thing you dreamed when you sat one day in the amphitheatre near your home suddenly immersed starts to coming into being? A strange, beautiful baby, many many moons in gestation. This desire to extend yourself as an artist, to return to the gravity and the sacrament and pageantry of Shakespeare, to be inside the big ideas, what it means to be human, to be a man, to be a leader. It is all revealed in the sudden realisation, as you sit reading in the park – that you will one day stage Henry V . The most exacting, brutal and physical of Shakespeare’s plays, a play for its time and for ours. A play whose central character and his journey align with your own – how does a man resolve himself and to step up into the light? To pay homage to all the soldiers of history, the ANZACs, the fathers and kings.
And what do you do when the dream of Henry V and the heart’s longing for home coalesce? A moment in time when everything crystallises. A transformational moment. When the only thing you can do is walk through the portal – go home – be home – step up into the light.
And what does it mean to be home? Home. The back lanes and winding streets. The memory, on that corner, past that house, stopping for a moment with held breath, the trees in bloom, the smell of cooking through the window at grandmother’s house, the hush on opening night, the light on waking in the old house, rhythms, shadows, school days, skinned knees, broken hearts, the sound of the church bells over the town.. the memories and hidden signs, the breath, the glance, the shadow of the great grandparents just out of reach. Suddenly immersed in it all.