Linda Nicholls-Gidley is one of Q Theatre Lab’s 2022 Artists-in-Residence.
Trained as an actor and a theatre voice/accents and dialects specialist, Linda lives and creates on Wallumedegal Land. She has worked in the industry for over 20 years, with a long list of credits – most recently Jagged Little Pill, Girl from the North Country, Museum of Modern Love and A Chorus Line. Linda can be heard talking about accents on her podcast Say You Say Me and also on the podcasts In A Manner of Speaking, Brady’s Hunch and Don’t Be So Dramatic.
The work she’s currently developing, Silenced, explores how our voice interlinks with ideas of identity, how we use it to ‘fit in’.
As she begins the second week of her residency, Linda took a moment out of the creative development process to share some insights into her work, her day and her life.
What do you most want people to know about your work in development?
These stories are universal. Silence and Sound are intertwined, connected in communication – sender and receiver.
How has it evolved?
Because these are verbatim stories the work was initially quite literal, a series of monologues. The work has developed to explore more abstract expressions of silence. We’ve been looking at physical vocabularies and body language, how light can represent sound and silence, and of course how the use of soundscapes can move the narrative forward.
Please describe a day in residence…
The shorthand version is: Coffee, chat, create, collapse
The longer version begins with a conversation (with coffee of course) about where I’m at and what text I’ve been playing with. I’ve been working with a wonderful group of theatre makers and they have provided me with an avenue to bounce around ideas.
After our chat we will start to play with shapes and light and sound and see how these elements can support the text or further the narrative. Throughout these explorations we continue the discussion, noting elements that are working or areas that need more work.
We finish with another conversation about overnight goals.
Then I drive home and try to implement suggestions from the day…. Then I collapse!
What did you want to do with your career when you were growing up?
Pretty early on I knew I wanted to be an actor. My career took a bit of detour and my day job is as an accent coach, but I’m still acting, and now writing!
What has been your favourite moment or moments in the theatre?
I remember a Sydney Festival piece, on the steps of the Opera House, where the performers were carrying fireworks on poles and the audience danced underneath the live fireworks, that was quite extraordinary.
I also had the wonderful experience of working on How to Train Your Dragon Arena Spectacular – there’s nothing quite like going to work with fire breathing dragons every day! The technical work on that show was next level!
Name six people you’d invite to dinner if you could invite anyone at all, living or not.
Lewis Carroll, I love the way he uses language.
Maya Angelou, I think she could teach me so much about writing.
Barbra Streisand, producer, director, actor, singer – she does it all.
Sadie Hasler, she’s a writer I admire for her honesty and wit.
Gough Whitlam, he’d have a story or two to tell.
Denice Frohman, Denice wrote the poem Accents which brings tear to my eyes every time I hear it.
COME AND SEE THE SHOW!
Q Theatre Lab is an intimate night of new experiences from leading independent artists. Two 30-minute preview performances offer audiences the chance to peek behind the curtain and see two plays, fresh off the page, back-to-back on the same night.
17 & 18 Feb, 7.30pm