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A Different Type Of Queen - Nicole da Silva Interview

Author: Darryn King
Monday, 24 November 2008

Nicole da Silva has appeared on television’s Rush, All Saints and East West 101, but she also finds the time to return to the stage. We talked to her about Queen C, a Finnish fairytale of a play having its Australian premiere at the Belvoir.

Did you know anything about Queen Christina before embarking on the play- And how much do you know about her and her story now-
All I knew was that Greta Garbo played her in a 1930s film! I did a lot of research, and have since discovered some very interesting and controversial facts about Queen C and the times she lived in. The interesting (and scary) part is that a lot of is still so applicable today.

Such as-
The play looks at love and duty, and asks the timeless question: why do we try and fit into other people’s ideas of what we should be- The play really takes you into the world of Queen Christina – so you don’t need to do any studying before you come!

Can you tell us a little about your character-
I play Queen Christina’s nameless ‘friend’ – they were actually lovers. She’s a loyal, passionate woman who falls in love with the Queen – to her own misfortune.

There seems to have been a lot of ‘Queen’ stories in the past couple of years – do you think they have anything in common with the story that unfolds in Queen C-
Queen C has the audacity of Elizabeth, the sensuality of The Duchess, the fun of Marie Antoinette and the love triangle of The Other Boleyn Girl; and they are all fascinating stories to be told!

Tell us about the music, puppetry and live multimedia element of the show – how is that going to work in the story-
We’ve created an adult fairytale that transports you to a far away land – so it’s only fitting that our stagecraft reflected that. The music, dancing, puppetry and multimedia create the fantasy world that Christina lived in. The costumes are amazing too – we look like life-size dolls!

A lot has been made of Queen Christina’s sexuality – are these strong themes in the play also-
Yes, it’s inevitable that a play about Christina would explore these themes. The play challenges how we define sexuality and gender roles.

It’s been said that Laura Ruohonen writes very strong female characters – do you think this is true of your character and the other characters in the play-
Yes, the female characters are strong – it’s a female-driven story, but it will appeal to both sexes. The women don’t steal the show, all the characters get to present their point of view, and some of the male characters are hysterical!

WHAT: Queen C
WHERE: Belvoir Downstairs Theatre
WHEN: Thurday 27 November – Sunday 21 December
MORE: belvoir.com.au

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