She’s got a couple of Gold Logies, is a popular cover girl, has a happy family life and seems to have her choice of the best roles both on stage and TV. It must be pretty good to be Georgie Parker.
Parker admits she has few complaints. In the coming month, her eight-year reign as one of the divas of Aussie TV drama comes to an end when Sister Terri Sullivan bows out of All Saints.
At the same time, Parker has taken to the boards for the Neil Simon comedy classic Chapter Two at the Ensemble Theatre and has won raves for her efforts.
This has always been a pattern for me that after I do a long run in TV, I go off and do theatre for a while -“ and I really do like that pattern, Parker says during a chat at home before leaving for a performance at the Ensemble.
I have never really had a grand plan. If I think I am going to learn something and enjoy working with the people in a project, then I will do it.
Parker was easily tempted to the stage project of Chapter Two, not only because of the comic script, but also the presence in the cast of former A Country Practice co-star Kate Raison and Brian Meegan.
Chapter Two is one of Simon’s most autobiographical works. It tells the story of a New York novelist George Schneider (Meegan) who is grieving the death of his first wife and then hastily marries an actress Jennie Malone (Parker). Simon based it on the period after he married Marsha Mason.
I thought I could take the easy way out and do an impersonation of Marsha Mason, but I really can’t do that, Parker explains.
What I am really enjoying about playing Jenny is that she is a character more like me. I can use my natural energy without having to tone it down or hold back, as I have had to do with playing Terri.
Terri Sullivan leaves the Seven Network series on Tuesday 21 June and, considering her often traumatic existence in the hospital drama over the past eight years, she has a relatively low-key send-off.
Terri, a former nun, left the convent to chase another woman’s husband, then married him before he died and then she miscarried his baby too.
She has also survived an attempted rape, two shooting massacres, a serious fall, a brain haemorrhage and, eventually, a complete breakdown.
She finally leaves the series when she becomes the guardian of her dead husband’s child (by his first wife) and they head off to Scotland. Not too surprisingly, Parker admits she was a little tired by the time she decided it was time to move on.
This was my eighth year and I never imagined I would stay that long, she says frankly.
Suddenly when my own child Holly was turning four, I thought maybe it was time to do something else. I am now 40 and I had spent most of my 30s in that show.
Terri Sullivan in All Saints