Sigrid Thornton is one of Australia’s most loved actresses who is continually showing her versatility in different roles on screen and stage. This month she tackles on of the stage’s big roles playing the lead in Tennessee William’s ‘A Street Car Named Desire’. Sigrid took a quick break during rehearsals to answer some questions from OUTinPerth.
How did you initially feel about taking on such an iconic role? So many people know at least some little thing about Streetcar, so of course Blanche comes with a particular set of audience expectations. But the writing of this piece is so extraordinary, it’s a masterpiece. One just pushes forward with one’s own interpretation.
What have been the challenges and highlights of the production? The sheer scope of this piece is a challenge for us all. But the rehearsal process is there for a reason – we are unpicking every possible moment and having a ball doing it.
How have you become familiar with the world of 1940s New Orleans? Researching another time and place is one of the joys of performance work. We are so fortunate now to have access through cyberspace to a vast research resource. I have of course also done a lot of reading of Tennessee Williams other work and his personal journals written at the time.
Do you think the way gender plays into the power struggles of the characters in the play is still relevant today? How have you tackled that in this performance? Streetcar covers all the major dramatic themes. Death, Sex and memory are just a few. But the observations of the sexual politics of the period are still as relevant as to serve as a reminder of what has and hasn’t changed since the post war period explored in the play. Streetcar is called a classic for a reason.
Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ is on at the State Theatre Centre from March 10 – April 6. Find out more at
Sophie Joske, image: Gary Marsh