Page 17

Television is crafty. The combination of lens and audio can add timbre to the voice and centimetres in stature. But it can only do so much. It’s the skills of an exceptional performance that beguiles our senses into belief. Deborah Mailman, one of Australia’s most respected actors, is one such artist. Yet even in the face of her long credentials list, her role in Total Control, a smashing new show premiering on the ABC, is a rare gift. Mailman is on-fire, playing the charismatic Alex Irving, in a stunning portrayal of the quintessential underdog, fighting back to ultimate triumph. As Irving, Mailman’s on-screen presence is palpable, at times intimate and tender, and others, brutish and hard-hitting. She is a woman not-to-be-messed with. So, in the wake of being enthralled by the first two screeners of this BlackFellas Films production, I was half-expecting to hear the take-no-prisoners, syllable-preserving voice of ‘Irving’ on the end of the line. I was relieved then, to register the liltingly softer, unaffected tones of Deborah herself. “Hi. It’s Deb here.”

H

Like the rest of Australia, and maybe even more particularly those of us from North Queensland, I’ve been watching home-grown Deborah Mailman for years. Her screen, television and theatre accomplishments are many, including Mailman’s interpretation of matriarch Gail in The Sapphires, coming-of-age Kelly in The Secret Life of Us and unpredictable Cherie in Offspring. So it comes as some surprise that Total Control is Mailman’s first lead role alongside fellow star (and series’ co-creator and producer), Rachel Griffiths. Deborah’s central West Queensland-based character, Alex Irving, is thrust under a national spotlight in the aftermath of her heroic actions during a random violent attack. The nation’s embattled Prime Minister, played by Rachel Griffiths, sniffs a publicity coup and offers Irving a Senate position, subsequently settingoff a chain of events thick with themes of betrayal, ambition, trust and treachery. >>

duoma ga zine.com . au

17

Profile for DUO Magazine

DUO Issue 156 November | December 2019  

DUO. The Magazine of the North DUO is an elegant, intelligent publication highlighting style, home, fashion, food, travel, culture and exclu...

DUO Issue 156 November | December 2019  

DUO. The Magazine of the North DUO is an elegant, intelligent publication highlighting style, home, fashion, food, travel, culture and exclu...