Girl From the North Country: Lisa McCune

The Fame Reporter interviewed Australian star of stage and screen and leading lady, Lisa McCune. She is performing in new musical Girl from the North Country at QPAC and touring Australia in the incredible role of Elizabeth Laine.

Lisa McCune is one of Australia’s most popular and successful screen and theatre actors, earning an impressive collection of awards celebrating her performances, including four Gold Logies for Most Popular Personality on Australian television.

Lisa recently starred in the third season on the Network Ten comedy series HOW TO STAY MARRIED and Bell Shakespeare’s production of HAMLET.

We had the exciting opportunity to sit down with the legendary Australian performer Lisa McCune. Lisa talked about her experience with Girl from the North Country, what she loves about her character Elizabeth Laine, performing Bob Dylan’s iconic music every night and more.

Welcome to The Fame Reporter Lisa, what enticed you to want to be a part of Girl from the North Country and how did your experience with the show start?
Girl from the North Country auditions were taking place in late 2021. I did some research and read about the piece, fell madly in love with the story and auditioned (via zoom). I was over the moon when it went my way.

What is Girl from the North Country (GFTNC) about for those who don’t know?
GFTNC is set early in the 1930’s at a guesthouse in Duluth Minnesota. Owned by the Laine Family who are on the brink of losing not only the house, but themselves. Nick Laine is the patriarch, his wife Elizabeth is in decline with dementia. Son Gene and adopted daughter Mariannne live with them along with the many guests who come to stay.

Times are tough. Each character is trying to find their way, but as difficult as circumstances are, somehow there is hope – Bob Dylan songs punctuate throughout.

The audience are witnesses to the desires and passions of some beautifully crafted characters.

Please describe your character Elizabeth Laine in the show and what drew you to it?
I loved the many layers to Elizabeth Laine. There were questions I had about her, some that I still have, always good if your about to embark on a character for a 9 month stint.

I very much enjoyed tackling material that felt new to me. Educating myself about Dementia was fascinating, and how it manifests in Elizabeth within the play has been a rewarding journey.

I think Conor McPherson is quite a magnificent playwright. I very much like reading, and saying his collected thoughts and words.

What 3 performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with?
Vivien Leigh. Google Withers. Katherine Hepburn.

How does the show tackle the fragility of the human condition?
The human condition. One of the final songs in the show is ‘Pressing On’. Very apt. If you see the show, you will understand what I’m getting at.

What is it like performing Bob Dylan’s incredible music every night?
I feel a little unqualified to talk about the great Bob Dylan. But I can speak about the joy it gives to sing his beautiful melodies and lyrics surround by the stunning voices assembled in this cast, arranged with such elegance by Simon Hale.

What do you love about working with this stellar cast?
The cast is like a bucket list of performers I admire. I learn, I laugh and deeply trust.

What is one of your proudest achievements and what are some of your future dreams?
Proudest achievements professionally-that I have had the great fortune to spend my working life doing what makes me happy. Future dreams, more of the same.

What can audiences look forward to when they come and see this new musical ‘Girl from the North Country’ at QPAC?
Audiences can look forward to seeing an extraordinary play with extraordinary music. Listen carefully for the shining jewels, sometimes hidden within the fabric of the piece, sometimes in words, sometimes in song.

It will make you think and feel in unexpected ways.

Fame Reporter Word Play

Girl from the North Country

Australian theatre

Another musical artist’s discography that would make an incredible musical
Olivia Newton-John

Elizabeth Laine

Bucket list

Wish I could go back

2nd home

‘How to stay married’

Favourite mantra when you are down
Pick yourself back up

Favourite Bob Dylan song
Tight connection to my heart

Any secret talents

Savoury or Sweet
Bit of both

Dressing Room necessity
Good quality chocolate

Favourite Musical
Into the Woods

Place you want to travel to

TV Show Binge
Currently I’m watching Succession

Finally, favourite thing about performing

Thank-you Lisa for joining us at The Fame Reporter and we wish you all the best for Girl from the North Country at QPAC!

The Girl from the North Country
From 8 September 2022
Lyric Theatre, QPAC

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