It’s been a year that needs some brightness, and Katie Robertson, also known as hardworking, health-focused doctor Grace, believes the ABC’s Rosehaven has provided just that.
“It’s light, and heartwarming, and it’s not this sort of dark, gritty humour,” she said.
“It’s an easy watch and I think at the end of the half-hour you feel a lot happier, you’ve watched something that is funny and genuinely sweet without being dark or controversial.”
The final episode of the comedy drama, filmed in Tasmania, is set to air Wednesday night, the show’s sense of humour visible in every scene.
“[The scene] where the spider gets thrown onto Luke’s face – they had to do that so many times because the cameramen and the crew were shaking with laughter,” Robertson said.
“And they were filming it, and we’re standing behind the monitor with tears pouring down our faces, and that’s an encapsulation of what set life was like.”
Describing the audition process as “gruelling” because she wanted the part so badly, Robertson said she loved the character of Grace for her warmth and intelligence.
It took time for her to understand the character, working with the show’s creators Luke McGregor (Daniel) and Celia Pacquola (Emma) to figure out the complexity of Grace’s character and avoid any hint of romantic rivalry between Grace and Emma.
“Ultimately I really love how [Grace] is really good at her job and she’s smart and focused, and she takes things very seriously, but she’s also warm and has quite a big heart,” she said.
“I really wanted [the part] and I got very attached to Grace very quickly, so thankfully it all worked out and I moved back down to Tassie, which was a dream.”
Robertson left Tasmania for Sydney when she was 18 to pursue her acting career, but, she said, it turned out that her best roles have been in Tasmania, including The Kettering Incident.
As for a second series of Rosehaven, she is yet to hear anything, but is holding onto “the hope that we will get to go back and do it all again”.
“Hopefully it’s just the beginning … it really feels like there’s a lot of momentum in the air,” Robertson said.
In the meantime, she is currently in Hobart performing at Theatre Royal in The Bull, The Moon and the Coronet of Stars, a play written by Van Badham and directed, for its first Tasmanian iteration, by Maeve Mhairi MacGregor.
It’s also being produced by Robertson’s production company Loud Mouth, which she co-founded with friends to develop their own work and contribute back to the industry.
Rejecting the “dark, and serious, gritty” shows and plays, Robertson said discovering The Bull, The Moon and the Coronet of Stars was a chance to bring some more lightness to the stage.
“This play is about love and it’s certainly got an element of heartache that audiences and characters have to go through to reach their happy ending, but they get the happy ending,” she said.
“[Audiences] have been leaving with big smiles on their faces.”
- The Bull, The Moon and The Coronet of Stars is on-stage at Theatre Royal, Hobart, until December 3.