A Quick Chat With Meredith O’Reilly

Only Just Begun Meredith O'ReillyCabaret sensation Meredith O’Reilly will be bringing her one woman show to The Butterfly Club, Melbourne on November 6. Only Just Begun exposes lives, gory deaths and fabulous music of a galaxy of singing starts who never made it to fifty.

Meredith is also currently appearing in Love Never Dies at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne.

We ask Meredith our 20 Questions…

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A singer/ actor or writer. So it’s worked out quite well, as I do a bit of both the things that I adored as a primary school-aged kid.

Who is the most important person in the world to you?
What am I, Solomon?! I have two beautiful daughters, so Hayley and Lucinda, of course…but also the gorgeous man that made them with me, my husband, Guy Noble.

What animal best represents you and why?
A cat…I’m a Leo born in the Year Of The Tiger…need I say more?

If you were a contestant on Deal or No Deal, how much would you need to be on offer before you walked away?
Mmm…half a mill? Do they go that high? Sorry, not a fan…I prefer quiz shows.

What’s the worst date you’ve ever had?
Actually, I wouldn’t change a thing. You live, love and learn.

Windows or MAC?
Windows, but getting a Mac for Christmas, which I’m assured will form a loving relationship with my new iPhone.

Which Spice Girl was your favourite?
Ginger, ‘ cause she was cheeky enough to pinch Prince Charles’ bottom (which clearly delighted him).

Who is the actor you would be most like to work alongside?
George Clooney… for obvious reasons.

What five songs would be the first you put a mix tape?
1. The Duke (Dave and Iola Brubeck’s tribute to Duke Ellington, as sung by Ella Fitzgerald
2. What Are you Doing The Rest Of Your Life? (Streisand)
3. I’ll Be There ( Guy Noble…a beautiful song he wooed me with…sigh)
4. Barnaby (Smith/O’Reilly…it’s about my cat!)
5. Pork Pie Hat (Joni Mitchell & Charles Mingus’ tribute to and description of the rascism endured by musician Lester Young)?

What is the best thing about theatre in Australia?
That anyone can have a go…training helps but determination and talent will win out in the end.

What is the worst thing about theatre in Australia?
The differentiation between Theatre “acting” and Music Theatre “acting”, especially as perceived by the subsidised theatre companies.

Favourite food?
Pasta or beautifully cooked game in a great sauce.

What was the first piece of theatre/film/TV you ever appeared in and how old were you?
First big speaking role was the Angel Gabriel in the school Christmas pageant. I was 7… I was hooked!?

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Handing out promotional offers in Pitt St Mall (Sydney)… people are so rude, even when you’re giving them free stuff.

What’s the first website you visit when you come online?
Well straight after Aussietheatre.com it would be ABC News headlines and weather.

Name one moment when you looked around, breathed happily and felt content.
Late last month: my family was visiting for school hols (as I’m on tour in Melbourne with Love Never Dies) and I took the four of us to Sandringham Yacht Club for my husband’s birthday lunch. The food was great, the kids were well-behaved and funny and my husband was his usual charming and handsome self.

Red or white?
Both…but never spirits, thank you.

Where is the most interesting place you have travelled?
I camped in an open-topped tee-pee with an indigenous, non-English-speaking Nenet tribe on the Siberian tundra in their early Spring. It was –17 degrees, our 1 litre water bottles froze in an hour INSIDE and after the fire went out at bedtime the chief coughed a tuberculosis-filled phlegm all over us through the night…ooer! Oh, and I ate reindeer strew, frozen fish slices and rode on a reindeer sled covered in furs across the snow at great speed…WOW!

Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
Audrey Hepburn. At short notice I was asked to help “mind her” after a UNICEF press conference at a Sydney Hotel. It was not long before she died, but she looked beautiful, her face was barely lined and she was dressed very simply in a chic cream suit and pumps (of course). I showed her to the ladies room, the sandwich table (she was starving!) and couldn’t help but notice how deeply in love with and protected by her partner Mr Wolper, she seemed.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Fretting over my eldest daughter’s HSC exams! Other than that…who knows…life remains a constant surprise.

Most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?
Too long to describe in detail here…but I refer the readers to the episode of ABCTV’s Spics and Specks with Rob Guest, where he describes the incident in detail, naming and shaming me!

For tickets, visit Only Just Begun.

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

One thought on “A Quick Chat With Meredith O’Reilly

  • Just come home from your show at the Joan – very enjoyable! Although from Adelaide and lead roles in the first non JCW production of Camelot I related to many of yr stories and anecdotes….
    I couldn’t place yr final number… maybe you could jog my memory…’goodbye !!!’
    All in all a great night out ..
    Our sincere thanks … Tony


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