Collaboration and connection key for Marta
Australian film and screen icon Marta Dusseldorp is bringing world-class production to Tasmania through their screen and stage company.
Beamed across the world from the big screen to Netflix series, Marta Dusseldorp is an Australian icon. Today she lives by the Hobart beachside, with husband Ben Winspear and their two girls, bringing world-class production to Tasmania through their screen and stage company, Archipelago Productions.
Marta Dusseldorp is one of Australia’s most revered and well-known actresses. But when she settles in for coffee on a waterfront balcony – she’s every bit Tasmanian – wrapped in a thick scarf having just delivered her daughter to a birthday party and her excitable groodle to a friend’s house.
Some might recognise Dusseldorp as Crown Prosecutor Janet King in the ABC Series of the same name, for which she won the International Award for Best Lead Actress in 2015. Others would know this Australian stage, film and theatre actress from the drama series Jack Irish or Foxtel’s A Place to Call Home.
Dusseldorp always knew that Tasmania was on the cards when she married Hobart-raised actor Winspear, former Resident Director of the Sydney Theatre Company. It would be 2018 that the family left bustling Sydney for a quiet suburb by the River Derwent with daughters Grace and Maggie.
“We would never have started our company anywhere but Tasmania,” explains Dusseldorp. “There’s simply too much noise in Sydney or Melbourne and it’s so hard to connect. Here, we can make a phone call and next we’re having coffee or going for a dog walk. We’re committed to collaboration, apprenticeships and upskilling Tasmanians, with a view to providing long term jobs. We have plenty on the go; I’m developing a TV show that will be set in Tasmania’s North West and Hobart, we’re working on a web series and delivering a state-wide podcast project. We also just had the cinematographer who is about to film the Mad Max movie in Sydney come down to shoot a film for us. We’re a fulcrum in our own little way, trying to spin up as many different carpets and experiences.”
Dusseldorp has been warmly received in the creative fold, playing an integral role in the 2021 program of Ten Days on the Island with sell-out shows across The Bleeding Tree at Hobart’s Theatre Royal and Shakespeare’s 1593 dramatic poem Venus and Adonis.
“The Bleeding Tree was an epic tale of enormous proportions and people just loved it,” smiles Dusseldorp. “Everyone is welcome to our shows.I love audiences who have never been to the theatre before or don’t know Shakespeare. They’re the people that I want to turn up, connect with a show and never forget it. I had one man come up to be after Venus who said he’d studied that text and never felt it like he did that evening. It was a transformative experience for him. That’s what we strive for. I always want to creatively add, and Tasmania has given me more than I could ever have hoped for in this way.”
“Arts is always a good news story and I say that to our government bodies. We need more of it for a healthy industry; more often, more supported and more subscribed. Tasmania should be an arts destination and not just for our fantastic festivals but every weekend and through the week, too,” adds Dusseldorp. “We are excited to share deeply Australian stories. I believe we are as complicated, complex, sophisticated and naïve as anywhere in the world, which is why these stories resonate with a global audience. Tasmania is so authentic and as the world gets smaller that is a precious quality. We might feel far away, but we can bring the world to us. Creatively, it’s our job to expand people’s hearts and minds from right here in Tasmania.”
After a two-year trial, the family are now enjoyed year three with no plans to budge. “We just love it here. When we get out and travel it’s a constant love affair. From Bruny Island to Kettering to Zeehan to Cygnet – I fall deeply for these places. We stayed at Spring Bay Mill recently and I think I had eight outdoor baths. This is definitely home. This is it – where I want to play and be and live.”
Are you interested in making a move? Make it Tasmania.
Find out more about Archipelago Productions.
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