Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gemma Ward delivers a video address, calls in a favour from Mario Testino

mario testino for vogue paris via TFS
The furore of global coverage sparked by the news that Gemma Ward had broken her silence (well, kind of) on her relationship with Heath Ledger in Perth’s Sunday Times newspaper over the weekend sounds like nothing compared to the media circus the Perth Theatre Company can expect once Ward rocks up for rehearsals later this month. Ward mentioned Ledger during an interview to promote her involvement with the company’s new production of The Ugly One, which will run from March 22-April 9, with three previews starting on March 18. Last night, Ward lent yet another helping hand to the official launch of the company’s January-June season at the new WA State Theatre Studio Underground, addressing the invited guests in a prerecorded video which was reportedly filmed on her laptop from her New York bedroom. The YouTube version, needless to say, is likely to go ballistic once the company eventually puts it online. 

Ward told the guests, who included her mum Claire, sister Sophie and brothers Oscar and Henry:  
"I'm sorry that I couldn't be there tonight, I'm sure you're all having an amazing time soaking in the new State Theatre of Perth. I'm really excited to be on board as an Ambassador for the Perth Theatre Company and I'm thrilled to be in the opening play of the new Studio Underground.... I hope that you can all come and help us enjoy this play and continue to support the theatre. So, thank you and I hope I see some of you soon. Have a good night. Bye!".

Also lending a helping hand to the until now relatively low profile theatre company: legendary fashion lensman Mario Testino, who has given permission for one of his many archival photos of Ward (above) to be the official image of the program, a Perth Theatre Company rep tells frockwriter.

The photo, part of a beauty spread from the February 2005 edition of Vogue Paris – which Ward covered - depicts Ward clipping her eyelashes. Brilliant choice of image, in other words, to illustrate Marius von Mayenburg’s black satire about the contemporary pursuit of physical perfection.

Given Ward's battles with the fashion establishment - which has been accused of turning its back on the erstwhile world number one model once her previously coltish adolescent figure filled out - she has made a fascinating choice of vehicle via which to make her stage debut. 


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