Behind the Scenes with Iris Ferwerda, Edith of The Pirates of Penzance 2017

The Pirates of Penzance - presented by GSOV

Behind the Scenes with Iris Ferweda,
Edith of The Pirates of Penzance

Iris Ferwerda is Edwardian It Girl Edith, the fashion conscious and feisty leader of the Wards in Chancery – noble and aristocratic upper class ladies who have been sent to the relative safety of Penzance during WWI.

Bored and craving some fun at the beginning of their entrance, they soon get more than they bargained for when The Pirates of Penzance turn up en masse…!

Give us an insight into your character Edith, do you have a lot in common with her?

I love the character of Edith, she is sassy, confident and a natural leader. I enjoy playing these qualities in the role but it is quite different from my own personality.

According to your bio, you have not only been involved in many choruses and choirs, including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the Victorian Youth Opera, but you have also worked as choral conductor with the Australian Girls Choir. How have you found the transition from choral to a performance based production?

I actually have done other productions including Into the Woods and The Geisha (with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society) so it is not the first time I have moved to a performance based production.

One of your professional highlights has been performing in The Boy from Oz with the exceptional Hugh Jackman. How did you find that experience and did you gain any insights into his personality and work ethic?

It was such a privilege to perform with him and a definite highlight. I gained the insight of seeing where hard work and dedication can get you in the industry.

Is there an opera or musical show that you would love to perform in or aim towards being in one day and why?

I love the musical Les Miserables, the music is stunning and is extremely emotive. The role of Fantine is one that I would love to play because the songs that she sings are beautiful.

When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?

Drinking tea and chatting!

What’s your perfect Sunday afternoon look like?

A bit of singing!

Interview by Judith Clark

Iris Ferwerda, Edith of The Pirates of Penzance 2017

Iris Ferwerda, Edith of The Pirates of Penzance


The Pirates of Penzance premieres at the Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre for a strictly limited season:
26th – 29th October. 5 shows only. Bookings & Enquiries: (03) 8470 8280

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The Pirates of Penzance

Adventure on the high seas! Set sail for one of Gilbert & Sullivan's most popular hits, the irrepressible, irresponsible, but irresistible Pirates of Penzance!

In a world where steam is supreme... It's The Pirates of Penzance as you've never seen it before!

GSOV proudly presents a bold new vision of one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s most popular hits, reimagined with inventive flair by director Nicholas Renfree-Marks, and featuring the magnificent GSOV live orchestra conducted by the incomparable Trevor Henley.

Find out more about The Pirates of Penzance

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GSOV is the performing arm of The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Victoria which has been delighting audiences with its productions for over 80 years. One of the longest running theatrical organisations in Australia, it has been hailed as one of our country’s leading light opera companies. GSOV performs not only in Melbourne and regional Victoria, but has also won awards on the international stage at the premier Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in the United Kingdom.

Find out more about the Society