'SUDS and Soap' - Veteran Actor, Lyn Collingwood

STAGES with Peter Eyers show

Summary: Lyn Collingwood is known to a legion of fans as Summer Bay busybody, 'Colleen Smart'; a role she played for 13 years in the iconic Australian soap-opera Home & Away. Playing a character for this length of time is an opportunity rarely afforded to actors. Series television provides ample necessity to guide, craft and inhabit such roles. In this episode, Lyn elaborates on the many rewards and challenges that came with maintaining and delivering the character of 'Colleen'. Commencing her acting career at the Sydney University Drama Society, her contemporaries and fellow practitioners included Arthur Dignam, Richard Wherrett and Germaine Greer. Early work performing Pinter, gave her an appreciation of style and a love of dramatic text. Skills that have supported easy investigation of new plays and television scripts. Her professional acting career commenced later, at the age of 35. Collingwood has worked as a social worker and as a teacher. She has also worked in research and as an editor of The Australian Encyclopaedia. While residing in the Inner West she discovered the New Theatre, based in Newtown. She has directed and performed for the company over several decades. Lyn is also a font of knowledge regarding the history of the company, and shares much fascinating reflection of the 87 year old institution. The New Theatre commenced life as the Sydney Workers Art Club, opening with the slogan, 'Art is a Weapon'. In 2009 she launched 'Players in the Pub', a regular series of play readings, providing audiences and actors with a forum for celebrating theatre and writing. The ensemble presents plays rarely performed and that might provide an engaging curiosity to the theatre historian. It is a life in the arts passionately explored; and it was a delight to enjoy some of the experiences, wisdom and wit of Lyn Collingwood.