Actor/director Todd MacDonald and artist Rebecca McIntosh first met at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, when she enticed him into her Love TV tent.
They have been together ever since. “It’s a good way to meet a husband,” Rebecca laughs. “Do a show about love”. Both from Queensland, they spent years in Sydney and Melbourne before deciding to move back to Brisbane with their twin daughters, Ruby and Lola, and set up home in West End. “We wanted to move somewhere where we would feel comfortable with the community and that has diversity,” says Rebecca. “I think people don’t move to West End because of the big houses and big blocks of land; there’s another reason and I think there’s a real like mindedness in that … it’s the sort of place we want to bring our kids up.”
Many will know Todd’s face from his roles in TV shows Neighbours and The Secret Life of Us, but throughout his career he has also been heavily involved in theatre and is the Queensland Theatre Company’s Artistic Associate. “I really enjoy doing TV and film and with the right project I’d definitely keep doing that sort of stuff … but at the moment my heart and soul is working in live theatre, performing and directing.” Todd is currently directing Kelly, which runs at QPAC until October 20. Written by Matthew Ryan, the play explores the night before Ned Kelly’s execution and is the first main stage piece Todd has directed for the company. “It’s playing with a whole lot of history, historical facts and historical events and he’s really cleverly put it into a play that’s about brothers, and about the struggle for redemption and forgiveness. He uses the historical facts to play out the emotional life of this real human being, so you actually get a human experience, not an historical lesson.”
Meanwhile Rebecca has recently returned from New York where she spent six weeks presenting her live public art event, Love TV. The project brings together elements of theatre, visual art and screen content, and sees Rebecca dressed as Aphrodite, interviewing various people about love. The show started out 10 years ago in a small tent in the artists’ bars at festivals. “It was quite ‘adults only’ and a bit raunchy … now the conversation’s shifted more into a broader exploration of love, and it’s more of a family friendly conversation.” Rebecca has also upgraded from a tent to a trailer that is styled as a massive pink TV on wheels, and “a little bit Brisso bogan”.
In addition to festivals, Rebecca has done Love TV at locations around Brisbane and following her New York trip, is set up to partner with other cities worldwide. “The work I do, even though it’s very fun and light, local governments really like how it can be part of place-making, revitalising public space and engaging communities to tell their stories.” Ever supportive of each other’s work, Todd and Rebecca share an eagerness to be innovative and push boundaries in what they do. “That’s sort of our common thread,” says Rebecca.
Words by Leah Carri | Images by Darlia Argyris; Love TV New York supplied by Rebecca McIntosh; Stephen Henry