Australian Story: June 4

Australian Story profiles actor / writer who Kate Mulvaney who has overcome cancer, a father suffering PTSD and the death of former boyfriend Mark Priestley to become an award-winning playwright.

This episode is introduced by Jacki Weaver.

At just 35, Kate Mulvany has already experienced more than most people do in a lifetime. As a toddler, she battled cancer that resulted in her losing a kidney, several ribs and other vital body parts. She grew up with a volatile Vietnam veteran father suffering PTSD. And, in heartbreaking circumstances, she lost her actor boyfriend Mark Priestley (Changi, All Saints) to suicide.

In this episode of Australian Story, Kate Mulvany speaks candidly about her many achievements and her determination to be a survivor, not a victim.

She’s recently played a role in The Great Gatsby for Baz Luhrmann and is currently starring as Lady Macbeth in Bell Shakespeare’s quirky production of Macbeth, for which she was also co-dramaturg.

It’s a strong comeback after taking time out following the death of Priestley. She speaks for the first time about the impact of his passing and addresses media speculation that he’d taken his life because they had recently broken up – something she says is untrue.

Kate Mulvany’s writing skills were honed under the influence of her university tutor, acclaimed novelist Elizabeth Jolley. She’s now written 20 plays, the most successful being her autobiographical, award-winning drama, The Seed, inspired by the impact of her father’s experiences in Vietnam. Following a visit there, she advocates making amends for the damage inflicted by defoliant spraying during the Vietnam War.

Her happiness now comes with a loving partner and the hope that her written work will live on after she is gone.

8pm Monday on ABC1.

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