Southern exposure

When ABC’s Rosehaven first filmed in Geeveston, in southern Tasmania, didn’t really know what to make of the strange comedians and their camera crew.

But since the show has aired and attracted positive reviews, it has made life much easier for Season 2.

“Last time there was a lot of trust with us saying ‘We’re making a TV show and we promise it’s not mean!’” co-creator and star Celia Pacquola recalls.

“But this time it was ‘Ohhh it’s you!’”

“It’s a world where a small issue can be a huge thing”

That means there is room for local cameos in crowd scenes, more Tassie actors and more observations on the big business of small-town real estate.

“A lot of cameos from Season 1 we brought back into bigger parts. And now we’ve seen every actor in Tasmania, which is brilliant!

“Now that we have set up the world we can just have fun with them. We didn’t really want to change things that much because that’s how it works –particularly with the whole small town thing. It’s a world where a small issue can be a huge thing. You can have a whole episode over a dog that won’t stop barking!

“It’s bolder, stronger and tighter. It’s more confident and funnier.”

Things pickup where they left off with Daniel (co-creator Luke McGregor) returning after a month on the Gold Coast to find Emma (Pacquola) hired as permanent staff by Daniel’s mum Barbara (Kris McQuade). Also returning are Katie Robertson as Grace, David Quirk as Damien and Noela Foxcroft,  who made her TV debut at the age of 84 as receptionist Mrs. Marsh.

“She is loving the attention, so if you need a cover girl for another interview, Noela is wonderful,” Pacquola laughs.

“She did Calendar Girls, she has a political background and she still drives herself to set at 4am.

“She sits at the desk the whole time, even when she’s out of shot. They made a set with some terrible Mills and Boon novels and good ‘ol Noela would read them!”

“The 24 hour butcher and the buzzer got a lot of attention”

But fans may be in for a rude shock with news that the broken real estate door buzzer is no more.

“Who knew it would be such a thing? The 24 hour butcher and the buzzer got a lot of attention,” she acknowledges.

“But we had to move office because of Production and we thought it would be too weird if the next buzzer was also broken.”

This season also features a blackout and a pub quiz. Bonus. Yet it’s the quirky charms of the show that gives Rosehaven its fans, including ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie and high praise from the New York Times for its broadcast on SundanceTV.

“I’m getting tweets from people in Rhode Island. It’s so weird,” Pacquola explains.

“They are surprised at how loud the birds are. But that’s what it sounds like!”

“When I went it to it I was a bit ‘too drama’'”

Pacquola, seen recently in Utopia and Beautiful Lie, is planning on returning to stand-up next year, but also hopes to do more dramatic acting.

“I was really excited with how Beautiful Lie went, and I would love to do something like that again,” she continues.

“That was the people from Offspring. I was very surprised to get it, and they were very generous.

“When I went it to it I was a bit ‘too drama’ because I was so determined not to be comedy. But one of the directors said ‘Lighten up! Just because it’s a drama doesn’t mean you can’t have shades of everything.’

“I would love to attempt to play a villain because it would go against every fibre of my natural being which is to try and be light. So that would be a fun challenge.”

Rosehaven returns 9:10pm Wednesday on ABC.


  1. Yes,i like this show too.It has a quiet,understated humour,which I like.And they don’t hit you over the head with the jokes,which a definite bonus for me.

  2. Being Rosehaven tragics, we walked the main street of New Norfolk to see the old real estate office. Do you know if they still filmed around there for Season 2 David?

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