Water Rats: articles



Not only does this cop get his hands dirty, he also gets his feet wet. Meet Water Rats star Brett Partridge…

TV WEEK: You're doing a play in Sydney called Hungry (Stables Theatre, February 4 to 28). What's it about?

BRETT: It's a series of three one-act plays. I'm in two of them. In one I play a guy with an abused childhood who's at the funeral of his father. In the second, I am a musical-theatre performer whose girlfriend has left him. He basically loses everything in the play.

TVW: Aren't you too busy playing Gavin Sykes on Water Rats to do a play?

BRETT: They are not working me as hard as I'd like. I was getting a bit slack and my skills weren't being honed, so I decided to get off my butt. I find the stage wakes me up.

TVW: Is getting back to the stage a shock to the system?

BRETT: It has been about four years, so it is a shock. I get up in the morning, do rehearsals, do a shoot and then do rehearsal again. Then I go home an learn my lines, get up the next day and start again. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time.

TVW: Were the Water Rats producers OK about letting you go and do something else?

BRETT: They've been great. If this works out well, I'm sure there will be more in the future, too. It's great for all of us because I won't get stale doing one thing all the time.

TVW: Does getting back into theatre, doing something new and unexplored, make you want to do other things and explore your options a little more?

BRETT: The theatre I do has to be something I really enjoy. I would only do theatre if the piece and the situation was right. I have to either enjoy the show or enjoy the people I'm working with or I wouldn't do it.

TVW: On TV you have the luxury of a second take if something goes wrong. Are you nervous about having to get it right first time?

BRETT: It's nerve-racking. Many of my peers and other people will be coming to see it (the play). I've been telling them for years I'm an actor and now it comes down to this.

TVW: Have you ever suffered from stage fright?

BRETT: Of course. It is terrifying, but when it flows and feels good there's nothing like it.

TVW: Is it hard to juggle being Gavin Sykes on Water Rats, Brett in real life and these two other characters on a daily basis?

BRETT: There's always a little bit of you in each character. You just have to make sure you hone in on what makes each character different.

TVW: What's going on for Sykes this year on Water Rats? Will it be a big year?

BRETT: It's an up-and-down sort of year. They've got some good stuff for me coming up—some stuff I've been wanting to do for a long time. I'm becoming more of a good cop and someone who gets in there and gets his hands dirty. Sykes is a bit more rounded.

TVW: For a while it looked like Sykes was always going to be the knockabout larrikin.

BRETT: He always had his foot in his mouth. He's the Gilligan of the island (Goat Island in Sydney Harbour where the series is made). With a lot of pushing, they are making him a lot more credible as a cop, though.

TV Week