In conversation with Sgt Croydon

January 7, 2021 BY

John Wood is Bellarine bound to talk about his memoir. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

BELOVED Australian actor and Gold Logie winner John Wood is coming to the Borough to discuss his new memoir How I Clawed My Way to the Middle.

Queenscliffe Literary Festival is collaborating with the Queenscliff Music Festival to present the out-of-season event at the Pelican Bar after the Literary Festival was cancelled last year.

Wood is fondly remembered for his roles as Sgt Tom Croydon in Blue Heelers and Michael Rafferty in Rafferty’s Rules.

He has appeared in Australian TV staples Offspring, Neighbours, Underbelly and Dancing with the Stars, alongside his work in theatre.

“The book is a pretty light hearted look at my career, really,” Wood said.

“The title was a line dreamed up by an old acting mate of mine, Ron. I’ve known him my entire career and I told him if I ever write a book, that’s what I’ll call it.

“It’s sort-of ironic, as well as poignant – and in many ways sums up where I got to in my career. I don’t think there is much past the middle in Australia. You’ve got to head to LA or London for that.”

The memoir is described as an unpretentious and charming look at Wood’s life and career, beginning with his working class background through to rubbing shoulders with some of the best and brightest in the Australian acting scene.

Wood said the offer to write a book came through at the right time.

“My agent pushed me into it, and thank god, because I have been living off the retainer throughout COVID,” he said.

“Like most things in this business, you do it because A: you are offered a job and B: you are offered money.”

Tickets for the event include a two-course meal prepared with local produce by award winning restaurant Q-train.

It is a major coup for the Queenscliffe Literary Festival which aims to bring the best of established and emerging Australian literary talent to the Borough and greater Bellarine community.

Andrew Orvis, the director of Queenscliff Music Festival, said the Pelican Bar has been an opportunity to help out local organisations.

“The Literary Festival weren’t able to have their event last year and we have this great venue and great space. We have done the same with The Lighthouse Collective who are presenting a show on 16 January with Alice Skye. We’ve had the local ukelele group host their Christmas break-up here and the local choir do a socially distanced rehearsal – it’s been a great community space,” he said.

For Wood, the appearance is an opportunity to discuss his memoir and to visit a place he has a deep connection too.

“I spent a lot of time at Mietta’s at the Queenscliff Hotel when Patricia O’Donnell used to run it – she was a great mate. She invited us there to their last weekend and we went there instead of the Logies … I remember I was nominated for the Gold Logie that year,” he said.

“I loved that restaurant.”

For more head to thepelicanbar.com.au and for a copy of the memoir head to the Penguin Books website.

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