It’s ironic that many people will only know actor Jane Clifton for one thing, being Margo on the hit TV show Prisoner, when she has done so many more things in the 40 years since. Singer, author, poet, knitter, painter, public speaker - she’s even a civil celebrant.
‘I think I'm a very driven person, you know, busy hands. If I'm watching television I've got to be knitting... It's a sickness,’ she laughs.
That ‘sickness’ once saw her spend three months madly knitting the ‘Knitivity’ – creating eight-inch high versions of Mary, Joseph and the three Wise Men in wool, plus farm animals.
‘I came off tour in October last year and I needed a project. It took me until early December to get it done. It was insane,’ Jane laughs. ‘The donkey nearly killed me but it was such a fabulous and challenging and marvellous project to do. It was really great, it made people laugh a lot.’
The Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined will get a taste of another one of Jane’s creative outlets when she reads poems from a book of poetry she published after committing to writing a poem a day for an entire year.
‘For some weird reason, I do like a resolution. I just decided I'd write a poem a day as an exercise because daily practise is a great thing and ex-Catholics, like myself, once we get a thing we like to stick to it and I did, I stuck to it for the all 365 days. And it was just this fantastic discipline.’
‘In some ways it's like a memoir of that year in the way it's got all these ebbs and flows of all these topics and observations,’ Jane says.
Now her busy hands are making face masks and blankets. ‘If you're not amused and engaged by doing something, there's absolutely no point.’
Watch Jane's interview at the 2020 Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined.