Karl & Susan Kennedy had an irreplaceable chemistry that made them the centre of Ramsay Street. Jackie Woodburne discusses an incredible television connection.
In a farewell interview for Neighbours, Jackie Woodburne, the matriarch of Ramsay Street, discusses her relationship with actor Alan Fletcher and offers a favourite plot line.
Over the course of 28 years, Jackie Woodburne and Alan Fletcher came to represent the lifeblood of Ramsay Street.
Karl and Susan Kennedy were knowledgeable instructors, loving parents, imperfect couples, and soulmates.
Also masters of the drama were Woodburne and Fletcher. Because of their obvious connection and ability to read each other in the moment, scenes involving the two were sometimes referred to as “one take marvels.”
“The trust was there. From the beginning, the relationship was ideal, Jackie Woodburne says TV Tonight.
“We understand one another, and after 28 years of collaboration, it feels like a marriage.
“We loved each other through it all and saw each other on our best and worst days, so the work never suffered.”
“Our happy place was always at work”
And our happy place was always at work. Everything would disappear as we arrived and entered the Kennedy set. It was all about completing the task at hand while having a blast.
“Fletch” is, in my opinion, the most important ingredient in the recipe. Spending time working with him is what I’ll miss most. He is exceptional. I cherish him.
The Kennedy family, which included Malcolm (Benjamin McNair), Libby (Kym Valentine), and Billy, first appeared on the street in 1994. (Jesse Spencer).
Like the show itself, Susan and Karl’s plots were limitless and included such topics as adultery, amnesia, multiple sclerosis, divorce, surrogacy, cyberbullying, and more. Powerful moments showed Susan slapping Karl or ripping his clothes off in the street in a fit of rage. It comes as no surprise that Woodburne was a finalist for Switzerland’s renowned Rose D’Or Award.
“Take a look at the tales we tell nowadays.”
She claims that the 10 soap also changed over the years to reflect their surroundings.
If you look at the early episodes of Neighbors, disputes over “Who’s putting their trash in my wheelie bin? Incredibly straightforward stories that were very popular, she adds.
The first same-sex marriage on Australian television, the introduction of a lot of diversity, actors with hearing impairment, and actors with physical limitation are just a few examples of the tales we portray today. On this programme, (producer) Jason Herbison is in charge of breaking the glass ceiling, really taking chances, and telling pertinent, significant tales, and I believe the audience responded to that.
But the show’s feeling of community and intergenerational understanding was always at its core.
“Someone was always implicitly watching out for you. Young individuals engage in typical teenage activities, make mistakes, encounter new things, feel dread, and face danger. But because of the characters, we knew as viewers that someone would have their back so they could venture forth and make errors and acquire those life lessons,” the author explains.
“Mom, dad, or whoever was playing that parental role would be there for them.”
Woodburne names a 2020 storyline as one of her favourites, even though she shared screen time with Alan Fletcher. She and Rob Mills performed the entire episode together.
“Soap opera must continue to move forward”
“The Finn Kelly narrative was fantastic. Rob Mills and I were the only two characters in Jason’s two-hander episode. Only the two of us for one episode. The design was distinctive. The narrative must continue to develop and the drama must move forward in a soap opera. The protagonists rarely have time to just sit in their predicament and watch as things unfold around them. However, there were a few occasions in the Finn Kelly story where there were pauses and silences and no conversation was present. Simply said, I appreciated how unusual it was.
But where will fans watch Woodburne play after the globe departs from Ramsay Street? She is still unsure.
After today, she says, “I’ll have time to simply sit with it, think about what’s next, and reflect.”
“Honestly, I have no idea. I’m currently feeling completely overwhelmed by everything Neighbours, these great people, and this location that I’ve liked to visit.
It will probably take some time for me to gradually wean myself off of it.
Neighbours Finale Week:
Thursday July 28 7.30pm – 9pm on 10 and 10 Peach