Mornington Peninsula actor, director and producer Brigitte Jarvis launched Spring Clean online in late October. The four-part dramedy is centred around Rowena, a perimenopausal woman on the verge of a breakdown. With the launch a success, Brigitte’s set her hopes on Season 2 reaching our television screens – and hopefully a smoother post-production process after COVID-19 restrictions left her with a fully shot series but with no means to finish the production and teaser videos shot within her own house. Kate Sears speaks to Brigitte about creating the world of Rowena and the brains behind her – Brigitte herself.
What’s Spring Clean all about?
Racing to win promotion and find love, daily chaos follows lonely 40-something Rowena. Her messy endeavours are disrupted by a new shiny cleaner. But is this love or friendship? And who is the man behind the binoculars?
Could you please provide our readers with some insight into the inspiration behind creating the lonely 40-something Rowena for the two previous plays and this addition?
The plays with RAWcollective were about – among other things – women, the impossible struggle for unattainable ‘perfection’ and the shame, despair and loneliness that can hide behind that. I was at a time in my life where I, and many other women in my life, were mums, frazzled, too busy, and trying to please everyone, but completely disconnected from ourselves. So I wanted to create something very relatable, which allowed us to laugh at ourselves as well as take a good hard look in the mirror and say, ‘Well this is a bit crap, isn’t it?’ So Rowena was born.
What’s your industry experience consist of, and what’s next?
I’ve been in the industry for some 20 years, with my most recent screen performances in Welfare, the comedy series made down in Rosebud, which has gone on to win an award at the recent Melbourne Web Festival. I’ve just completed The Party Bus, a gritty feature film about the LA Party Bus drug scene, where I played the lead female role. These days, through my experience writing for stage and film, I am enjoying creating my own stories. Under the umbrella of my production company Wild Sage Pictures, my first work was a short film, Madre, which was selected for the Peninsula Short Film Festival and picked up awards for Best Female Actor and Best Short Film at the LA Shorts Awards. We created an online character for a little series during lockdown called Nestle Into My Nook and I have just completed the post-production for the short film The Endless Hourglass, all shot on iPhone and edited by myself. This was my first solo project and a great challenge to learn new skills due to the isolation laws, and therefore needing to do everything alone.
How has the response to the release been thus far?
The response has been incredible. It seems to have completely hit the tone I was after, with the relatable comedy and pathos. The general response is that it’s hilarious, clever, relatable and they really felt a sadness for Rowena and that they wanted to see her find love. The general consensus was they wanted to see more, more, more! We had so much fun filming this and I think you feel that when you watch it. Stop by Spring Clean on Facebook & Instagram and our YouTube channel HERE to watch it for yourself.