Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths star in Total Control
Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths star in Total Control

Former CQ woman behind ABC drama

FORMER Gracemere resident and playwright Angela Betzien has made her mark on the silver screen, acting as the brains behind the upcoming ABC drama Total Control.

Ms Betzien, 41, attended Gracemere Primary School before moving to Brisbane where she attended Kelvin Grove State High and then obtained a Bachelor in Drama at the Queensland University of Technology.

The multi award winning playwright and founding member of indpeendent theatre company RealTV has had her nationally toured and internationally translated plays published by Currency Press and Playlab Press.

Total Control is a television show that focuses on an Indigenous senator (played by Deborah Mailman) who disovers, weeks into her poltiical career in Canberra, that she has been betrayed at the highest level.

Angela Betzien (former Gracemere resident) is the playwright behind ABC's latest drama Total Control, starting this Sunday.
Angela Betzien (former Gracemere resident) is the playwright behind ABC's latest drama Total Control, starting this Sunday.

The character then seeks redemption and to settle a score against the party and the Prime Minister of Australia.

Along with Australian acting stars such as Ms Mailman, Ms Betzien’s latest creation features cast including Rachel Griffiths (starring as the Prime Minister), Harry Richardson, William McInnes and Aaron Pedersen.

The show, from Redfern Now, Mabo and Deep Water producers Blackfella Films was originally named Black Bitch until the provactive title was changed on September 9.

The series was co-created by Ms Griffiths - also the show’s Executive Producer - who said the idea first came to her when she was 27 after being inspired by two real events: an Aboriginal woman who was invovled in a native land title claim and had ‘black b*tch’ graffitied on her house and Nova Peris, who received racial abuse after standing for election.

Last week, the show - underneath its previous title - had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival early September.

The drama is directed by Blackfella Films’ Darren Dale.

The story producer is Stuart Page, with the writing team including Pip Karmel and Ms Betzien.

Jacob Hickey took on the role of Head of Factual, Helen Lovelock was Business Affairs Manager, Celia Richards was Drama Devleopment and Production Executive and Hannah Williams was Office Manager.

Total Control starts Sunday October 13 on ABC at 8.30pm and on iview.