At The Bar with Actor Jackson McGovern

Award-winning theatre and film actor Jackson McGovern is performing under the stars as part of The Australian Shakespeare Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream now on at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Next month, the Queensland-born and Melbourne-based performer joins the cast of The 39 Steps at Chapel off Chapel – where a mix of Hitchcock mystery with a dash of Monty Python humour takes over this captivating whodunit.

Jackson talks to The Write Drop for our At The Bar Series.


Naarm/Melb has been home for a little over two years now and it’s a bloody brilliant city. It still feels a little weird calling it “my city” as I think I’ll always be a Queenslander at heart, but there’s something about the diversity and charm that gets me giddy. I also love my sport as much as I love my theatre (I’m a heartbroken Broncos and Lions fan, so thank heavens for the AFLW), and it feels like it has the perfect balance between the two.


My partner Emily and I were on holiday in Tuscany in November last year, and on the day we arrived in Montepulciano, we dumped our bags at the accommodation before finding the nearest place that was open for a pasta and wine. We landed in a quiet little corner cafe across the road, and the whole experience was basically everything you dream about in an Italian getaway. Having a glass (or more than) of Montepulciano IN Montepulciano was a bucket list item ticked off, as it’s probably my favourite variety of wine, and the pici pasta with a Tuscan-style ragu was so ridiculously melt-in-your-mouth good, that we ended up ordering it at every restaurant we’d go to after that.


I’m an absolute fiend for an old pub, so the inner north of Melbourne is a dangerous place for me to live. Our trusty local is Goldy’s Tavern, but the Retreat Hotel in Abbotsford is probably my favourite, with the very Melbournesque charm of having accumulated posters and knick-knacks since the 1950s that they will never get rid of, and I always order whatever craft beer is on tap that I haven’t tried yet.


A mid-range bottle of Bundy. I grew up in Bundaberg, so it keeps me in touch with my roots I guess, but I like to think my personality throws up a few surprises for people, and some of the bottles around the $80 mark have actually persuaded some of my dark-spirit-snob friends away from Bundy’s (I think incorrect) paint-stripper stigma.


If not hair of the dog, then a positive attitude and flat-out denial that you feel like crap.


Pineapple Hotel in Meanjin/Brisbane. She’s my old local, goes off on game days at the Gabba, and my old housemates would be furious if the Piney didn’t get a mention. Very honourable mentions go to the Eimeo Pacific Hotel just north of Mackay and the Darwin Sailing Club for having two of the best views to accompany a quiet beer in the country.


A Monty may be my favourite variety, but for a favourite wine full-stop, I can’t go past a 2013 Grange my cousin shared with us a few Christmases back. Partly due to the taste, partly due to it being free, which we all know makes things taste better.


Pt. Leo Estate for its famous sculpture walk and stunning seaside view, and also for its tuna ceviche which is one of the best things I’ve ever had in my mouth.


Definitely caught the Europe bug while traveling around Italy and France late last year, and would love to explore more places over there. But Japan has been high on my list for a long time, so I think that may be next for us. Japanese is my favourite cuisine, and they have a lot to offer in the drinks department as well, so all of my answers so far may be null and void after that trip.

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