24 May 2010

Need to Know Nero

Actor/singer Jason Chasland, currently starring as the infamous Roman Emperor Nero in The Nero Show, talks to drama on the waterfront about his experiences in the latest Paul Jenden/Gareth Farr creation and the ‘freaky talented’ cast he gets to work with. The Nero Show is on at Circa until 19 June.

Q. What can you tell us about your character in The Nero Show?

A. Without giving away too much, he is a rare and wonderful "piece of work" He is charming, self-indulgent, popular and cunning...

Jason Chasland as Nero.

Q. How do you think the world of Nero in Rome 54 AD compares to that of JFK in 1963 Washington, D.C.?

A. The parallels are freaky, I think even now it's all very relevant and shows the world of politics is not that much different: lies, affairs, mistresses, scandal and smiles for the audience (I mean public, ha ha).

Q. This is your first time in a Jenden/Farr musical – what can you tell us about the experience so far?

A. It has been full on from day one! The material we were given is so creatively exciting and challenging! Along with the supportive creative team and cast, it is a challenge we all were willing to step up and take on; in short, I am absolutely humbled to be a part of a rare and wonderful original piece of theatre.

Q. What has been your favourite part of the experience? The most stand out moment, either during the rehearsal period or since opening?

A. That is a tough one, the cast are so hilarious both on and off stage we constantly laugh till we cry. It's insane, they have all been so generous, supportive and insanely talented, so for me that has been the best. Also, I have to say performing my last solo [at the end of the show] is the most incredible gift. The combination of Paul's haunting lyrics and Gareth’s dark and beautiful music, gets me every night!

Q. What can you tell us about the rest of the cast?

A. They are a bunch of freaky talented people, whom I cannot wait to come to work every day to see. We usually all come super early and have copious amounts of tea, coffee and laughs before the show. It's also surreal to be working with actors who have been my role models in N.Z. theatre, television and film.

The cast of The Nero Show: (left to right) Louis Solino, Lyndee-Jane Rutherford, Joanne Hodgson, Jason Chasland, Paul Harrop, Christina Cusiel

Q. What do you think potential audience members should know about The Nero Show?

A. It’s an epic ride of hilarity, genius, music and jokes one after the other, but most of all it’s insane fun! If you don't laugh out loud once you should see a doctor immediately. The costumes, set, cast, music and lyrics are all amongst the best in the business ...so what are you waiting for, book now! ha ha

Q. What will you be working on next?

A. I will be going for a break and then doing some solo concerts in Australia and the South Island. After that, I am waiting to confirm a few contracts, so fingers crossed! I hope to be back at Circa some time very soon, the staff have been warm, welcoming and so supportive.

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