31 January 2011

The Motor Camp: The Perfect Summer Show

Taking time from playing 'hormonal 15-year-old' Holly Redmond in the current Circa One hit The Motor Camp, Florence Mulheron talks to drama on the waterfront about making her Circa debut, working with her dad, and acting in the 'perfect summer show'.

DOTW: What is the story of The Motor Camp?

FM: The Motor Camp is about two families – the Redmonds and the Hislops – a camping ground, two caravans, hickeys, class, race, fish (in particular, snapper) and love.

(left to right) Tim Spite, Danielle Mason and Florence Mulheron in The Motor Camp. Photo by Stephen A'Court.
DOTW: What can you tell us about your character? Are there any particular challenges in playing this character?

FM: My character’s name is Holly Redmond, and she is a hormonal 15-year-old  who wants to be at the Mount with her boyfriend, Eugene. She is at the stage where she believes she deserves a lot more independence from her parents, yet is still wanting to be mothered so it is that in between stage where you want to have that freedom to do what you want but then want to come home to a freshly made bed by mum. Holly knows how to wind up her father and is quite happy to do so on a regular occasion purely to punish him for making her come on this holiday. She is the epitome of an adolescent teenager who is both cheeky and clever and knows how to win over her mother in order to get her own way. I have found Holly such a fun character to play as everyone has either been a Holly type when they were younger or knows someone who has or even has one of them at home. Initially, it was quite easy to make Holly purely sulky the whole time but over the rehearsal period I have found that sometimes the art of being cheerfully sarcastic works even better to annoy my parents.

DOTW: I understand this is your Circa debut; what has the experience been like for you so far?

FM: This experience has been absolutely amazing, it is so bizarre to think this is my summer job before I go back down to Otago for university. I am so lucky to have this opportunity and I really didn’t know what to expect but it has exceeded everything I had hoped for so far. The adrenaline rush of being on stage is almost an out-of-body experience; it’s so great to have a job that purely is playing on stage every night and getting paid to do so. I would probably count this as my proper debut to the stage, although when I was six I had a walk-on role in The Herbal Bed that was on at Circa in 1996. I had about five lines and played my real mother’s daughter and mum [actor Michele Amas] said she used to have to whisper to me on stage to get me off as I just absolutely loved it and never wanted to get off the stage on my cue.

Florence Mulheron and Anthony Young. Photo by Stephen A'Court.
DOTW: What can you tell us about the rest of the cast?

FM: I think the cast has been the most incredible part of this experience. Each person has been so supportive of one another and created such a beautiful working atmosphere. As it is a new play, we did quite a lot of workshopping in the beginning and everyone was so open to new ideas, and variations of lines and allowed people like me who were quite under confident to have my opinion be heard. I think it was through this workshopping that we all created a bond and allowed our characters to really take shape. I am again so lucky to be a part of such a talented cast who I not only admire but who have helped me so much from giving me vocal warm up tips to making me laugh and giving me congratulatory hugs after the show.

DOTW: What is it like working for your dad, director Danny Mulheron?

FM: Anyone who knows my father will know he is absolutely bonkers. Working for Dad has actually been such an eye opener for me. I have always known him to be a director by profession but having worked for him I know now why he is so good at what he does. Dad has this ability to create such a good vibe between the cast and was so generous in his manner in letting us experiment with new ways of saying certain lines but also directing us by letting us know exactly what worked and what didn’t. His passion and his humour took the edge off what could have been quite a stressful play with all the props and action that takes place. Having worked for him I have an absolute newfound respect and I was really proud to be the daughter of such a well-liked director. Also Dad has a fantastic laugh and so regardless of the amount of times we performed the show for him he always laughed loudly and gave us energy and confidence.

Florence Mulheron. Photo by Stephen A'Court.
DOTW: Finally, what can audiences expect from The Motor Camp?

FM: Audiences can expect to have a big ol’ laugh. It is the perfect summer show that would be hard not to enjoy.

The Motor Camp is on in Circa One until 19 February. To book tickets, please contact the Circa Box Office at 801-7992 or go online at www.circa.co.nz.

No comments:

Post a Comment