22 August 2011

EIGHT: Cast VS. Characters

The cast of Eight sounds off on their characters, telling drama on the waterfront exactly what they think of Andre, Astrid, Bobby, Danny, Jude, Miles, Millie and Mona (which might help you with your voting decision at www.eight-circa.com!).

Jessica Robinson - Millie/Bobby

"Millie is so much fun to play. Her outrageous beliefs couldn't really be further from my own which I think is half the reason I love playing her, that and her incredible use of language, quick wit and simmering madness. I wish it was half as much fun to be me!
Millie (dressed by Madame Hawke)
When I first read Bobby's monologue I immediately felt sad because I didn't think I would ever get cast in the role but I loved the character and her story. I was so happy when I found out Simon had cast me in the role and I always feel overjoyed as I slip into Bobby's hot pink, velour tracksuit. She's funny, feisty and full of heart with a story that's very easy to relate to."

Bobby (shops at the local op shop)
Jonathan Kenyon - Danny/Miles
"What marvels me most about my two characters (Miles, an American business man and Danny, a young gym enthusiast working in a morgue) is how they both sit on completely opposite ends of my personality. I'm a 21-year-old male living in a world were 'pleasure' is easily accessible: I drink alcohol with friends on the weekends, if I wanted I could get hold of almost any party drug within a few hours - not to mention, I also enjoy the company of the opposite sex. Imagine a world where this was your lifestyle seven days a week? Miles is a man who holds no modesty when engaging in such pleasures, he goes so far as to boast about them: 'Men marvelled at me, and women wanted me'. The opportunity that Miles gets to run away from his 'normal' life and pursue a world of sex, drugs and rock and roll - although far-fetched for the sake of telling the story theatrically - is an unconscious lure that I am sure sits within myself and occasionally touches the surface, and scarily reminds me that in this day and age, 'I could if I wanted to'.

Miles (dressed by Mandatory)

But then there's the side of me that hasn't been tempted by what I see on MTV or encouraged by the 'dark pleasures' of the enviroment around me. There's a side of me that nature combined with nurture has made me become. This rings true with my other character Danny. Being six foot six inches tall, I often get the feeling people see me as one thing, while I feel quite the opposite. The word intimidating gets used a lot -  I do not feel like an intimidating person; I'm incredibly un-violent and apart from the occasional crass comment, like to think I'm a pretty approachable and an easy guy to get along with. This is where I feel  Danny's disjointedness lies, a guy who lost his father early on, feels like he needs to look after his mum: he's big, so therefore must be strong, right? He goes to the gym in order to get bigger to become that which people expect of him. But does there become a point where you want people to stop placing you as a person based on what you outwardly show, and start seeing you for who you are on the inside?

I remember a past girlfriend of mine about three months into our relationship once said to me that she saw me so differently now to what she did when we first met. I asked her how so, to which she replied: 'Well, before I spoke to you, you always seemed intimidating, everyone thought you were 'too cool' for everyone else', to which I replied by giving her a big ol' squishy cuddle-wuddle and saying 'It's funny what just walking into a room can do for your reputation'. "

Danny (dressed by Workshop)
Chelsea Bognuda - Mona/Astrid
"I enjoy playing Astrid because the dialogue is very comic and full of bravado but has many layers underneath. So, she has been a difficult one to work out. But with an audience, the relationship makes her come alive. The hair, clothes and make up reflect her disheveled, tragic, but trying to keep it together personality. She is fun to play to an audience.
Astrid (dressed by Lonely Hearts)
Mona is the polar opposite to Astrid. She is dark and poetic - the writing is beautiful in this piece. She tackles having a Bohemian mother with her rebellion against those values, which is reflected in her dark, heavy costume and make up. The dramatic lighting let's me find a magician-type quality to her. The audience is invited to make of the "king of men" what they want."

Mona (dressed by Nom*d)
Paul Waggott - Andre/Jude
"I think Jude is someone that is really easy to associate with, and really easy to get along with. He's just so loveable! I think it's also interesting that he is a real innocent in the play when compared to some of the other characters.

Jude (dressed by his mum)
Andre is an astoundingly intelligent man, and his brain just seems to work at a million miles an hour. I think it's really interesting to see how someone like Andre deals with such a startling situation as that which he is faced with at the beginning of his monologue.

Andre (dressed by Marvel Menswear)
Eight runs until 3 September in Circa Two. To book tickets, call the Circa Box Office at 801-7992 or go online at www.circa.co.nz. Once you've booked, visit www.eight-circa.com to vote for your cast!

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