27 October 2014

The most delicious villain

Isaac's Eye actor Todd Rippon tells drama on the waterfront about playing 'the most delicious villain', Isaac Newton's rival Robert Hooke.

Issac's Eye actors Neenah Dekkers-Reihana and Todd Rippon. Photo by Paul McLaughlin.
The last time I performed in a show at Circa Theatre it was A Comedy of Errors in 1992, back in the old brick building on the corner of Harris Street and Jervois Quay. We have both come a long way since then and I am very exited about finally returning to Wellington’s pre-eminent professional theatre venue. In the past 22 years I have continued my professional career as an actor and director on a part-time basis and like most other thespians in New Zealand I have also taken on many other less artistic endeavours to support myself and my family.

Isaac’s Eye is such a thrilling play to be a part of. It’s brilliantly written, it ticks all the originality boxes, and I am playing the most delicious villain: Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton’s real life rival.  Hooke, like Newton, was also a brilliant scientist in nearly every field imaginable and although his legacy has been almost completely lost in the annuls of scientific endeavour, recent academic studies have found that he was, in his time, a man of much fame, wealth, and influence. In the play he is portrayed as an immoral elitist, a hopeless philanderer, and a depraved drug addicted rake, everything that I am not. But through out the course of the story he is stripped of all artifice and you get to see a far more vulnerable side of Robert as well. It’s a dream role for any actor.

Todd Rippon as Robert Hooke in Isaac's Eye. Photo by Paul McLaughlin.
It’s a really funny production with lots of surprises and some quite twisted humour infused through the drama, which at times, can take your breath away.

I am extremely lucky to be working with such a talented cast and the director Paul McLaughlin has cleverly passed the script through a series of theatrical prisms creating a kaleidoscope of colours, alternate realities, and parallel universes. I’m quite sure the audience will have as much fun witnessing this wicked little show as we do performing it.

Isaac's Eye is on until 15 November in Circa Two. To book, call the Circa box office on 801-7992 or visit www.circa.co.nz

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