23 September 2015

Ralph and Hannah

This week on drama* on the waterfront, we're thrilled to have Ralph McCubbin Howell and Hannah Smith of Trick of the Light Theatre at Circa with their award-winning show The Bookbinder.
Ralph and Hannah recover from their sell-out five-star season at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Q. Tell us about The Bookbinder – what can audiences expect?

The Bookbinder is a dark fairytale that will appeal to everyone who enjoyed The Road That Wasn’t There last year. It is an original story set in a bookbinder’s workshop about an apprentice who fails to heed his instructions and finds himself bound in a book.  We wanted to capture the experience of reading, so during the course of the performance the story comes to life.  It’s intimate, engaging and transformative.
Ralph McCubbin Howell performs The Bookbinder.
Q. You’ve just got back from Edinburgh – how was that?

We had an amazing time doing The Bookbinder at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  The Festival is colossal, and we weren’t sure if we’d get lost in the mix, but audiences really responded to the work.  We were sold out every day of the run, received multiple five-star reviews, and were short-listed for an award. It was really cool to be able to show our strange wee New Zealand story to an international audience and to put our work on the world stage.
Ralph McCubbin Howell performs The Bookbinder.
Q. You’ve been performing this show for the last year – what are you looking forward to about the Circa season?

We’ve done 150-odd performances of the show over the last two years, and it will be really nice to come back and do it in our hometown.  Also, we are usually on tour, packing the piece in and out of a theatre space every day.  At Circa we will be in one venue for two weeks, so we are able to transform the space into something really exciting!
The Bookbinder by Trick of the Light Theatre.
The Bookbinder is on at Circa Theatre for the school holidays.  It will delight adults and children alike.  Suitable for children aged 8 and over.
11am and 7.30pm Tuesday-Saturday
4.30pm Sunday
Book online:  www.circa.co.nz
Or call 04 801 7992

15 September 2015

Introducing Errol Anderson

This week on drama* on the waterfront, we meet Errol Anderson.  Errol is tackling his first role at Circa Theatre; he plays the extremely handsome and charming (if totally silent) Daryl in The Travelling Squirrel.
Errol Anderson plays 'Daryl' in The Travelling Squirrel.  Photo by Stephen A'Court.
How has this experience been for you?

If I could describe the experience thus far with one word it would be humbling. I mean, imagine being picked for the starting All Black line-up? One, you must've done something right to get picked and two, you're bound to get on a roll because your playing alongside some of the best. Plus I don't have any lines, which allows me to kick back and appreciate my fellow actors' processes. It has been very grounding and I get to learn something new everyday. It's a hard life!

What other productions have we seen you in around Wellington?

I was very lucky to be involved in 2080 written by Aroha White and directed by Katie Wurahi at BATS Theatre earlier this year. I remember going into the audition room lines learnt, 'dropping a free' (rapping), and it all went quite nicely. My style is pretty raw and loose when it comes to this stuff,  but Katie had my back and smashed me. My performance wouldn't have been where it was without the support and love of Hapai Production, fellow actors Susie Berry, Acushla-Tara Sutton, Nua Finau, and Aroha and Katie. These are some incredible people.
Errol with co-star Claire Waldron in rehearsal for The Travelling Squirrel.  Photo by Tabitha Arthur.
Has theatre always been a passion of yours?

I come from a house of strong and creative people. We're split into either athletes or artisans - both performers, but slightly different stages. I owe my physical discipline and creativity to my father Royce Anderson - 'The Carver' - who trained our minds and bodies to excel when it wanted to give up. Naturally, I leaned toward a career in rugby because I understood it and Raywen Anderson my mother - 'The Backbone' - taught me how to play strategically, and how to cut people in half with tackles that people would come to see. Seeing how proud my parents were sideline would fuel my drive to win. It was only a matter of time until I took these teachings and transcribed them into theatre and film; once my body could no longer take anymore serious injuries. Theatre and film are places where I can share my skills through telling stories.
Errol (front & centre) with the full cast of The Travelling Squirrel.  Photo by Tabitha Arthur.
What are the things your have found most interesting about the The Travelling Squirrel?

It's a quirky tale about how fickle the entertainment industry is and the characters you may run into on this rocky road we call showbiz. What's not to like?

What are your plans following The Travelling Squirrel?

I've recently been cast in the play All Our Sons, written by Witi Ihimaera and directed by Nathaniel Lees, which goes up in Circa Theatre after we close The Travelling Squirrel. I'm really excited to get amongst the team in this production, because I know most of the cast in one way or another and am keen to breathe life into this piece, because it is so close to home.

The Travelling Squirrel is on at Circa Theatre until 2 October.
Book now:  ph 801 7992 or www.circa.co.nz