17 November 2015

Jonathan Morgan as Friar Tuck

Roger Hall’s Robin Hood: The Pantomime opens In Circa One on 21 November.  This week in drama* on the waterfront, Julie O’Brien talks with Jonathan about his career, costume changes and corpsing.

Who do you play in Robin Hood?

I play two roles - Rumble and Friar Tuck.

Does it get difficult swapping between the two characters?

Not on stage, but there are some pretty fast costumes changes so I hope I get those right. The great thing about performing with this cast is that most of them have had a lot of experience in panto, so I’m sure if I walked on stage in the wrong costume, someone would help me out… I hope!
Jonathan Morgan in rehearsal for Robin Hood:  The Pantomime.
What training have you had? 

I currently hold a Bachelor of Applied Arts; Performing Arts (Singing) and a Diploma in Performing Arts (Singing) from Whitireia Performance Centre (2013) and a Certificate in Screen Acting from Wellington Performing Arts Centre (2010).

What have we seen you in?

I performed in Destination Beehive (2014) and Red Riding Hood: The Pantomime (2014) at Circa Theatre.  You also may have been seen me as Eugene in Wellington Musical Theatre's Grease (2014) and in Wellington Musical Theatre's Hairspray (2012).  I also performed in Miss Saigon at the Arts Centre, Gold Coast, earlier this year. It’d be interesting to know if anyone saw me in that!

If you weren't performing, what would you be doing? 

If I wasn't performing, I would most probably be teaching. I'd love to be a Drama/Social Studies teacher.
Jonathan Morgan, in rehearsal with Andrew Patterson.
What's a favourite role that you've played and why? 

My favourite role I have played would be George Hemi Arapeta in Destination Beehive (2014, Circa Theatre). It was my first professional show and I learnt a lot about being in the theatre and about politics. It was amazing working with Lorae Parry and Pinky Agnew, too. They are both very funny and it was great to see how they worked. Highlight: my character performed a reggae/rap song. It was awesome.

What's a role that's you'd love to play and why? 

A role that I would love to play would be 'Simon/Lola' in Kinky Boots. The musical is inspiring, beautiful, and has very catchy music.

What are your plans after Robin Hood

I am considering studying a postgraduate diploma in teaching through Victoria University, but haven't committed yet. (Let's leave this one out, for now ha ha!).
The cast of Robin Hood:  The Pantomime in rehearsal at Circa Theatre.
What’s it like doing the Panto?

Brilliant! We are having so much fun. Rehearsals are hilarious and a lot of laughs. It’s taking a lot of discipline to stop myself from corpsing. Hopefully by the time the show comes around, I’ll be used to the jokes and not find them funny anymore… I seriously doubt it, though!

Roger Hall’s Robin Hood: The Pantomime opens 21 November and runs until 9 January.

10 November 2015

Ian Harman for Ache

Ian Harman
Ache is well into its season and receiving excellent reviews! Many of the audience and reviewers have commented on the sleek design of set and costume by Ian Harman. This week on drama* on the waterfront, Ian talks about his process, working on Ache and what else he has coming up.

“The set on this production was incredible. Versatile, stylish, precise. The execution was impeccable and the entire world enchanting.”
-Rosie Cann, Art Murmurs

“…the most stunning feature is the all-wooden set (Ian Harman). It's beautiful watching Buchanan moving its parts between scenes: the slide of the slatted screen from this side to that, the lattice it makes against the horizontal lines of the backdrop, the harmonious minimalism of tone and material. It's a visual pleasure, essential to the play's character.”
-Lena Fransham, Theatreview

Ian Harman talks about his design:

I was attracted to Ache firstly because I love working with director Lyndee Jane Rutherford (LJ) and then secondly, when I read the script I had an instant connection with the piece. I wanted to design a set for a lighting designer to play with, and something that shifted and changed like the relationships in the play. I was interested in how the lattice would work and how we could use the light to define the spaces. I was thrilled with what Marcus McShane brought to the project.

The Set design for Ache.
As for costume I wanted to work with broad brushstrokes and really let the actors work and the direction shine through.

For the overall design I wanted it to say modern, contemporary, utilitarian, and so hot right now. And I wanted it to feel like a very kiwi interior. I feel we achieved that and I love how it works! Finn our builder finished it beautifully and it works effortlessly.

Renee Lyons and Richard Dey performing on Ian Harman's set for Ache.
Other than Ache, currently I am working on costume for Boys at the Beach at Centrepoint. I am directing, choreographing and designing British Invasion for the Abbey Musical Theatre and Designing, choreographing and performing as my alter ego Mr Lola Illusion in a Christmas Burlesque called Jingle all the Way.

The set design for Ache.

Ache continues at Circa until Saturday 21 November.  Book now: 04 801 7992 or www.circa.co.nz