Jamie Collette: How did you become involved with this production?
Marine Grangier: I was checking australianstagejobs.com.au because I was about to finish working on my previous production and saw Tom’s audition ad for The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged). I have read about that play before and was so grateful someone was staging it in Sydney that I just emailed Tom to say THANK YOU for doing it while letting him know that if he was looking for a stage manager I’d seriously be willing. Turned out he was and I got on board!
What’s it like stage managing 37 plays at once?
It’s like having severe ADD (attention deficit disorder). One moment I’m putting nail polish on severed (plastic) fingers and the next I’m building sock puppets. I must say I’m quite happy the original performers chose to cut down the number of actors from 1122 to 3 though.
What’s your favorite Shakespeare play and why?
I’d say As You Like It for its shocking modernity and Rosalind’s character. First time I heard her say things like “you may as soon make her that you love believe it, which I warrant she is apter to do than to confess she does” and “Sell when you can, you are not for all markets” I couldn’t believe this was written about 400 years ago. Shakespeare may not have had actresses to play his female roles but he created gold material for actresses nowadays.
What’s the best reason for people to come see The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged)?
You’ll be able to brag about your extensive knowledge of the Bard afterwards and nobody will know you’ve only watched Baz Lurhman’s Romeo + Juliet. “Shakespeare? Yeah I’ve seen all his plays. My favourite? King John of course.”
What’s your favourite Shakespearean insult?
I immediately thought about “Thou art a villain” which cuts through BS and is uttered in our production, but after some research I must say “Thou art a general offence” and “my wife is a hobby horse” score quite high on both horrible and funny scales.
Marine Grangier: How did you first discover this show and what were your first impressions?
Jamie Collette: I first saw The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) at the opera house when I was 13, starring Darren Gilshenan, Erik Thompson and Damian Callinan, and I remember it being the most fun audience experience I had ever had. I knew then that I wanted to be in that show some day, and twelve years later here I am.
Which character, out of the 1122 in The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged), do you enjoy playing most in the show and why?
I think my favorite character to play has to be Macbeth, in our authentically Scottish rendition of the Scottish Play. Without too many spoilers, let’s say it involves near indecipherable accents, men in skirts, and a fight scene involving clubs from everyone’s favorite Scottish sport!
Moment of truth, did you find Shakespeare boring at school?
I have to confess, I was a huge Shakespeare nerd from an incredibly young age. I had read almost all the plays before I turned 13, and after seeing the show in 2003, I quickly made sure I read all the rest, even King John and All’s Well That Ends Well (which holds a special place in my heart). One of my life missions is to make Shakespeare and all classical text more accessible and enjoyable for kids.
I’m magically turning into a philanthropic producer who asks you which show you’d like to put on, what do you chose and which role do you shotgun?
I have had a production of Antony And Cleopatra rattling around in my brain for a few years that I’d love to execute, but the role I’d most love to play currently is Edmund from King Lear (for whom my older brother is named.)
What do you think Willy would think if he sat in the Genesian Theatre on July the 11th?
“I can’t believe they brought me back for this /
I ne’er did think that I should be so mock’d /
This play’s my work, yet all is gone amiss /
I tell you now, these actors are all f***’d. /
For never better reason could be found /
T’ Return my rotting corpse unto the ground.”
Marine Grangier will be Stage Managing and Jamie Collette will be appearing in The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Dates: 11 July – 8 August, 2015
Venue: The Genesian Theatre