5 Questions with Danielle Baynes and Pip Dracakis

Danielle Baynes

Danielle Baynes

Pip Dracakis: What are the similarities between Lady and Danielle?
Danielle Baynes: I’m similar to who the Lady becomes at the end of the play. At the beginning I share her curious, romantic and cautious side. She’s very naïve though, I’m much more cynical. After a certain experience she has in the middle of the show we definitely become kindred spirits. She’s more talented than me but we’re both hilarious. We sort of look the same, except her face is much bigger.

What do you enjoy most about performing in live theater?
If it can only be one thing, then I’d say the audience. The shared experience, the instant feedback, the mixture of being completely in control and totally out of control at the same time. Nothing compares.

What is the most ridiculous thing a director has asked you to do in rehearsal?
Look I won’t name and shame, BUT Michael Dean once had a group of us running around a dodgy, empty car park late at night in Parramatta yelling “red alert”.

Who inspired you in the creation of the mysterious male character in Bicycle?
Oh Pip, the question you’ve been dying to ask all this time… I won’t go into detail about the personal inspiration, but I was inspired by an author named Bram, and a little bit inspired by Mads Mikkelson.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
At the moment it’s binge watching crime shows in bed until 3am. I also indulge in too much soft cheese. But Nigella Lawson said, “I don’t feel guilty about any pleasure. I think you should only feel guilty if you don’t feel pleasure”, and I try to take on that attitude as well.

Pip Dracakis

Pip Dracakis

Danielle Baynes: If you and I were musical instruments, what would we be?
Pip Dracakis: You would be a Steinway and I would be a Stradivarius.

You are a brilliant Actor Musician, what’s unique about this type of performer and how did you approach your role in Bicycle?
I see my role in Bicycle as a storyteller and try to serve the story and text in all my musical and physical choices. It’s great to be able to work on a show where you can think as an actor and communicate through music.

What’s the strangest thing someone has said to you after a performance (any performance)?
During one of our post-show Q&A’s for Merchant of Venice with Sport for Jove, we were asked how we all knew each other. The kid was in year 7. I think he was struggling with all the other questions about dealing with a racist play in the 21st century.

What was the process in creating the score for Bicycle?
I listened to a lot of different repertoire but most of my musical ideas were inspired by the text and born out of the organic rehearsal process. Lots of trial and error, seeing what enhanced the script and what moments were best left without any musical underscoring. In some scenes, the music is totally improvised and in others, there are prescribed excerpts by Bach or Bartok, for example.

And finally, if someone was to make a movie of your life, who would play me?
Fran Fine.

Danielle Baynes and Pip Dracakis can both be seen in Bicycle.
Dates: 21 June – 2 July, 2016
Venue: Old Fitz Theatre