5 Questions with Lou Pollard and Tim Hansen

Lou Pollard

Tim Hansen: What was your first Shakespearean role on stage?
Lou Pollard: Portia in The Merchant Of Venice when I was a teenager questioning my entire life. My mum’s family were very religious and I spent years going to Sunday school at my grandparent’s church. So I have a lot of hymns and prayers in my head that don’t mean much to me! This play was the first time I actually understood the biblical concept of God teaching man to show mercy to fellow human beings. “Though justice be thy plea, consider this, That, in the course of justice, none of us should see salvation: we do pray for mercy; And that same prayer doth teach us all to render the deeds of mercy.”

Who is your favourite Shakespearean villain?
I do love Lady Macbeth, but is she a villain, or just a woman with the strength to stand by what she believes, and do what the men around her do not have the courage to carry out? She reminds me of British PM Margaret Thatcher, a woman with a hard heart and strong convictions surrounded by powerful men. Or maybe she was just a complete cow with no empathy whatsoever. Humans are
very complicated beings, Shakespeare understood this so well. “Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, / And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full / Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood. / Stop up th’ access and passage to remorse

How are you preparing for the show?
I’m feeling very white bread, so I’m listening to rap tracks. My youngest daughter loves Nicki Minaj so I’ve had her on repeat at home. I’ve also been reading monologues and sonnets, and I read Bill Bryson’s book Shakespeare: The World As Stage which is a fascinating look at the history of the time and where Shakespeare was living when he wrote most of his work.

What monologue are you prepping, and why did you choose it?
I’ve picked my favourite sonnet because I want to play with the rhythm of it. I’ve been a big Eminem fan for a long time and I’m thrilled I’ve got the opportunity to maybe bring my humour and
sense of play to a ‘serious’ work. Some acting friends who are well-versed in Shakespeare feel that the sonnet I’ve chosen is a bit of a downer, but I think it ends on a really positive note. I first learnt the sonnet 25 years ago and as I age it becomes more of a truth in my life than ever before.

Why do you think Shakespeare still resonates with audiences after all these years?
Shakespeare was so smart and funny and understood that relationships are tricky. His writing conveys that he understood the complexity of humans and the tangled, messy lives we lead. His
sense of humour was so sharp and his observations of the frailties of human life were so acute, that we still understand when he says, “to be or not to be, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Or to take arms against a sea of troubles. And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep– No more–and by a sleep to say we end. The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.” That’s why I love working with the Leftovers. Their clever shows provoke an audience to question how we as a society deal with gender roles, crime, racism & intolerance; the same issues that Shakespeare was writing about.

Tim Hansen

Lou Pollard: When did you fall in love with Shakespeare?
Tim Hansen: I was first meaningfully exposed to Shakespeare in high school and it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. Like a lot of high school students I could not understand why we had to trawl through this archaic language and try to understand it and write essays on it and pick apart conceits and sonnets and metaphors. It wasn’t until I was in year 9 and my school participated in the Shakespeare competition (is that still a thing? I went to school last century) that I really began to “get” Shakespeare. I grew up in a country town and there were really limited opportunities to get up on stage and perform, so when my English teacher said there was a competition that involved being on stage and performing I was totally in – I would have been happy reciting the ingredients on a box of clothes detergent as long as there was an audience. My group performed Act 3 Scene V from Romeo And Juliet, where Capulet rages at Juliet because she won’t marry Paris. I was Capulet. I remember walking around and around my backyard with my script in hand reciting the lines to myself in order to learn them, and I remember loving it because the language had this rhythm to it that just kind of synced with my steps and sunk into my brain like a hot ball bearing into butter. To this day I can still remember my opening lines. So studying it in English sucked all the fun out of it, but once I got up on stage to perform it, I got it. Now, I read Shakespeare for my own personal pleasure. It’s calming and beautiful. I love it.

Why did you want to work with the Leftovers Collective?
I’m a weird performer. I have a theatre degree but have kind of patchy actor training. My main vocation is actually music composition, and music is where I spend most of my creative
headspace. Music is my job, whilst theatre is my passion, and though I love my job I miss getting up on stage. Plus although I love conventional director/actor/script/audience set ups, I’m very attracted to experimental collaborative processes where no one’s really sure what’s going to happen. And then, suddenly, there’s a collective that takes you as you are, that doesn’t ask for you to strictly mould yourself around the requirements of one person’s vision but instead says “what are all the things you can do? Let’s find a way to make theatre together”. That kind of thing is totally my cup of tea.

What’s your favourite Shakespearean insult?
For sheer overall relentlessness you can’t go past the interactions between Kate and Petruchio in The Taming Of The Shrew – I think it was a production of that play by Bell Shakespeare way back in like 2000/2001 I saw that was the first time I laughed out loud from beginning to end at a Shakespearean play. But I think my favourite would have to be from Troilus And Cressida: “Thou hast no more brain than I have in my elbows”. Brutal.

Are you a trained dancer? Will you be dressed in dance gear for the show?
Um I am most certainly not a trained dancer. I move like a rusty clothes line blowing in a gale. So yes I will absolutely be dressed like a tragic reject from Wham!

Where would you most like to perform this show?
I have this vision of us all getting together in some deserted car park and having an 80’s style dance-off with boom boxes and breakdancing like at the beginning of Michael Jackson’s Bad video clip. Except please don’t ask me to breakdance. I’ll just break.

Lou Pollard and Tim Hansen are appearing in Shakespeakre Dance Party, with The Leftovers Collective.
Dates: 11 March, 2018
Venue: Hustle & Flow Bar, Redfern

5 Questions with Josh Anderson and Badaidilaga Maftuh-Flynn

Josh Anderson

Badaidilaga Maftuh-Flynn: If you could have any job other than acting, what would it be?
Josh Anderson: A bear biologist. I think bears are incredible creatures and I’d love to study and help protect bears in the wild.

If your brother was like Bryce and ended up in a Thai prison, what would be your reaction?
If my brother was stuck in a situation like Bryce, I’d do everything in my power to have a merciful sentence passed down. Capital punishment is an atrocity – but as we’ve seen in the past, there isn’t a hell of a lot we can do once a sovereign nation’s mind is made up.

If you could choose to live in any city/place in the world, where would you live?
Stockholm. What’s not to love?

If you ran into Donald Trump in an elevator, what would you do/say?
I’d take the stairs.

What do you feel is the most challenging part of being an actor in the Australian industry?
I think there are many challenging things for actors in the Australian industry, but one that springs to mind is the limited space available for independent theatre makers. There are incredible companies out there that just don’t have the rehearsal space, performance venues or financial support to be able to produce quality theatre on a regular basis. I have personally benefitted from working in the independent sector and have learnt a great deal from the artists that keep our industry interesting and alive. Support independent theatre!

Badaidilaga Maftuh-Flynn

Josh Anderson: What’s the thing that lead you to acting?
Badaidilaga Maftuh-Flynn: I was always on and off with acting as a child and originally wanted to be a scientist… it wasn’t until I was 16 that I auditioned for a program called The Bridge Project with THEATREINQ, a local theatre company in my home town of Townsville, that I fell in love with the craft. Run by artistic director Terri Brabon and actor Brendan O’Connor they showed me what it was to build a career, company and most importantly a family in this industry. They both are my biggest inspirations.

What’s something about you that surprises people?
I have lived all over Australia and spent the majority of my childhood moving and living in cars, caravans, houses, tents you name it. I have attended 9 schools including a Steiner school, was home schooled and have lived in upwards of 90 houses.

If you had one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it?
Time travel for sure! I am a big doctor who fan… I would never change, only observe – I am a traveller at heart.

What’s the closest brush with the law you’ve had?
I remember one time I was living in Darwin, a housing commission complex in Litchfield court – very rough place. Street kids, lots of drugs and crime so police where a regular occurrence. I got into a fight with one of the other local kids who was bullying me and I ended up throwing a lemon at him and knocking him off his bike as he tried to get away. The police came and gave us both a stern warning and said if it happens again they would come back and drag us away by our hair… we were around 8.

Would you rather a face made of tongues or arms made of eyes (tongues and eyes are functional)?
Arms made of eyes! There is no way I would want to walk around with exposed tongues all over my face… Imagine if someone coughed on you – plus your range of sight would be incredible

Josh Anderson and Badaidilaga Maftuh-Flynn are appearing in Cage, by Jordan Shea, part of the Freshworks season at Old 505 Theatre.
Dates: 27 February – 3 March, 2018
Venue: Old 505 Theatre

5 Questions with Tony Barea and Casey Richards

Tony Barea

Casey Richards: What excites you most about being a part of this production?
Tony Barea: The opportunity to demonstrate how I have grown as an actor over the last three years since joining The Actors Pulse is very exciting. To be able to stand in front of an audience and tell a story through the eyes of such a rich character – one that has been played by the likes of Al Pacino – is a challenge that I feel I’m more than up for, and only adds to the excitement. And some nerves too!

What has brought you to the theatre?
A love of storytelling which until recent years was confined to my other passion, writing. It was in fact a case of writer’s block which led me to explore other avenues of creativity and manifested with actor classes and a newfound love for the theatre.

Favourite line in the play?
My favourite line would have to be “You stupid fucking c…..t” No line in the play demonstrates more clearly the world that these characters live in. The vulgarity and the depths to which they will sink to in order to make a sale, and the reaction when things don’t go to plan. So much is revealed about Roma’s world from this line and the ensuing monologue. I’m really looking forward to bringing my own flavour to it.

Fun fact about you?
I ran petrol stations for 10 years prior to taking up acting. Who would have thought?

What excites you about the staging of this play?
The staging of the first act in the bar next door, the gender swap of some of the characters, the fact that it is the first time on the stage for some of us, all add to the excitement of staging this play. And of course not to mention that we are all fellow students at The Actors Pulse

Casey Richards

Tony Barea: What do you like most about playing your character?
Casey Richards: It would have to be the challenge of receiving all my moments. With a smaller speaking role I have to make sure that my behaviour is on point and that I am constantly in the moment both giving and receiving.

What do you approach first when you pick up a script?
What is my character’s purpose? Why does he even exist? It’s an exciting journey of discovery. One which then involves sharing those discoveries.

If you could work with any actor in the world who would it be?
Robin Williams or Heath Ledger. Both had amazing talent that they were able to share with the world. Whilst I won’t be able to work with either, growing up with them as an influence on me is a source of deep inspiration, which I hope to one day emulate.

What made you want to do acting?
Originally it was just for fun. I love watching behind-the-scenes cuts from movies and it just struck me that it looked like a heap of fun. I have since discovered that the art of storytelling and connecting to people is what I enjoy most.

Does the character that you play bare any similarities to you?
It does. Initially it was a little difficult as my character is much older than me, but as I have dug deeper I have continued to find parts of myself that are in alignment with the character. I feel that I will continue to discover more with each rehearsal leading up to the performances and I’m looking forward to that.

Tony Barea and Casey Richards can be seen in Glengarry Glen Ross, by David Mamet.
Dates: 23 February – 3 March, 2018
Venue: The Actors Pulse

5 Questions with Markesha McCoy and Madison McKoy

Markesha McCoy

Madison McKoy: How did you come to be involved in The View Upstairs?
Markesha McCoy: I flew to Sydney to be a part of Trevor Ashley’s new panto The Bodybag. It was a hilarious parody based off of the cult classic The Bodyguard. One of the producers for The View Upstairs, Gus Murray, played our strapping bodyguard and asked me if I wanted to stick around and be a part of the show. I’m so glad he did because I’m having an amazing time.

What’s challenging about bringing this script to life?
Teaching the audience about the tragic events that took place and the inequality we still face today while still making them laugh as well.

How is your character similar to and/or different from you?
We are very similar. We both love hard but keep a stone cold face. Hard to trust but once we do, we’ll do anything for anyone we’ve brought into our lives. The only difference I feel we have is our sexual preference haha.

Without giving anything away, what is your favourite line of dialogue from the show?
“I’m not just a basic bitch, another wannabe nouveau riche tipping toward a breakdown.”

If you had a magic wand, what role/show would you do next?
Aida in Aida.

Madison McKoy

Markesha McCoy: What’s your favourite colour?
Madison McKoy: My fave colour is purple. Yellow is a close second.

If you could have dinner with three of your favourite celebrities, dead or alive, who would it be?
Janet Jackson: I’ve loved her music and performance since primary school.
Barak Obama: I’d love to chat with him about life in general.
Suzanne Vega: The lyrics and melodies to her folk-style music are wonderful. I was turned on to her by a mate back in the 80s. Actually, we probably wouldn’t eat. We’d just sing. 🙂

What has been your favourite role to play?
I played Jim in the musical Big River some years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. It’s def a role I’d like to play again.

So you’re originally from America, whats something you miss from the States?
Yes. I’m originally from North Carolina and migrated to Australia in 1994. My family is the main thing I miss. I used to miss Oreo biscuits, I mean, cookies but you can get them in Oz these days. When I first arrived, they were only available in gourmet food stores. Yes, I actually paid $15.00 for a bag of Oreos, ha ha ha.

What can you learn from your character Willie in The View Upstairs?
Willie is a man of the world. He’s definitely seen some things! Some of his top advice is to keep living, keep trying to better yourself, and be kind to others.

Markesha McCoy and Madison McKoy can be seen in The View Upstairs the musical.
Dates: 8 Feb – 11 Mar, 2018
Venue: Hayes Theatre

5 Questions with Anika Bhatia and Margaret Thanos

Anika Bhatia

Margaret Thanos: What is something you admire most about the theatre?
Anika Bhatia: It allows us to think differently. There are constantly new ideas being discovered and explored and old ideas being recreated in new ways. It’s not just a form of entertainment. It is the most visceral art form. It allows us to vicariously see the truth to our own selves and reflect, evaluate and learn and even sometimes laugh or cry during the process.

If you could meet one famous theatre person who would you choose and why?
Damien Ryan from Sport for Jove Theatre. I attended two of his lecture programs for my HSC on The Crucible and Julius Caesar and I was just so impressed and started fan-girling a lot. He’s incredible.

Why is it important that we talk about young people issues?
Because young people are the future?! The struggles of beauty expectations, masculinity, isolation, cyberbullying, the pressure to conform and have sex permeate throughout the play. The decisions that young people make in the face of these struggles become defining moments of their life so it’s important to understand how we make them.

Tell me a little fun fact about you.
Well, I was born in India and moved to Sydney when I was 5. My mum said that we had some connections to the King of Rajasthan at one stage! Fun stuff!

What is something that you have learnt over the course of rehearsals for Intersection 2018: Chrysalis.
It’s been really fun to uncover the truth behind the texts and experience that with Rachel Chant and the creative team. I also learnt a lot from being able to talk to Gretel Vella, the writer of one of the scenes I’m in and understand and discuss the characters and her inspirations for them. From both Rachel and Bec, the assistant director, I’ve learnt that taking risks is really important in the rehearsal process and being able to trust myself and stay committed to my creative decisions.

Margaret Thanos

Anika Bhatia: What is your favourite line/moment in the play? 
Margaret Thanos: “You got bitten by that strange duck that followed you home.” – Blood On Bloody Blood Ladder. It’s not a line that I say, but it’s still glorious! 

How do you get into character? 
I think a lot about whatever has happened just before the scene, so I have the mindset to go into the situation as they would. I think about how they feel about what has just happened and what I want to get out of this scene. I also pace around in the physical way that my character does, so I get a sense of their body and the way that they carry themselves. It helps to remind my brain and body that I am not being Margaret in that moment, but I am someone else in their own life. 

Are there any similarities or differences between you and your character Jess from Victoria’s Secret Angel Virgin/Bakerz Delight?
Well, Jess and I are very different on so many levels! She really allows the opinions of what other people say to get to her, and worries about what other people will think, regardless of her own feelings and I think that is where we are most different. She also talks a mile a minute and basically spills out any thoughts that come into her head, while I tend to take more time with what I say. However, there are definitely similarities too! We are both 17, and I love how she has an awareness of the social issues in town, she sometimes builds things up in her mind to be bigger than what they need to be, and I think I do that too, and she gets annoyed at people interrupting her education – which is definitely a trait of mine! 

What is it like working with Rachel Chant?
Honestly, it is SO AMAZING. I am truly blown away by her insight into the play, the intricate meaning in every moment and her attention to detail. The crew and cast on this production is so fabulously talented and I am so grateful to have been a part of Intersection 2018: Chrysalis

What makes this show great for young people and adults alike? 
As a 17 year old you are really on the precipice of your life, waiting for it to start almost, while completing a really stressful period of school. You are also constantly thinking about the future so there are a lot of conflicted and confused ideas running around in your head and I think this show captures that really well. I truly believe that many young people who watch this show will resonate with at least one of the short plays. I think it’s great for young people that so many awkward situations that are typical for 17 year olds are being shown through this play, to show that these fears and desires that they have are not individual to them, but that so many others are going through the exact same experience. For adults, especially ones that have young people in their lives, I think that this show really looks into the teenage condition and all the great and terrible moments being 17 brings with it, and I think that is something really important for adults to understand and empathise with. 

Anika Bhatia and Margaret Thanos are appearing in Intersection 2018: Chrysalis.
Dates: 31 January – 17 February, 2018
Venue: SBW Stables Theatre

5 Questions with Claudette Clarke and Diana Popovska

Claudette Clarke

Diana Popovska: Which character do you most relate to in Metamorphoses and why?
Claudette Clarke: I am not sure which character I most relate to in Metamorphoses but I have researched Aphrodite the most because she is the main character I play and some of these qualities are parts of my personality. Aphrodite is mischievous, angry and revengeful to mortals who refuse to fall in love. Goddess of love, sex and procreation; beauty, seduction, pleasure and happiness. Antithesis curses for non-compliance of the laws of love are: Sexual repulsion; Unnatural desires (incest, bestiality, etc.); Love unreciprocated; Ugliness. Some of these curses are played out in Metamorphoses.

This is your second time working with Dino, how is it different?
I worked with Dino many years ago in his very memorable production of To Kill A Mockingbird. Almost the entire season was booked out and people still talk about the production. The plays are both “classics” and here Dino is directing a queer reading of Zimmerman’s modern adaptation of Ovid’s verse to reflect current times. I am really enjoying working with him again. I love the way he pushes boundaries. As an actor of African Caribbean decent, I immediately identified with the topic of black and white in Mockingbird whereas it was interesting for me to think in more depth about gender mixes. Although I have always readily accepted difference, this reading pushed me to think further. This production reinforces my belief that, as humans, all we ask is to be respected and loved for who we are.

What has been your favourite moment in rehearsals so far?
My favourite moment in rehearsals came when Johnny Hawkins joined the cast. He has a way of playing and having fun with the characters, exploring possibilities, which is what is required.

Why do you believe this queer reading of ‘Metamorphoses’ is particularly important for the queer community to see?
I think that it is particularly important for the queer community to see this queer reading of Metamorphoses because these poems from Ovid were probably completed around AD 8. It may be reassuring to learn that stories of broader sexual and gender identities have existed for so long.

What excites you most about the staging of this play?
A cast of 10 actors on a tiny stage the whole time promises to be all-encompassing for an intimate audience to experience. The Old Fitz Theatre is one of the most intimate creative theatre spaces in Sydney.

Diana Popovska

Claudette Clarke: What parts of your personality as a human does your parts bring out?
Diana Popovska: I feel like this production and the parts I have been cast in bring out my playfulness as a human more than anything else. It has been such a beautiful experience introducing ‘play’ into the rehearsal room from day one. This has allowed me to connect with the text, our queer reading of the text and my fellow actors in a way which has been visceral and raw. This production has also brought out my queerness and sensual energy, and highlighted how fabulous I feel as a queer woman making theatre.

How does the “queer reading” of Metamorphoses impact on your interpretation of your parts?
I think it is important to understand that these stories are universal. For me, the several characters that I play in this production all experience various human emotions such as grief, love, heartache, lust and so on… This “queer reading” if anything allows me to celebrate more than ever these characters and their experiences, as well as stand there and fight for them and their right to be represented on an Australian stage.

What made you interested to be part of this production of Metamorphoses?
I have always wanted to work with Dino Dimitriadis as a director and when I found out that he was doing Metamorphoses I wanted in because I was incredibly interested to see what he would do with a text so colossal. As a queer identifying woman, I wanted to represent my community on stage during Mardi Gras. I mostly wanted to do this production because I knew it would be a celebration of queerness, a celebration of ‘difference’ and a celebration of the unwavering and all enduring human spirit in the face of hardship.

What kind of kid were you at school?
I was a little bit of a nerd / a little bit cool. I loved playing cards at lunch time and I was even on the debating team for a while. Drama class was my favourite, but I also really enjoyed playing sport too. I feel like I was super friendly with everyone in my year, we had a pretty tight year. I was pretty confident and ‘cool’, except for when it came to telling my high school crush, Katie that I liked them. I was super bashful around her and other girls I liked, and you know what they say, “you snooze, you lose!”.

How do you envisage theatre changing since ‘same sex marriage’ became legal in Australia?
I am hoping that far more companies will open their doors to allow for queer stories to be staged. I am hoping that this will allow for more queer identifying artists and creatives to create work and to see themselves represented in others work far more rapidly. If anything, the arts in Australia have been behind ‘same sex marriage’ for a long while now, it’s actually our government that has needed to pull their finger out. But now that the horrible plebiscite is over, I hope for love and inclusiveness for all queer identifying people and their allies both on and off stage.

Claudette Clarke and Diana Popovska are appearing in Metamorphoses, by Mary Zimmerman.
Dates: 8 February – 10 March, 2018
Venue: Old Fitz Theatre

5 Questions with Travis Jeffery and Hoa Xuande

Travis Jeffery

Hoa Xuande: Before you read Tonsils And Tweezers, going purely from the name, what did you think the play would be about?
Travis Jeffery: I had absolutely no idea what the play was about before I read it. I love the title, but the only thing it gives away is two of the characters names, and even that’s not crystal clear. Will O’Mahony is a very intelligent human and writer so I gathered the title wasn’t going to be literal, but the thought did cross my mind that ‘hey maybe it’s just set at the dentist’.

What kind of kid were you at school?
I was the funny chubby kid at school. Or at least I tried to be funny, I was definitely chubby. My passport photo was taken in 2009 when I was around 107 kgs, these days when I whip it out at the airport I occasionally get laughed at… at least I’m getting laughs 😦

What are the similarities or differences between you and your character?
The importance of friendship is definitely something myself and Tonsils have in common. My friendships are one of the most important parts of my life, whether it’s on or off stage it’s wonderful knowing you have people that will be there for you, including you, Hoa Xuande. At the heart of Tonsils And Tweezers is two best friends trying to help each other work through something traumatic, it’s their friendship that drives the play.

What do you think your character’s name actually is and why?
Interesting question Hoa, lets go with Peter. Purely because in one of the rehearsals James Sweeny, who plays Max, called me Peter when he wasn’t cut off in time. Or maybe his name really is just Tonsils, like Cher!

Where do you go to get your dance moves?
I learnt my moves at the school of hard knocks! Don’t be fooled into thinking I woke up one morning and they were there. Years of hard work and dedication has been put into my skills. Hitting the D-Floor rain, hail or shine to keep my moves in peak condition. Actually to be honest I was born with absolutely no rhythm so dancing is incredibly hard for me, come watch the show and see for your self.

Hoa Xuande

Travis Jeffery: What do you enjoy about Tonsils And Tweezers and Will O’Mahony’s writing?
Hoa Xuande: I’ve had the chance to work with Will twice now on his plays, including the original development of Tonsils And Tweezers, and the thing that really sticks with me about his writing is how frivolous and fun his plays are until it drops you into the deep end and puts you into an emotional mess. Without trying to sound smart he creates these ideas and clues along the way, which ironically makes his plays really clever. In Tonsils And Tweezers we just get to be silly and play until we hand the audience the play’s actual intentions and emotional truth. It’s really fun to do that every night!

What’s the biggest difference between this production and the original?
The biggest difference between this production and the original would have to be the pace between the two shows. The original was put on as part of a double-bill of theatre at the Black Swan State Theatre Company in Perth so we had some time constraints so Will, who also directed the piece himself, really got us to rapid-fire the text. I mean, we really spoke quite fast! But this production has allowed me to just re-discover the text and give the play a little more ‘breathing room’ so it’s nice to be able to just take your time a bit more in this version of the production and make new choices that you hadn’t previously thought about before. It’s just been great to be able to do the same text again but in a different way!

This question has 2 parts! Part 1: What do you like most about rehearsals? Part 2: What do you like most about working with me?
Haha, well… early on in rehearsals, it was interesting to re-discover the play with Travis and Michael and because I had done the play before, I thought, “Nah, I’ll be right.” But as they kept mining the text and discovered things I had completely missed before, I found myself questioning what I actually knew and what my choices were in the previous production and whether I had even understood the play in the first place. So stepping through the play once again in these rehearsals has actually been quite a refreshing feeling. Travis, mate, I like your can-do attitude! Strong choices even if they might be wrong, or always wrong, haha! Nah, actually that was me every day!

Is it true you only own one white shirt and wear it every day?
False, my friend, I actually own more than one white shirt. Three, to be precise. One of which is being used in the show right now! But I choose to wear my ‘rehearsal’ white shirt every day for rehearsal purposes. FYI, it does get washed every week, I think!

Did you ever have a nickname that you hated? Do you have one now?
I’ve had plenty of nicknames or more like mis-pronunciations of my name that’ve probably turned into a nickname at some point in time. The strangest reading of my name once was ‘hon’ and I was like, ‘Interesting, don’t know where the ‘n’ came from but I’ll take it!’ It’s pronounced ‘hwa’ by the way, like a karate chop! That phrase has become attached to my name every time I introduce myself now, haha! But no, never really hated any nicknames. Do I have one now? Don’t know, probably, but Xanadu’s been making the rounds because it looks similar to my last name!

Travis Jeffery and Hoa Xuande can be seen in Tonsils And Tweezers by Will O’Mahony.
Dates: 12 – 29 Jan, 2018
Venue: Kings Cross Theatre