RECENT THEATRE EXPERIENCE
John is an active playwright and occasional actor. Some of his acting highlights include Ligurio in The Mandrake Root (Spread the Wyrd), Peter in At Home at the Zoo (Something Borrowed), and Sgt. Trotter in The Mousetrap (Tempo). He first worked with the team of Sekuless and Driver back in 2009 with Canberra Repertory's production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. As a playwright he has won the People's Choice Award at Short+Sweet Canberra and Sydney 2014, had a horror radio play performed on Radio National, and showcases his work in his semi-annual nerd sketch show The Worf Revue..
My first experience of Shakespeare was in high school, where I played Lysander in a stripped back production of Midsummer Night's Dream. Somehow after almost 20 years I haven't performed Shakespeare since and have been keen for another crack at it. Shakespeare is still King of theatre for his great stories and amazing ear for dialogue, as well as his spectacular creative output. Shakespeare's accomplishments are both daunting and inspiring for a playwright, a promise of what can be possible in the craft. For a playwright, Shakespeare is what we aspire to.
ON SHAKESPEARE BY THE LAKES
Last year I was lucky to catch a production of Cymbeline at the Globe Theatre in London. More than just a great production, it was highly accessible - you could get a standing ticket to see some of the greatest actors in the world perform one of the world's greatest playwrights for about $10. With the cost of production and tickets rising, theatre has increasingly become a boutique product - a tremendous irony since Shakespeare's plays were a popular entertainment. Hopefully Shakespeare by the Lakes will open up Shakespeare to audiences that cannot afford a night out at the theatre.
Borachio has so much to do. He cavorts, he wheedles, he placates, he rants - he even gets to repent and show contrition. I can see almost a public service dynamic in Borachio's relationship with Don John: John is the EL, Borachio is the loyal ASO trying to impress his master while gently steering them - sometimes very badly. Like most of the characters in Much Ado he has hot blood, and even if he can be a bit skeezy he has a joie de vivre and a conscience that can poke out with the right coaxing. What more could an actor ask for than such a lusty part?
ABOUT THE ROLE
I have worked with Duncan and Lexi before, and was keen to work with them again on this project: a tremendous opportunity to learn from them and polish my skills. I was a bit daunted that both Conrad and Borachio were being combined into one part, since their individual voices are very distinctive, but finding the voice and personality of this new "Conrachio" (and especially his relationship to his master Don John!) has been a lot of fun.