RECENT THEATRE EXPERIENCE
Since retiring from teaching a couple of years ago, Neil has reconnected with a passion for the stage that was first triggered in the early 1960s. He has appeared as Telegin in Uncle Vanya; had small parts in Macbeth; Ablett in Trelawny of the Wells; and, most recently, as Wally in Australia Day – all for Canberra Repertory Society. Plays in the distant past include: The Man (Howard, a psychopathic killer); Arms and the Man (Sergius in 1960s; Blunchli in the early 1980s); The Importance of Being Earnest (John/”Jack”/Earnest Worthing); and Bedroom Farce (bed-ridden Nick).
For me, Shakespeare is the pinnacle of theatre experience that an actor can aspire to – so easy to do poorly, so difficult to do well. I was introduced to Shakespeare’s works from a performer’s standpoint by an actor /manager who had worked at the RSC in the 1950s. I was captivated by his enthusiasm and took delight in learning some of the great monologues from Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard II etc. That enthusiasm stays with me today. I am intrigued by the changing approaches to performing Shakespearean roles and dealing with the exacting demands of prose and verse forms that have occurred over the decades that I have been involved in the theatre.
ON SHAKESPEARE BY THE LAKES
This is a wonderful concept - the Canberra 2018 version of the early 17th century Globe performances… a theatre company presents a play in the for the entertainment of the populace, accessible to all. Playing in the open air outside the confines of a theatre relaxes the formality of Shakespeare and if that entices people to the performances they would otherwise not attend then a great milestone has been achieved. Congratulations to those who devised the project and who have put an enormous amount of energy and expertise into this Canberra venture to bring an idea to fruition.
I am delighted to be part of this team. I look forward to the formal instructional program that will form the basis for delivering prose and verse forms in line with the latest methods utilised by leading English theatre companies. I have no doubt that my role as Antonio will be the better for it.
ON THE ROLE
Ecstatic. Same as I have always felt with any role I’ve been cast in. Playing “by the lakes” will be especially exciting and, for me, it will give Much Ado About Nothing an exciting new dimension.