TWO at Riverside Theatres
Directed by Ensemble Theatre Artistic Director Mark Kilmurry, TWO introduces fourteen colourful characters, all skilfully played by two actors Brian Meegan (Sea Patrol, Water Rats) and Kate Raison (A Country Practice, E-Street).
Set in the local pub, you’ll meet all the regulars, a misfit crowd of eccentric and hilarious individuals. There’s Moth, who loves Maud (and every other woman) fervently; Mrs Iger, with her passion for quiet, strong men; possessive Roy, jealous of anybody who looks at Lesley (even the darts players); Alice and Fred and their Elvis obsession; and the publicans themselves – a married couple with an unspoken secret…
Carly spoke with Kate Raison about this classic and timeless comedy, and what it's like to take on so many characters. Read the full interview below:
TWO is returning to the stage after its successful run at the Ensemble Theatre in 2017. Why is this production being revisited, and what significance does this 1980s story hold for a 2019 audience?
Although it was written in the 80’s Jim Cartwright’s play is quite timeless. The story is about people and their situation not necessarily the time the play was set. We have set the play in the 80’s as one of the differences I believe is important is to see the characters and pub life prior to mobile phones and of course the internet. I guess it was a time when frequenting clubs and pubs might have been more important within a community.
TWO was the sixth play that you and your husband Brian Meegan worked together on at the Ensemble. What is the dynamic like working with your husband in the rehearsal room? Do you find that playing fictional married couples becomes easier when it’s informed by your real life?
We have a creative and robust working relationship. Although we have different approaches to our work we have always been able to maintain a productive working process. When we play couples we are, of course able to use a certain shorthand but really the Landlady and landlord characters are not really informed by us as a couple.
How has your character work developed in this second round of rehearsals? Did it feel natural to slip into these characters once again, or did you feel more work needed to be done?
Both really! The play itself came back to us and all the familiar characters were easy to find but it was terrific to have a second shot at some of them. We spent a week in the rehearsal room with Mark Kilmurry and we were able to tweak some characters and develop them even further than we had in the initial production. It’s very exciting to be able to add more layers when you get the chance to do a character the second time around.
In TWO, the audience watches as you and Brian slip effortlessly between multitudes of characters all visiting the local pub in a regional Australian town. How does two actors playing all of the roles change our relationship with the story, and what benefit do you think this has?
I hope it looks effortless! You should see what goes on backstage during the show!
Jim Cartwright talks about it being like a little bit of magic, one character leaves the stage and returns within seconds as another. As there is little time for costume, hair or makeup changes we have had to find each character in a very personal way. The set and lighting is very cleverly designed to assist the quick pace changes and gives the appearance that the bar is floating in space.
This piece is voyeuristic in that we are watching the characters, as you might do while sitting in a pub, and wondering what their story is, who their and why they are there.
Who is your favourite character in TWO to play? Why?
My Favourite, although I love them all, would have to be The Old Lady. The writing for that character is beautifully poetic and she strikes such a chord with the audience every night. She is a pleasure to perform and I have great respect for her journey.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:
Favourite production you have ever seen?
Orange Osage County
You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?
Dream role to perform?
Don’t have one really…I know I should but sometimes you don’t know it’s a dream role until you have performed it.
Plays or musicals?
What’s next for you after this show?
TWO opens at the Riverside Theatres on March 5 2019 for a strictly limited run. You can get your tickets here.