SAM STILL HORSING AROUND
IT was a case of art inspiring art seven years ago when playwright, director and actor Damon Lockwood wrote satirical comedy HorseHead.
He was looking after his three-weekold son for the first time without his partner and decided they would bond by watching The Godfather together.
“The horse head scene came on, I looked down at him and said ‘can you imagine the two guys that had to do that’?” Lockwood said.
“A thunderbolt hit and a week later I had the first draft. It’s a black comedy with an underlying question of what price and sacrifices do you have to make to succeed in life?”
HorseHead, which is the story of two brothers given the gruesome task of ensuring their future with the mob, debuted at The Blue Room Theatre in 2008 and has since had seasons in Melbourne, Italy and New York.
“We said wouldn’t it be ridiculous if someone from an Italian theatre company saw this and serendipitously that happened,” Lockwood said.
“It was translated into Italian and has had seven seasons in Italy. We saw a version of it, stereotypes have to come from somewhere and I’ve never seen more hand acting in my life, they were just throwing those things around. It was touching and humbling and then the Italian company took it over to New York Fringe Festival while we were there doing another show of mine, I (honestly) Love You, at the same time; it was a special couple of weeks.”
Fellow performer and The Big HOO-HAA founder Sam Longley has been with Lockwood for the journey, including the latest season which will see HorseHead open Perth Theatre Trust’s Independent Theatre Festival at Subiaco Arts Centre on June 3.
The duo has worked professionally together for 12 years after both attended Murdoch University.
“We only said hello to each other a couple of times while at uni,” Lockwood said.
“Then Sam was starting impro show The Big HOO-HAA and wanted me to get onboard and help him with that from its inception. We’re still really good mates after working together for this long, so I think that’s something pretty special.”
Lockwood said they loved performing HorseHead and tried not to muck around too much on stage.
“There are choreographed slaps and punches and every now and again we like to let each other know we’re in a live performance. Although you have to be careful because if you do that early on, you have to be prepared for something coming back at you later in the play.”
Picture: Andrew Ritchie