Fremantle Gazette - - STREET WATCH - Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

IN the mood for an up­lift­ing film about po­lio?

Go­ing against the grain, Breathe is not the weepie-of-the-week kind of film you may come to ex­pect about some­one who can’t move from the neck down, can’t breathe without a ma­chine and lives ev­ery day on the verge of death.

Ad­ven­tur­ous and en­er­getic Robin Cavendish is struck with po­lio in the late 1950s while in Kenya at the age of 28.

He is paral­ysed and given just months to live in a dank hos­pi­tal along­side other suf­fer­ers, but his wife, the ever de­voted Diana (Claire Foy), takes him home to be with her and their young son.

Un­will­ing to let his con­di­tion keep him in­doors un­til he dies, Robin en­lists his friends’ help to build a wheel­chair that can ac­com­mo­date his hefty breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tus and make him mo­bile.

Andy Serkis, best known as the guy who per­formed Gol­lum in the Lord of the Rings films be­fore be­ing dig­i­tally re­placed, steps be­hind the cam­era for the first time and tells this story through a rose- coloured lens. There is more hu­mour than tears with a tra­di­tional love story wo­ven through­out, and Serkis main­tains a very Bri­tish feel, par­tic­u­larly with the dry wit.

Breathe plays as part of the Bri­tish Film Fes­ti­val, Oc­to­ber 26 Novem­ber 15. EIGHTY litres of stage blood im­ported from the UK has been de­liv­ered to Black Swan State The­atre Com­pany and Perth ac­tor Sophia For­rest could not be more ex­cited.

The 2016 WAAPA act­ing grad­u­ate is mak­ing her de­but for the com­pany in Let The Right One In at Heath Ledger The­atre play­ing 200-year-old vampire Eli.

“Then there are blood cap­sules and other things as well,” the 22-year-old said.

“Tech­ni­cally this show is go­ing to be very chal­leng­ing to pull off but part of the fun of be­ing an ac­tor is jump­ing through hoops.

“I love how dy­namic and fast-paced the play moves. The scenes them­selves are quite sim­ple and sit in the mo­ment, but it’s also so grand with th­ese huge death scenes and the chal­lenge that Eli will give me by mur­der­ing lots of my cast mates.”

For­rest, daugh­ter of min­ing mag­nate An­drew For­rest and his wife Ni­cola, moved to Syd­ney af­ter her WAAPA train­ing and soon signed on to hit tele­vi­sion drama Love Child where she played preg­nant teen Deb­bie.

She said her fam­ily had al­ways been supportive of her ca­reer choice, hav­ing a laugh at cer­tain char­ac­ters she had played “and the fact I’m play­ing a vampire has been the butt of many jokes at the fam­ily din­ner ta­ble”.

“Act­ing wasn’t some­thing I ever con­sid­ered to be a vi­able ca­reer op­tion grow­ing up and I was dead set on psy­chol­ogy,” For­rest said.

“But I took a gap year and to­wards the end of it I knew I could never sit at a desk, so I de­cided to ex­plore what I could do on my feet that would change ev­ery sin­gle day, and the an­swer was act­ing.”

For­rest is work­ing op­po­site fel­low WAAPA grad­u­ate Ian Michael, who plays Oskar in Let The Right One In which is based on the Swedish novel and film by John Aj­vide Lindqvist.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful com­ing of age, friend­ship story that’s also a hor­ror,” For­rest said.

For­rest said Eli was the most com­plex char­ac­ter

she had played, be­ing a 200-year-old vampire in the body of a 12-year-old girl. “It’s a real tightrope and there’s so many dif­fer­ent fac­tors to take in,” she said. Tanya MacNaughton


So­phie For­rest stars in Let The Right One In.

Claire Foy and An­drew Garfield in Breathe.

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