Shows: Cast Havana good time at Javeenbah........
FOUR actors playing 32 characters in 20 different locations – this type of musicalchairs-roleplay sounds like a lot for a small local stage.
But Javeenbah Theatre Company has managed to pull it off in style with their new production Our Man in Havana.
Written by Graham Greene and adapted for the stage by Clive Francis, the satirical comedy stars locals Andrew Trump, Kate Learmonth, Tony Hall and Michael Denny.
Our Man in Havana follows the story of James Wormald, a vacuum cleaner salesman in Cuba who spends his days drinking in seedy bars and worrying about his daughter’s expensive spending.
When a visiting Englishman recruits him to the Secret Service, Wormald sees it as a chance to clear his debt.
Director Eric James says the play is a fast-moving satirical romp.
‘‘Wormald is hilarious. He just keeps digging himself deeper and deeper until the panic rises along with the body count,’’ he says.
As the four-person cast play 32 different characters convincingly, James says the audience accepts the Our Man In Havana.
– Picture: RICHARD GOSLING sometimes quick but often obvious role-swapping.
‘‘The interesting thing about audiences and their perceptions is that people love being told stories – as long as the storyteller can do it in an interesting way. Then there’s a suspension of disbelief,’’ he says.
At times James found directing Our Man in Havana challenging and chaotic but he says the end result is worth it.
‘‘In the beginning there were parts that were extremely confusing – the actors are always switching accents, their manner of walking or behaviour instantly,’’ he says.
‘‘But that’s why they are actors. They have the ability to empathise. It’s just hard remembering when to do what.’’
While Our Man in Havana has traces of farce and melodramatic humour, James says there are underlying dark themes.
‘‘People will come here and be entertained, but they will learn that times were pretty tough (then) in Cuba,’’ he says.
– ROSE SADLEIR
Our Man in Havana plays Javeenbah Theatre, Nerang, from tomorrow until June 8. Tickets $25.
Kate Learmonth and Andrew Trump star in