Shows: Cast Ha­vana good time at Javeen­bah........

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS -

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

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