The Wi­dow Un­plugged

Reg Liver­more is many things – ac­tor, en­ter­tainer, leg­end – but an oc­to­ge­nar­ian he cer­tainly is not.

Time Out (Sydney) - - THEATRE & DANCE - By Elissa Blake

“ONE OF THE pa­pers said to­day that I’m 80. But I’m not, I’m 79!” Reg Liver­more says. “For a few more months yet.”

In any case, Liver­more is hardly one to be slowed down by age, and he has writ­ten a one­man show for him­self. The play is The Wi­dow

Un­plugged, cen­tred on age­ing ac­tor, clown and racon­teur Arthur Kwick, a per­former who never made it big. In­stead, he’s a job­bing jackof-all-trades, host­ing stag nights and clown­ing for chil­dren’s par­ties.

“He’s right at the end of his so-called ca­reer but then he gets an of­fer that re­vives his en­thu­si­asm and his imag­i­na­tion,” Liver­more ex­plains. “I can’t tell you what the job is be­cause I want it to be a sur­prise for the au­di­ence, but it brings new life to a ca­reer he thought was well and truly over.” Is Arthur Kwick the Reg Liver­more who failed, then? “I sup­pose I’m em­bed­ded in it. It’s fic­tion and non­fic­tion. My ca­reer has been much more spec­tac­u­lar than Arthur’s, but I can still ap­pre­ci­ate where he’s com­ing from.”

Af­ter stints in big-bud­get mu­si­cal theatre in re­cent years ( Wicked and My Fair Lady), The Wi­dow Un­plugged is a re­turn to the self­suf­fi­cient Liver­more of leg­endary the­atri­cal show­cases such as Betty

Blokk Buster Fol­lies and Sa­cred Cow – mi­nus the heavy make-up, satin duds, heels and stock­ings.

“I don’t re­ally want to get into high heels ever again,” he chuck­les. “Never, never, never. You move on, you know? This one is much more to do with where I’m at now. And when you get to be 79, high heels and stock­ings are just… grotesque, in the wrong sort of way.”

Liver­more says this might be his last pro­duc­tion. Although, never say never. “My con­cern is what will hap­pen to me if I stop some­thing I’ve been do­ing for more than 60 years? Do I just at­ro­phy? Do I just sit in a rock­ing chair on the ve­ran­dah, some­where un­der a jacaranda?” Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall St, Kir­ri­billi 2061. 02 9929 0644. ensemble.com.au. $35-$73. Jul 26-Sep 1.

“I don’t re­ally want to get into high heels ever again”

Reg Liver­more as Betty Blokk Buster

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