Going it alone on stage
around with me but then I was emailed the script,” Jovanovic said.
“The play really moved me and when I finished reading it, I kind of had a bit of a tear and knew I just had to do it.”
Originally created by UK-based Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, The Ballad of Pondlife McGurk is a coming-of-age tale about friendship, betrayal and overcoming adversity where Jovanovic plays all nine speaking roles, including Martin, Simon McGurk and class bully Sharon.
“It’s a play about two 10-year-old boys, Martin and Simon, who start school three-quarters of the way through the year and become unlikely friends because everyone else is already friends,” he said.
“Their unlikely friendship becomes really strong until a particular moment in their life where something happens and the end of their friendship starts. The play is actually about them meeting 30 years later to resolve the moment.
“It’s not just about schoolyard bullying; in fact, it’s more about for- giveness than anything else and coming to a point in life where you’re able to speak and communicate your thoughts and feelings.”
With the whole production resting on his shoulders, the 29-year-old has spent the past eight weeks touring the show to WA schools before a season at Subiaco Arts Centre from October 1 to 4.
It runs for 50 minutes and is suitable for ages eight years and older.
Jovanovic said the work’s format of performing in the round had seemed unusual yet captivating to young audiences.
“Doing a one-man show is really hard but I’ve learnt about different audiences and engaging them one on one, knowing when they’re listening and when they’re not,” he said.
“There are a couple of moments in the play where I’ve heard gasps and jaws have dropped.
“In fact, the play has such a level of nostalgia that a lot of teachers have commented about it taking them back to their school years.
“It really resonates with all age groups.”