Go­ing it alone on stage

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weekly Life -

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.”

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