Clark’s Wilde about Earnest

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Theatre - Tanya MacNaughton

TELLING his fa­ther that theatre was “in his genes” when go­ing to drama school in Lon­don, rather than join­ing the navy like his dad ex­pected, did not go well for Kent-born Peter Clark.

How­ever, his fam­ily con­nec­tion to great-great-un­cle and ac­tor Al­lan Aynesworth has proven in­spi­ra­tional while act­ing in sev­eral pro­duc­tions of Os­car Wilde’s The Im­por­tance of Be­ing Earnest and di­rect­ing this month’s Se­rial Pro­duc­tions ver­sion.

“Al­lan Aynesworth was in­volved in the orig­i­nal 1865 pro­duc­tion at St James’s Theatre in Lon­don over­seen by Os­car Wilde,” Clark said.

“He played Al­ger­non in the very first pro­duc­tion which ran for about 86 shows and got cut short when Wilde was im­pris­oned for be­ing ho­mo­sex­ual.”

Clark, who moved to Perth in 2000, now works as a con­fer­enc­ing and events com­pany gen­eral man­ager but he is never far from a stage.

He co-founded Se­rial Pro­duc­tions five years ago, which ini­tially pre­sented Bri­tish com­edy tele­vi­sion series live and has this year branched out to the clas­sic play­ing at Stir­ling Theatre In­naloo from Au­gust 24 to Septem­ber 10.

“I’ve al­ways wanted to di­rect Earnest and I think hav­ing that fam­ily con­nec­tion gives me an un­der­ly­ing urge to want to do it big­ger and bet­ter than the times I’ve per­formed in it,” Clark said.

“It’s al­most like an in­ter­pre­tive mod­ern day ver­sion of a great Shake­speare com­edy; it’s so well writ­ten and works with a mod­ern day au­di­ence as well as when it was first re­leased.”

De­spite chang­ing gen­res, Se­rial Pro­duc­tions will con­tinue sup­port­ing the Heart and Lung Trans­plant Foun­da­tion of WA.

Peo­ple can ei­ther make a straight do­na­tion on­line while pur­chas­ing their tick­ets or at­tend the ded­i­cated fundrais­ing night on Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 31.

“One of our di­rec­tors, Clare Faza­ck­er­ley, works very closely with the char­ity in her day-to-day role as a heart-lung trans­plant co-or­di­na­tor at Fiona Stan­ley Hos­pi­tal,” Clark said.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d457856

Di­rec­tor Peter Clark has a fam­ily con­nec­tion to the orig­i­nal pro­duc­tion of one of the world’s most fa­mous plays.

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