Down gar­den path

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Stage - Tanya MacNaughton

COTTESLOE ac­tor Jake Lyall was given a re­al­ity check when he au­di­tioned for stage pro­duc­tion Snug­gle­pot and Cud­dlepie.

“I au­di­tioned for Snug­gle­pot orig­i­nally but I soon re­alised I wasn’t quite as boy­ish as I once was,” 30-year-old Lyall said.

“So I au­di­tioned for the part where I play the bad Banksia Man, Mr Lizard and some other adult roles.

“Ni­cholas Hi­att and Thomas Pidd who play Snug­gle­pot and Cud­dlepie are per­fect for it and I un­der­stand why they cast them, while Lucy Goleby plays all the fe­male char­ac­ters and that leaves me play­ing the rest, which makes it an ab­so­lute whirl­wind back­stage get­ting changed.

“Thank­fully there’s a lot of Vel­cro and zips that make life a lit­tle bit eas­ier; it’s al­most like a well-chore­ographed dance and for an hour-long show, I’m def­i­nitely earn­ing my money.”

The Ac­tors Cen­tre Aus­tralia graduate has been based in Syd­ney since en­joy­ing a Euro­pean gap year fol­low­ing his high school days at John XXIII.

He joined Snug­gle­pot and Cud­dlepie for the pro­duc­tion’s Aus­tralian tour fol­low­ing its pre­miere at Syd­ney Opera House in 2015.

“It’s based around the first May Gibbs book and the ad­ven­ture of Snug­gle­pot and Cud­dlepie seek­ing out hu­mans be­cause they’re some­thing they’ve never seen be­fore,” Lyall said.

“They leave their home in search of hu­mans at the botan­i­cal gar­dens, be­cause that’s where the clos­est sight­ing has been, and along the way they bump into all th­ese char­ac­ters.

“It’s a great show to ig­nite the imag­i­na­tion of the kids and also par­ents and grand­par­ents who have grown up with the books as well.

“It’s a book I re­mem­ber be­ing read when I was much younger and to see it brought to life on stage is great; it has a kind of mag­i­cal myth to it and the kids are so en­gaged in the story.

“They are such a re­spon­sive tar­get au­di­ence who don’t have a fil­ter, so if they like it they’ll let you know and if they don’t like it they’ll let you know and ev­ery­thing in be­tween.”

Lyall said he looked for­ward to go­ing to the beach while home and en­joy­ing a beer at Ocean Beach Ho­tel (OBH) while watch­ing the sun­set.

Ni­cholas Hi­att, Jake Lyall (cen­tre) and Thomas Pidd.

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