Hor­ri­ble Har­riet in­spires young minds

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Stage - Heath Ledger Theatre Oc­to­ber 14 to 19 www.tick­etek.com.au Tanya Mac­naughton

WAAPA 2008 mu­sic theatre grad­u­ate Nat Jobe never pre­dicted he would add play­ing the role of an eight-yearold girl to his bi­og­ra­phy.

And yet he has and said play­ing the ti­tle role in chil­dren’s show Hor­ri­ble Har­riet was the most re­ward­ing part he had ever played.

“I fin­ish each show and feel so pow­er­ful,” Jobe said. “She’s very far re­moved from me be­cause I’m gen­tle and non-con­fronta­tional and very placid, and she’s quite the op­po­site.

“It’s re­ally been a good les­son for me and lib­er­at­ing to play this bold, strong char­ac­ter. It’s the weird­est and wack­i­est show I’ve ever done and prob­a­bly the one I’m most proud of.”

Based in Syd­ney, Jobe has re­turned to Perth sev­eral times since his train­ing days with The Lion King, Pete the Sheep, Irene star­ring Deb­bie WHAT: Hor­ri­ble Har­riet WHERE: WHEN: TICK­ETS: Reynolds and other CDP pro­duc­tions The Gruf­falo and Room on the Broom.

Hor­ri­ble Har­riet pre­miered in April at the Syd­ney Opera House be­fore a na­tional tour in­clud­ing Heath Ledger Theatre, Oc­to­ber 14 to 19.

Jobe said Maryam Mas­ter had used sev­eral of Leigh Hobbs’s books for the stage adap­ta­tion and formed her own story.

“It’s a very sim­ple idea where Har­riet is try­ing to put on her own stage show for her au­di­ence,” Jobe said.

“It’s as sim­ple as that, but while she’s try­ing to do that there are con­stant in­ter­rup­tions and things go­ing wrong. It’s com­plete may­hem and chaos the whole time, which is very frus­trat­ing for Har­riet.

“I think she’s very mis­un­der­stood; she has good in­ten­tions but gets very frus­trated when peo­ple let her down and un­for­tu­nately peo­ple are con­stantly let­ting her down.”

Jobe said the pro­duc­tion was full of slap­stick, and re­lat­able with its mis­fit and un­der­dog char­ac­ters.

“Ev­ery child and ev­ery adult can re­late to them be­cause they’ve ei­ther been that char­ac­ter or met that char­ac­ter,” he said. “Har­riet is rough, strong and con­fi­dent and there’s some­thing in­spir­ing in that for young peo­ple to see; you can be any­thing and any­one you want to be and you’ll be ac­cepted and loved.”

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