True innovation is a rare beast. Much of what passes as ‘new’ is just the old dressed up in more recent clothes. That is why Seventeen is such an exciting prospect. It is a ‘roll call’ of Australia’s most-loved senior actors – theatre royalty – playing a group of 17-year-olds.
“I don’t think it’s been done before except perhaps by default,” said veteran performer Peter Carrol. Joining him on stage are some really great names of local theatre including Maggie Dence, John Gaden, Genevive Lemon, Barry Otto and Anna Volska. “As far as we’re concerned we are just seventeen years olds, and because there aren’t any mirrors around, it’s fine,” said Carrol.
Bringing together a group of friends with a long history makes the chemistry very special, but there are as many creative joys as challenges. “We know ourselves very well artistically, and you know your own architecture as an actor,” said Carrol. “But to play a seventeen year old, you need to create a mind where there are thoughts just there, without creating a history.”
Faced with a set that is a wonderful playground of swings and roundabouts that require much clambering up and down, Carrol conceded: “It is tiring, but it’s a beautiful play and there will certainly be six of us who will be giving it everything we have.”
Until September 13 (Tues 6:30pm, Weds – Friday, 8:00pm, Sat 2:00pm and 8:00pm, Sun 5:00pm). Belvoir St Theatre, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills. $49-72. Tickets & info: belvoir.com.au or 02 9699 3444