AU ABROAD

the AU interview: Guy Edmonds chats about running amok (solo) in the stage adaption of Roald Dahl’s The Witches

Roald Dahl’s books are beloved by children of all ages- even the fully-grown ones! In Monkey Baa’s latest production we see the classic tale of The Witches brought to life in a madcap one-man show!

The AU caught up with the one-man in question, Guy Edmonds, to chat about running amok on his own in the show, having a heap of fun with the performance, and whether he thinks he can outwit a witch and outrun a mouse.

Do you remember reading Roald Dahl’s The Witches, or any of his novels, when you were younger?

I loved Roald Dahl as a kid. My favourite was The BFG. I never read The Witches as a kid, nor saw the movie. I read it for the first time before we started rehearsals for this show!

How do you try to bring Dahl’s characters to life on stage?

With every fibre of my body and voice. Transformation is a big theme in the book, so i quite literally transform my physicality and voice for every character and change at lightning speed. It’s very taxing on my body.

You are running “amok” in this one-man show! How does running solo differ from being part of a cast? Is it harder, easier, completely different?

I’ve done a few seasons of this show now, so have found a groove with it. At first I found it a bit lonely and scary because there is no one to talk with back stage and if anything goes wrong (as often does in live theatre) there is no one to bail you out! Now though, because I am so familiar with it, I enjoy it more. It takes up less brain space than it used to and I can just get on with it!

How does working as an actor on the stage differ from working on film/tv? Do you prefer either?

If the story is good and the people I work with aren’t mean, then the medium doesn’t matter. They each have their own challenges and require different tools. I often find when I am working in theatre, I wish I was working on screen, and when i’m working on screen, wish i was working in theatre. Greener grass and all that. As long as I’m working - i’m happy.

You have participated in quite a few more “serious” stage productions. Is it exciting to be able to let loose and have some fun with something like The Witches?

Big time. Although, as I just mentioned, greener grass, I would love to sink my teeth into some drama again! It’s been a while.

What do you hope audiences, both young and older, will take away from this stage adaption?

A good night out with a good story and hopefully they forget to check their mobile phones for 45 minutes.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, do you think you can outwit a witch and outrun a mouse?

Yes, but more importantly, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

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The Witches will be outwitting witches and outrunning mice on stage at the Monkey Baa, Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre, from June 30th to July 4th for a limited school holiday season. For more information visit http://www.monkeybaa.com.au