Five Minutes With Colin Moody
With a slate of work that encompasses everything from Sydney Theatre Company (The City; The Season at Sarsaparilla) and Belvoir (Measure For Measure; Love Me Tender) to Griffin Theatre (The Modern International Dead), Colin Moody is no slouch when it comes to the stage. Earlier this year he took the lead in Peter Evans’ Melbourne Theatre Company production of A Behanding in Spokane, to much acclaim; this month, he rejoins Evans in Bell Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar – in which he plays Brutus.
What’s your background and training as a performer? There was no encouragement or affinity from anyone within my nuclear and extended family in regard to art of any kind. I was born in London to Irish parents who had an innate fear of attention of any kind being drawn upon them. My mother also possessed an obsessive and compulsive fear of gypsies, tramps and thieves, so when I was press-ganged into playing Alex from A Clockwork Orange in a school production, the die was cast and the sheep was blacked. Some ten years later I found myself at NIDA in Oz, for my sins, and the rest is…on the record.
Where and when were you when you first encountered Julius Caesar, and what were your first impressions? I was in Melbourne in a show and went to see an amateur production and funnily enough Cassius was being played by a girl who I promptly wrote my one and only fan letter to. She was hot.
JC virgin or pro? Never been in Julius Caesar before. Or since I suspect.
Tell us about Brutus: Marcus Brutus was rumoured to be Julius Caesar’s illegitimate son and a man of great integrity and high moral virtue. Rumoured to be. I love irony and enigma and it is said that every man must kill his father. So for me the therapeutic bonus of killing dad every night for seven months was impossibly attractive.
Can you tell us a little about working with Peter Evans? Most directors are extremely odd creatures with a deep need to be the most sought after and wise and loving human in the room. This can be very tedious to have to cater for. With Peter however this constant issue was alleviated by group exercises conducted every morning for two and a half hours that biomechanically removed all egocentric fluff.
What does this production do to Shakespeare’s original text? This production removes much of the battle scene at the end and inserts Plutarch’s original history into the ending. This was Shakespeare’s main source material for the play, so Plutarch is right at home in this production.
There’s some guff about Australian politics on the press release – is that a reflection of the production? In regard to Australian politics I can only refer you to the BBC correspondent who retired last week with these words: “Don’t judge Australia by its politicians.”
What else is coming up for you, theatre-wise? In January I shall be in Buried City at Belvoir St Theatre for the Sydney Festival, and then later in the year will be playing Mark Rothko in Red at the Ensemble theatre.
What: Julius Caesar by Will Shakespeare
When: October 25 – November 26
Where: Playhouse, Sydney Opera House