Geelong Lyric Theatre Society is presenting the Jason Robert Brown hit, The Last Five Years at the Peter Cannon Performing Arts Centre from September 27 – October 5 2019.
Georgie Walker and Nick Addison, who play Cathy and Jamie sat down with Theatre People ahead of their busy production week to chat all things The Last Five Years.
Both Walker and Addison have been big fans of The Last Five Years for a long time. “I first heard the show as a teenager back in 2005 – a few years after it was released off Broadway. My singing teacher gave me ‘I Can Do Better Than That’ to learn. I loved the style so I checked out the album, then I was hooked!” says Walker, who is excited to now bring Cathy to life on stage fourteen years later.
“It’s a song cycle that tells the story of Jamie and Cathy’s relationship from beginning to end.” Addison tells us when discussing the plot. “However each character starts at opposite ends of the relationship. Jamie at the beginning, Cathy at the end. This allows for some beautiful moments of intimacy and juxtaposition that highlight the growing disconnect of the relationship against the intense optimism they had when they first met.”
Walker adds “It is autobiographical. The composer, Jason Robert Brown wrote it about his first marriage. He is Jamie!”.
With a cast of just two actors, this piece can certainly present some challenges, as well as many rewards for these two actors. “It is a two person show where each character has a separate trajectory and they only intersect at one moment in the whole show, so it is important for both Nick and I to hold down the fort solo with our audience for most of the piece” says Walker. Addison adds “It can been isolating at times. Given we are the only two characters and with the nature of the show, the challenge is creating the intimacy and authenticity of moments and the relationship with little interaction.”
When discussing their favourite moment in the show, Walker shared that hers is a moment of Addisons. “It’s the 11’oclock number, and it’s not mine! Jamie sings a piece called ‘If I Didn’t Believe In You’. It has so many layers dramatically and musically it is divine. Plus, Nick is heartbreaking!”.
Addison’s favourite moment is a bit more lighthearted – “When Jamie and Cathy ‘meet’. It carries the weight of all that has come before and after. I also get to rock out on a chair which is a bit of fun!”
Both Walker and Addison are excited to be working with Geelong Lyric Theatre Society. This is Walkers first outing with the company, and a return for Addison, who appeared in their 2017 production of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. “They are a local company with a rich history having been around for 40+ years, and they play a really important role in the Geelong theatre landscape. I feel companies like these are integral to local communities and am really happy to support them and I hope plenty of others do to.”
The Last Five Years opens on September 27. The performance is one act, and patrons are warmly invited to attend an informal Q&A with cast and creatives in the theatre following each performance.
Understudies Charlie McIntyre and Shani Clarke will perform the show on October 3rd.
Tickets are available from https://www.glts.asn.au/shows/the-last-5-years-2019/
Article written by Kelly-Louise Austin.