Like most theatre goers in Australia, Steve Danielsen was not all that familiar with the award-winning musical Violet. However, when he heard that good friend Samantha Dodemaide had been cast in the title role, he did some research into the show and knew he wanted to be part of this Australian premiere.
Danielsen plays Monty, a military para-trooper. Danielsen says Monty comes across a little self-consumed, but is also quite charming, making him a rather complex character.
“The good thing about the character is that he has this real vulnerability; some really endearing and beautiful qualities about him,” said Danielsen. “The focus is to keep those endearing qualities and that vulnerability within the character and not just be this cocky and self assured military guy who thinks he can get all the women.”
Danielsen explained it is really important that he presents both sides of Monty to audiences.
Danielsen shot to fame in the recent tour of Wicked as Fiyero. While Violet is a musical on a much smaller scale than Wicked, Danielsen believes the show will appeal to Wicked fans. Both Violet and Wicked have some similar themes of bullying, race and colour.
“That’s why I love the simplicity about Violet. It tells the story of what drives a person to change their appearance and how people judge somebody by their appearance, which are also a big part of Wicked. So I think the fans of Wicked are going to love this piece,” said Danielsen.
While Wicked is a musical performed in large theatres, Violet is playing in the intimacy of the much smaller, Hayes Theatre in Sydney’s Potts Point. It’s Danielsen’s first time performing at the Hayes Theatre. The intimacy of the Hayes allows audiences to more readily experience what the actors are feeling and therefore take more away from Violet.
“It really is an incredible show,” said Danielson, “Such simplicity and heart. Anyone who really enjoys a good heart felt story is going to love Violet.”
Violet is now playing at the Hayes Theatre for a limited season.