Performer Interview: Euan Doidge16 Jul 2015, by Interviews in
Ilana from Auslan Stage Left met with musical theatre performer Euan Doidge before his performance as Marius in the internationally acclaimed Cameron Mackintosh production of Les Miserables. Originally from Mt Gambier in South Australia, Euan landed his first major role, Paul San Marco, in the Australian Production of A Chorus Line. Other credits include Anything Goes, The Producers, the Australian tour of Legally Blonde, and most recently the national tour of Grease.
Watch the video below to see Euan’s thoughts on working with interpreters and why musicals suit the deaf community.
Auslan Stage Left were also privileged to interview Lorna Cobbold, the company manager of Les Misérables, on her perspective on arts and access. Here’s what Lorna had to say about her Les Mis journey and working with Auslan interpreters:
“I worked on Les Mis in England. I was lucky enough to work on the show when it was being re-imagined for the 25th Anniversary. We toured the production, which is the one we have in Sydney, around England and took it to Paris. I also Company Managed the 25th Anniversary concert at the O2 in 2010. I met Michael Cassel, the executive Producer of Les Misérables in Australia, when I was in New Zealand working on Mary Poppins and he asked me if I might be interested in returning to Australia to look after the show when it was produced here. Naturally I said yes.
The best part of my job is working with some hugely talented people on an exceptional show. The Australian cast is phenomenal and are lovely to work with. I’m also a big fan of the show. Every time I see it I’m reminded how very good it is. As you might imagine I’ve seen it quite a few times and I listen to it every night in my office. I never tire of it. Well, not yet anyway!
Les Miserables has been interpreted in both Melbourne and Perth. I was fascinated at first as in the UK when the show is interpreted it is only done by a single interpreter and here you use two people. Here it is like having a mini performance on the side of the stage. It must be a huge help for the interpreters to be able to interact with someone else and of course to half the workload! Les Misérables is pretty epic to remember in it’s entirety. The best part of working with an Auslan interpreter has been their commitment to creating the most truthful representation of what is happening on stage. I remember the first time the show was interpreted one of our principals was off and it meant that the signer who was interpreting his character had to think on their feet as the understudy’s portrayal of the character was slightly different. I’m also hugely impressed by the amount of work they put in. Our actors says they’re tired at the end of a performance, but I can’t imagine what it must be like at the end when there are just the 2 of you telling the whole show. And a very emotional one at that.
I think deaf access is important as I think all art forms should be available to everyone. My brother is deaf, he doesn’t sign but has been able to see some of the shows that I’ve worked on in London when they were subtitled. Of course I don’t want my brother to miss out on a theatrical experience. I would encourage deaf audiences come and see Les Misérables because the story is totally engaging and visually the show is absolutely beautiful.”
Lorna Cobbold began her career doing work experience at the Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre in London, where she is based. For Cameron Mackintosh she has Company Managed Mary Poppins in Auckland, a co-production with Disney Theatrical, Betty Blue Eyes and Barnum, a co-production with Chichester Festival Theatre. She has worked in both subsidised and commercial theatre primarily in the West End on both musicals and plays. Highlights include The Pajama Game, Noises Off, Hamlet and a number of shows at the Donmar Warehouse including Frost Nixon and Othello.
Auslan Stage Left thanks the cast and crew of Les Miserables for their support in making this show accessible.