You were scared of him in Wolf Creek, but you are guaranteed to laugh and cry at him in The Sum of Us. John Jarratt tells us about his role as Harry in this heart warming and eye opening play that comes to the Glasshouse in September.
You are on tour at the moment with The Sum of Us and will be appearing at the Glasshouse later this month. Have you been to Port Macquarie before?
Yes, I love Port Macquarie and have been there before … so I’m looking forward to it.
What is the storyline behind the play?
Basically, it is the story of a father and son who form the family and a close relationship after the mother dies (when the son is 10-years-old).
It is a fantastic story about this bloke Harry (whom I play) who is a really big hearted bloke, and the wonderful thing about the play is the unconditional love between the father and the son.
They get on extremely well, and it just so happens that the son is a butch Queen – not that that is important, but it just adds to the tapestry, if you know what I mean.
It [the play] has a really good look at family. I think everyone will recognise something when they see it and they will be laughing one minute and crying the next. It is a really good ride.
Tell us more about your role as Harry. Was he an easy character to adapt to and play?
I guess so. Harry is a working class bloke, and that is the background I came from. My father was a coal miner and I understand those characters very, very well, so it is not a big stretch for me. I have enjoyed playing him, as he is a big hearted, happy go lucky kinda guy, and it’s a fun thing to do every night. I really enjoy getting on stage and playing him.
We have full houses everywhere we go, and audiences love it.
How many are in the cast?
There is myself; Patrick Harvey, who played Connor in Neighbours for a while – he plays my son; Glenn van Oosterom, who plays the boyfriend; and Nell Feeney, who plays my girlfriend.
How far and wide will this tour of the show take you?
We are doing a lap of the whole continent! We started in June, and we end in November.
What will audiences take away from their experience of the play?
There is sadness and a little bit of euphoria and hope in it I think; I think what happens in it reflects the injustices of what really happens to people in the world through no fault of their own – that’s the saddest part.
But it’s the ability to support the ones you love and your family that most people come away with.
This is your first time back on stage in about 10 years. How are you enjoying the more intimate performing environment of theatre?
Oh, I love being on stage, and I get to talk to the audience and abuse people if they turn up late (laughs). It is great to be on stage and ‘go through the four walls’ as they say, and people are able to talk to the audience.
What have you enjoyed most about your various roles from TV to theatre to movies – is there one you enjoy more?
Oh, I enjoy them all. To me it’s all the same process, only I get a live audience instead of a crew; it’s harder to please a crew. But I do enjoy the process, and I just enjoy the next gig. That’s what I am all about.
What’s next for you after this tour finishes?
Wolf Creek 2. We start filming in February, March …
Should we be scared?
Depends if you are a big girl’s blouse (laughs).