Our next Creative Person in our Questions Over Coffee segment is actor, Nick Maclaine.
Nick is in a show called “Between Solar Systems” which runs from the 8th-26th September 2015 at The Blue Room Theatre. It is presented by Second Chance Theatre.
We sat down for coffee with Nick to talk about the show, his career in acting and a few other questions we had for him.
Hi Nick, thanks for talking to us.
Firstly, let’s talk about the show, “Between Solar Systems” and your role in it?
I play Vincent in Between Solar Systems. Vincent is a man who has spent his entire life on a spaceship which is roaming the outer edges of our galaxy in search of a new planet for humanity to start afresh. A whole series of these spaceships were sent up into outer space in the year 2030, because global warming saw the seas rise above all the continents and essentially drown the Earth so all these spaceships were put into outer space to find new civilisations or new planets. Vincent has grown up alone on this ship with only artificial intelligence for company and that’s Vi which stands for Virtual Intelligence. Vi, who is played by Jo Morris, is his only companion and somewhat of a mother figure to him.
The play is a bit of an existential mystery as Vincent tries to work out who he is, what he is going to make of his existence and whether there is something more to life that he is not aware of. The only thing he really has to hold onto from Earth is mysterious footage of a man and a woman running across a hanger deck. The woman is played by Emily David and she might be a hologram, she might be a stowaway, she might be his imagination… it’s a mystery.
It’s a beautifully written play. Local playwright, Scott Ardle is the writer and director and he was mentored by Finegan Kruckemeyer, the Tasmanian playwright who wrote “Those who fall in love like anchors dropped upon the ocean floor” which was on at The Blue Room earlier in the year.
“Between Solar Systems” is a sci-fi, magical, whimsical piece.
It’s so exciting to work with new writers on a new script. This is a uniquely strong script from an interesting, driven and talented writer / director. Scott’s a real dynamo!
Can you please tell us a bit about your background?
I took a rather circuitous pathway into the theatre. I loved doing drama in school and always saw myself as someone who would attempt to get into WAAPA or NIDA but when I left school I was advised to get a “real” degree first. So I went to UWA and started an arts law degree. I started getting itchy feet four years in and did some short courses at WAAPA. In 2008 I started a Bachelor of Music there because I wanted the training that went with studying classical voice. (I finished my law degree on the side.) It pushed me and challenged me and was a valuable experience.
In 2010 I started doing professional cabaret and in 2011, I was offered a part in “The Enchanters” at the State Theatre which was a great opportunity and a stroke of luck, as another actor had to withdraw. Then I was nominated for a Newcomer award and somehow I won, and I was lucky enough to get a bit of work off the back of that. Since then I’ve been able to give away hospitality and work full time in theatre which I feel very lucky to be able to do.
How do you see theatre in Perth?
I think we’re often simultaneously on the verge of something very exciting and something calamitous. For every theatre company that goes under or every group that downsizes, there is also the flipside where we are producing so much great work. We have a state theatre company which understands the arts landscape and is prepared to fight for it which is remarkable.
I was at the public hearing for the Senate Inquiry into the Australia Council cuts, and Black Swan’s General Manager and Artistic Director were both there, speaking alongside representatives from the small to medium sector.
The Blue Room is such an invaluable and exciting place. I think that Perth is definitely the town for for new work and new faces. We’re very welcoming and open as a community. And there’s been such a strong public endorsement for theatre here recently… just look at Fringe World.
What’s in the future for Nick Maclaine?
I am in another Blue Room show coming up called “Multiverse Theory in D”, which is written and directed by Jessica Messenger. Jess and I have been involved in quite a few shows together in the past. This one is about a woman in her 30s experiencing different versions of what her life could have been. It’s really fun and really exciting, there’s some music involved too. So I’m really looking forward to that.
Jess and I are also looking into more touring for our shows “10,000” and “The Night Guardian”. We recently took “10,000” to the National Arts Festival Fringe in South Africa and had a fantastic season there.
And lastly, your favourite season and why?
Probably a few years ago, I would have answered winter. I enjoy rugging up and am definitely a coats and boots man but increasingly as time goes on I have to say summer. Particularly in Perth! The weather is sensational but on top of that there’s Fringe World and PIAF and just an incredible ambience in the city. Having a summer fringe festival is very unique, so it’s fantastic being in Perth during all that.
Thank you for your time Nick and we can’t wait to see you onstage in the spaceship!
“Between Solar Systems” opens at The Blue Room Theatre on the 8th of September and runs through until the 26th September 2015.
You can buy tickets here:
The Blue Room Theatre
“As a child, Vincent was the only survivor of the catastrophic drowning of the Earth, and was launched into space to preserve the human race. 25 years pass as Vincent travels through space approaching a new planet, his only company the spaceship’s virtual intelligence.
But the enclosed and rational world Vincent lives in is suddenly turned upside down by the ship’s rapid decay and the discovery that he may not be alone on board…
When all you’ve ever known is limited to a computer’s memory, how can you discover the biggest secret of your life?”
Also this week we are running a competition through our new Photo A Week Challenge.
You could win a double pass to see “Between Solar Systems”
In line with the themes of the show, the theme for our Photo A Week challenge this week is “Looking Up” and next week it is “Sky.”
So, to be in the running, get snapping and get creative and upload your pics to Instagram or our Facebook Photo a Week Group page using the hashtags
More info on the Photo A Week Challenge including more details on how to play is here.