NICHOLAS PAULING is having a 2015 to remember. The acclaimed actor is fresh from a universally lauded performance as late Beatles manager Brian Epstein in Fred Abrahamse’s production of Andrew Sherlock’s ‘Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles’, which showed recently at Theatre On The Bay.
Earlier in the year Pauling electrified audiences at the Baxter in the Clare Stopford directed three hander ‘Blue/Orange’.
The performer is back at it again. He can soon be seen alongside actor, comedian and director Brent Palmer in the gritty police story ‘A Steady Rain’, showing at the Alexander Upstairs Theatre.
Keith Huff’s award-winning hit Broadway play tells the story of two Chicago police officers whose inner need to serve and protect both consumes them and rips them apart
PETER TROMP had a little chat with the celebrated thespian before the play opens next week.
What drew you to ‘A Steady Rain’ from an acting standpoint?
It’s great writing, and an awesome opportunity to work with Ado (director Adrian Collins) and Brent.
Tell us about the production and your co-star. What can audiences look forward to with the show?
It’s about two cops in Chicago dealing with the violence of their jobs and personal lives, whilst a serial killer is on the loose. Brent Palmer is my co star, of ‘Bench’ fame. He’s a joy to work with – generous, charismatic, funny and a great actor. So people can expect a taught, dialogue driven two-hander that will hopefully leave the audience feeling like they’ve been d**k kicked…if we get it right.
You’ve just come off of ‘Epstein’, which appeared to be an intensely demanding and emotionally draining role. How do you manage to shake off one character and move onto another in such a relatively short timeframe?
It’s tough in so much as it’s sad to leave a show, but amazing to do another great show with more great people. It feels like a break up, but hopefully ‘A Steady Rain’ is more than a rebound.
Adrian Collins, who is an acting contemporary of yours, is directing. As far as I know, this is a new role for him. Which qualities does he bring to the directorial chair?
As an actor he knows what it takes to shape a performance, so his notes and direction are extremely actor friendly. He also brings a sense of collaboration – there’s no “director as dictator” attitude from him – along with a freedom to play, as well as a pair of powerful calves.
As someone who has been a professional performer for more than a decade, how do you think you have changed/evolved as an actor during that time?
Hopefully more simplified, more economical and less of a chop.
“Last night a show changed my life.” Which show?
‘Jerusalem’ by Jez Butterworth.
Are there any dream roles you’d still like to inhabit in your career going forward?
A Macbeth maybe, or Coriolanus.
Are there any roles from the past you’d like to have another crack at, and why?
Hamlet, just because one can always improve on one’s first efforts, or at least try.
What’s next up for you after ‘A Steady Rain’?
Wandering the theatrical quagmire known as unemployment.
* ‘A Steady Rain’ is showing from Tuesday, November 10, to November 21. For bookings, visit alexanderbar.co.za, or call 021 300 1088.
The Alexander Upstairs Theatre is situated on 76 Strand Street, Cape Town.