Words and mime in conversation

Rex Gray (Snow) and Atwell’s Kim Taylor (Ash): the words between them are all from Ash.
Rex Gray (Snow) and Atwell’s Kim Taylor (Ash): the words between them are all from Ash.

The actor has been cast in the world premiere of Snow and Ash as part of the Old Mill Theatre’s season of short plays.

The show follows two clowns in their struggle to catch up with a travelling circus that left them behind. In the play, Taylor plays the angry clown, Ash. His foil, Snow, hasn’t spoken in years.

‘Snow believes he has all the answers, much to Ash’s chagrin,’ Taylor said.

‘As Snow doesn’t speak, one of my many challenges is just learning the lines.

‘I have never worked with another actor who has no lines at all.

‘He has to mime his responses and I have found that it is a tad daunting to work on stage in a role such as this.’

Despite his acting career stretching back to the early 1980s, Taylor had never played the role of a clown before.

It was his relationship with writer Noel O’Neill that eventually convinced him to don the coloured make-up.

‘This is yet another play written by the very talented local writer and close friend, Mr Noel O’Neill,’ he said.

‘I have worked on Noel’s plays for a number of years and I consider that his work should be seen by more people.

‘I’ve never been a clown before and really the biggest issue that I have with this is the time I have to spend putting on the make-up. And then, if I touch my face with my white (clown) gloves then the make-up comes off on to the gloves, so I have to be very careful.’

Director Valerie Dragojevic said the play deals with the theme of people being persecuted simply for being who they are and how far they might have to go to survive.

‘It’s absurdist theatre, which I love, because the characters are not mainstream nor stereotypical and the plot is not a fairytale’