Alex Williams talks Tartuffe ahead of Black Swan State Theatre Company debut


Alex Williams. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Alex Williams. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

ALEX Williams has spent a lot of his career after graduating from WAAPA in 2011 imitating real people in Underground: The Julian Assange Story, INXS: Never Tear Us Apart and Catching Milat.

He is also in television drama Brock, which screens on Channel 10 on October 9 and 10 to honour the 10th anniversary of Peter Brock’s death.

So it is understandable the Perth-raised, Sydney-based actor decided it was time to return to the theatre.

“I hadn’t done any theatre in a while, which I’ve always loved,” Williams said.

“I think it’s where you grow as an actor and it was important for me to go and do that.

“My agent and I approached a bunch of theatre companies, I did a round of auditions, and was in Romeo and Juliet at the start of this year with Bell Shakespeare, which was the first professional theatre gig I’d done.

“Romeo was a role I’d always wanted to play and from there the thirst continued.”

Williams has returned home to make his Black Swan State Theatre Company debut in Tartuffe – The Hypocrite, a revival of Moliere’s classic 17th century satire by Justin Fleming.

The production is on at State Theatre Centre of WA’s Heath Ledger Theatre, which was built while Williams was studying at WAAPA.

“It’s such a beautiful space and Tartuffe is such a brilliant play, especially this adaptation, that I thought it was too good to turn down,” he said.

“It has been so much fun seeing where we can go with it, especially with it being set in modern day Australia.

“I think it’s just a funny, ridiculous play and good night at the theatre.”

More: WA Ballet launches 2017 season with a number of highlights

Williams said Tartuffe – The Hypocrite was about a man who got sucked in to having everything taken away from him.

“Tartuffe is a very poor man, or so he appears to be, and my father Orgon in a way falls in love with this man, in the sense that he sees him as being pious and the height of human devotion to God,” he said.

“He’s sick of his family who are very rich and affluent bad people, which they may or may not be, depending on how you look at it.

“But behind closed doors, Tartuffe is trying to proposition his wife.”

The cast includes Darren Gilshenan (The Moody’s) playing Tartuffe, Jenny Davis, Tessa Lind, Hugh Parker, James Sweeny, Steve Turner, Alison van Reeken and Emily Weir.

Williams plays Orgon’s son Damis, who smells a rat from the start.

“He’s not having a bar of it and it’s a fun character to play because he’s ridiculous; they’re all ridiculous, it’s a farce.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Tartuffe – The Hypocrite

Where: Heath Ledger Theatre

When: October 22 to November 6

Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au