Black Swan State Theatre Company debuts WAAPA graduate Finn Alexander in Assassins musical

Finn Alexander. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d483029
Finn Alexander. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d483029

NOT only will WAAPA 2017 music theatre graduate Finn Alexander get to make his professional performance debut with Black Swan State Theatre Company this month, but he will do it in Assassins by his favourite composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim.

“He manages to so accurately convey real life from his characters and pairs it with his music,” Alexander said.

“It comes from a real place with such emotion that it feels like you don’t have to do much work as an actor, especially in this piece. The show has come together so quickly because all the writing is so good.”

Assassins is a non-linear musical about the group of people who assassinated or attempted to assassinate American presidents throughout history.

Alexander, who grew up in Forrestfield and lives in Melbourne, plays the balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald.

“The balladeer is like the narrator of the story who is a personified characterisation of the American dream,” the 21-year-old said.

“I pass down the assassins’ stories like folk tales in a way and how they’ve impacted history, both for the good and the bad; how it may have destroyed the American dream and corrupted it.

“It’s all done in a witty format that pulls the rug out from underneath you by the end of the show. It’s quite dark and confronting.”

Alexander said he had done copious amounts of research on John F. Kennedy’s assassination, including watching videos to learn Oswald’s accent.

“He has this odd hybrid accent because he’s from the south but then moved to the east, then went to Russia over his lifetime,” he said.

“It’s tricky because all the video footage that exists of him is after the assassination happened. The scene where I play Lee Harvey Oswald is prior to the assassination so I’ve had to take some artistic liberty, based on what I’ve seen him do in real life and try to figure out what he would have been like before all the cops were surrounding him.

“Because I’m playing a real person, I hope to be able to accurately perform the role, do it justice and walk away knowing I’ve succeeded in telling that story believably.”


What: Assassins

Where: Heath Ledger Theatre

When: June 16 to July 1