No ordinary role for actor Talei

Talei Howell-Price (front) with (left to right) writer/director Damon Lockwood, costume and set designer Cherie Hewson, stage manager Michael Maclean and actors Brendan Hanson and Nick Pages-Oliver. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d439072
Talei Howell-Price (front) with (left to right) writer/director Damon Lockwood, costume and set designer Cherie Hewson, stage manager Michael Maclean and actors Brendan Hanson and Nick Pages-Oliver. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d439072

PLAYING four roles in the one production sounds like a daunting task, especially when changing characters in an instant.

Actor Talei Howell-Price has this challenge in new production, Jesus: No Ordinary Life.

“I hope I don’t get my accents and movements all in a tumble,” she laughed.

Luckily, the talented mother-of-two – who has been hooked on acting since starring as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in primary school – has plenty of experience to see her stay afloat.

Dedicating the last 25 years to the profession, she has appeared in numerous stage shows, TV productions and commercials.

She was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 2007 and 2012 WA Equity Guild Awards and won Best Screen Actor at the 2001 WA Screen Awards.

In this latest show, written and directed by her husband Damon Lockwood, Howell-Price’s main character is an advertising guru.

“I’ve been employed by a firm to find a way to boost church attendance,” the bubbly actor explained.

“So we come up with the concept of having Jesus and audition many actors for the role.”

Howell-Price hopes audiences question the philosophical ideas in the script but ultimately enjoy a good laugh.

“I feel there is not quite enough comedy around today and people like going to the theatre for a bit of an escape,” she said.

“Life is hard and comedy shows like this are just a bit of good fun for people.”

In 2013, the performer and her family toured Edinburgh and New York in Lockwood’s comedy hit, I (Honestly) Love You.

It was the first time the couple had taken a show to a big international city.

“It was really great to test it out on audiences that weren’t Australian and see if the humour transferred,” Howell-Price said.

“And it certainly did. In New York, we had standing ovations and people were coming up to us afterwards.

“The other buzz about it was that we would talk to American audiences and they’d say: ‘I wanted to do something today so I picked up the paper and tried to find where some theatre was’ and that doesn’t happen in Perth.

“Here, people say: ‘let’s book three weeks in advance and we’ll only go and see certain shows.’ Whereas in America, it’s just something to do – going to the theatre is like going to the beach.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Jesus: No Ordinary Life

When: June 16 to July 4

Where: The Blue Room Theatre, Northbridge

Tickets: www.blueroom.org.au