LEARNING lines was a cinch for Sean Hawkins in his latest stage production.
IT was taking on seven characters, three accents and a whole load of prop work, involving scarves, hats, canes and more, that really put his talents (and patience) to the test.
“With this play I have to think: ‘OK, if I spin here, my sunglasses need to come out of my pocket for that next change and I need to get the cane for the next character’,” Hawkins said.
“‘And the scarf goes on there, great, and then the scarf goes off and my cap goes back on, so where do I put the scarf? OK – in my pocket’.
“So there is a lot of nitty gritty stuff.
“The accents are hard too. Most of my characters are from Dublin, Kerry (which is in South Ireland), or the USA.”
The Perth-born, Sydney-based actor shares 15 roles – including women – with actor Grant Cartwright (Five Kinds of Silence) in multi-award winning comedy Stones in his Pockets.
Their main roles comprise cheeky Irish lads Charlie and Jack looking for a future on the silver screen.
With so much on their plates, it’s easy to imagine mishaps happening along the way.
“The other day I ran on stage and called the character by the wrong name – the audience will forgive you because they can see you’re trying to remember who you are talking to,” Hawkins said.
“Most of the time it’s just props getting caught, which is funny: like Grant getting a head scarf suddenly wrapped around his face so he looks ridiculous.
“The mistakes can become part of the show; the audience is aware we are performing and it’s very interactive.”
Graduating from WAAPA in 2009, Hawkins has appeared with Bell Shakespeare in Much Ado About Nothing (2011) and Actors at Work (2010), as well as Howie the Rookie (2016) with Red Line Productions.
“I didn’t do acting at school. I left and thought about what I’d like to do and I didn’t have any firm plans,” he said.
“I always wanted to give acting a go and I did a short course and was lucky enough to get into WAAPA and went from there and it has been 11 years now working in Sydney on and off.”
What: Stones in his Pockets
When: April 21-22
Where: Subiaco Arts Centre