Port Stephens’ Jasmine Phipps is set to put her acting mettle to the test in Matt Cameron’s new satirical comedy Hinterland, and revealed the “scary and exciting challenges” that came in her first full play.
“I’ve not had a lot of experience with many main characters at all, so going into my first ever play was quite scary for me, but I’ve found a lot of confidence as the rehearsals have progressed,” she explained.
“When I first got involved I was thinking to myself ‘can I do this going forward’ and I was a bit worried that I would struggle a little. That went away when we started practicing and the directors and everyone behind the scenes has been so helpful in everything.
“Now that we’re running through the show and playing around with everything behind the scenes I’m having a lot of fun playing around with the character and kind of making it my own as I develop it.”
Hinterland focuses on “divided self” and “the paranoia of the insular state”, following a character named Henry Quealy who discovers a hidden portal in his home.
16-year-old Phipps plays Quealy’s wife, Olive, and after the main character is dragged through the portal by a mysterious government and experiences both the real world and a ‘shadowland’, the Port Stephens thespian is called on two play two versions of her character.
It’s an interesting dynamic to have to bring across on stage, Phipps explained, especially considering its the first time she’s appearing in a full-length play onstage.
“It feels like playing two completely different characters in the play, and I haven’t even played one in a full length play,” she said. “I found it quite hard at the start, but the directors had a really good grasp on that and helped us through it a lot.”
As well as Phipps, members of the Young People’s Theatre in Hamilton will be involved in the cast and crew alongside Lindsay St Players. The play will be directed by Patrick Campbell and Riley McLean.
The play boasts two casts – ‘Cameron’ and ‘Matt’ – with Phipps appearing in the former group, and will run from opening night on June 1 until closing night on June 9.
“It was nice to have someone to work off, we could help each other a lot because we were sharing this character role,” Phipps explained. “When we were making the characters though, we had two completely different perceptions of what the character was, so it was cool to see each other explore it differently.”
“It was fun to see how different both of our interpretations were when we started getting into it, they are similar characters but we had our own flair of them.”
Friday, June 9 will have a $25 price tag due to it being the fundraising evening for Stars of Newcastle.