Monday, 1 June saw Brisbane Theatre Company, Harvest Rain announce their brand new production – Into The Woods. An extremely excited director, Tim O’Conner introduced the star-studded cast to an equally gleeful audience in the concert hall at QPAC. The cast included recent Queensland Conservatorium graduate and Brisbane local, Georgina Hopson as Cinderella. One of Australia’s most beloved performers, Rachael Beck will play the role of the Baker’s wife opposite the equally charming and successful Eddie Perfect as the Baker. Multi-award winning, Rhonda Burchmore will play the Witch, the role she played 20 years ago during Australia’s first season of Into The Woods. Each star performed a little teaser solo for the crowd and there was no question about the talent on stage.
Into the Woods will play for the first time ever at QPAC this coming October. The Tony award-winning Stephen Sondheim production is a funny, clever and moving piece of art that has been reproduced again and again since it’s opening on Broadway almost 30 years ago. Each of the actors expressed their great anticipation to be a part of a Sondheim production, even calling him the Shakespeare of musical theatre.
I sat down with Eddie Perfect to talk all things Into the Woods and his upcoming role as The Baker. When I met with Perfect I was struck by how familiar he was to me, like meeting some one I had known a long time, and it’s not hard to see why. Widely known for his role in Channel Ten television series, Offspring, Perfect has also appeared on a myriad of other Australian television shows including Playschool, Kath & Kim, Spicks and Specks and Good News Week. However, acting is just one part of his dynamic career. An acclaimed, singer-songwriter, comedian and writer, Perfect has performed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, released solo albums and written musicals including the award winning, Shane Warne – the musical.
With this impressive resume behind him, Perfect isn’t slowing down. He is currently working on a television series, a musical as well as performing in this Harvest Rain production. Admittedly he likes to keep himself busy, “I try to do as many things as I can,” but he is looking forward to focusing in on one role for a while. “I don’t have to write the show I don’t have to produce it, I don’t have to worry about marketing. I just get to show up and be one of the cast, and that’s a very rare treat for me,” he said.
As a writer of musical theatre, Perfect is a huge fan of Stephen Sondheim. “There is no better way to get your head around a composers work, in terms of being a composer yourself, than to perform it. You get to inhabit it and get inside the DNA of it and it’s a really good lesson in composing.” And in terms of the Baker, “he certainly has a great arc, a great journey, which is the main thing. There is nothing better than a character that starts in one place and ends in a really different place.”
Words by Bree Caggiati