Jamieson Caldwell on ‘Managing Carmen’

Managing-Carmen-HIT-21For actor Jamieson Caldwell he knew he wanted to take on the lead role in David Williamson’s ‘Managing Carmen’ as soon as he read the script. The story about a high profile football player revealing his love of cross-dressing touched on world’s the actor was very familiar with.

“When I read it I fell in love with it, and my world was very full when it came to researching this role. I have a hung out with a lot of mates who play AFL, and I have some mates who do, I know that world through them and how you can get caught up in that machine of that kind of sports industry.

“Plus my house mates does drag, so I’ve seen that progression over a number of years, that transformation from male into female. My world was very full coming into this role”

Williamson’s play was performed by the Perth Theatre Company in 2013 but it’s now returning in a new production from Melbourne based company HIT Productions. The play sees one Australia’s most acclaimed writers return to a subject that was one of his greatest career successes. In 1977 Williamson penned ‘The Club’ a satirical look at the inside workings of an AFL club.

In the play Sports Manager Rowan Swift needs to find out what is wrong with his top football player, Brent Lyall (Caldwell). After some investigation it’s discovered that this top AFL star loves to cross dress and has an alter ego – Carmen.

Managing Carmen isn’t the first time the actor who also works as a model and dancer has seen the female version of himself though.

“I played the Queen in Hamlet for the Melbourne Theatre Company, a very late 18th Century kind of get up.” Caldwell shares.

Caldwell says the writing  of David Williamson was big attraction to taking on the role. One of the biggest challenges though has been nailing the shows super fast costume changes.

“The costume changes are really fast, I’ve got the all guys back stage, whoever is off-stage at the time helping me strip down and go from Brent to Carmen, Brent to Carmen, Brent to Carmen, the clothes keep coming off and on. We thought those transitions were going to be really difficult but everything has flowed together really nicely.”

Managing Carmen is at the Subiaco Arts Centre on Saturday August 16, tickets are available from Ticketek and at the Kalamunda PErforming Arts Centre on Friday August 22, tickets from Try Booking



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