Encountering Explicit Emotions [by Sharu Delilkan]
Having seen Andrew Ford in action on stage for the past three or four years, producer Roberto Nascimento knew that he would be ideal to play Tim as soon as he read the script for Some Explicit Polaroids.
“Andrew is a very talented guy and I admire what he does. So when the opportunity to cast his role came up, Andrew came to mind,” says Nascimento, who is also acting alongside Ford as a Russian go-go dancer.
Some Explicit Polaroids is Mark Ravenhill’s most accomplished play, populated with the familiar gallery of criminals, junkies, sex-workers and psychotics who are Ravenhill’s heroes. It delves into the zeitgeist and finds an era where political and personal clash in a slow motion car crash involving AIDS, lap dancing and high ambition.
With a stellar mix of accomplished and emerging actors, Andrew Ford, Roberto Nascimento, Edward Newborn, Lucy McCammon, Rashmi Pilapitiya and Robert Tripe, Some Explicit Polaroids is directed by New Zealander Phillip C. Gordon.
Ford’s character Tim is a twenty-something year-old spoilt rich kid who is dying of AIDS in 1999. To distract himself from his inevitable plight, Tim decides to lead a carefree hedonistic lifestyle, which includes buying a sex slave from Russia, played by Nascimento.
As one of the founding members of The Outfit Theatre Company, that specialises in devised [theatre created by the actors without a script] theatre, Ford says it has been a refreshing change to focus on interpreting and delivering a pre-written script.
And it is the tone and style of this script that drew Ford to get involved in the production in the first place.
“It is very funny although it goes to dark places. I like the darkly comedic tone that has something to say, in an entertaining way,” he says.
He also admits that he was drawn to Tim’s character because, although gay himself, the character could not be more different than his own.
“I am more introverted so I find it fun and a bit of a release to play flamboyant, larger than life characters,” he adds.
Because of the situation dealing with a terminal illness, Ford says it has proved to be a difficult emotional journey.
He admits “Some parts get really heavy when I am having to explore emotional territory. It has been very challenging and somewhat unpleasant. However, all that effort has been worth it in the end. It has definitely made me grow as an actor and I have thoroughly enjoyed the process.”
Rebels & Robots Productions presents Some Explicit Polaroids that plays as The Basement from 14-23 June. Details see The Basement.