Henry V 2014 Bell Shakespeare Canberra - at the start of their national tour 13 June 2014 Photo Michele Mossop
Henry V 2014 Bell Shakespeare Canberra - at the start of their national tour 13 June 2014 Photo Michele Mossop MicheleMossop

Bell Shakespeare Company's Henry V in Rocky tomorrow night

FOR journalist turned actor Matt Backer, it was the stage rather than the notepad that won him over when it came to following his dreams.

From musicals to online comedy sketches, or illustrating touching tales to a live audience, Matt has accomplished a lot since starting his career in acting six years ago.

But before he was accepted into the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 2008, he studied to become a journalist, graduating from the University of Queensland.

He completed his journalism cadetship at regional newspaper, The Fraser Coast Chronicle in Maryborough but opted to pursue his true passion, acting.

Fast-forward some years later and you may have seen Matt in productions such as Machinal for Sydney Theatre Company and The History Boys for Peach Theatre Company.

But his latest role will see him take the stage at The Pilbeam Theatre this week in The Bell Shakespeare Company's Henry V.

Speaking to Matt while on the road last week, he said the cast had been performing the play across the country since June.

"It's been going great, it's also been really good to see as much of Australia as I have this time," Matt said.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: The Bell Shakespeare Company's Henry V

WHERE: Pilbeam Theatre

WHEN: Tuesday October 7, at 7.30pm.

TICKETS: Adults are $56, aged pensioners $52. And to celebrate the Pilbeam Theatre's 35th birthday, anyone aged 35 or under can see Henry V for just $1 per year of their age.

"It's been non-stop, it's a full-on production because you're continually on stage for three hours so there's lots of warming up pre-show. But working for Bell is a thrill."

A tale about a king who unites a nation with his eloquent words and ideas, Henry V directed by Damien Ryan, is a contemporary take inspired by a true story.

For 57 consecutive nights during the Blitz in 1941, a group of boys stuck in a bunker started a 'Boy's Club', where they would rehearse a new play each week, including Shakespeare's works and then perform it for the other people in the shelter.

Matt said although the tale is based on history, there's a lot more to it.

"I know people might think history plays are tough to get into, but there's a lot of humour in it, it's a really touching and moving story," he said.

His next project will be playing Ariel in The Tempest for Bell Shakespeare again which has Matt pinching himself.

"I'm also hoping to head over to the States and study comedy and improvisation."



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