Helpmann Award winning actress and singer Ursula Yovich performs in the acclaimed production The Magic.
Helpmann Award winning actress and singer Ursula Yovich performs in the acclaimed production The Magic. Contributed

Silent voices given life to fairytale characters

TRANSFORMING into different fairytale characters may seem to be the norm in a stage play - but not when you're the only actor on stage.

You may have seen Ursula Yovich in the ABC drama, The Gods of Wheat Street.

Now she is touring nationally in a one-person show, The Magic Hour.

The show covers the stories of a number of fairytales and tells them through other characters, who are silenced in the original stories.

Ms Yovich said her favourite character she portrayed in the play was an older woman.

"My favourite is the old lady in Rapunzel," she said.

"Her name is Hannah and I just love her."

In the show Ms Yovich becomes seven different characters.

"Vanessa (Bates, playwright) has tried to tell the woman's tale, which is so interesting," Ms Yovich said.

"And I'm so excited to see, over the next few weeks, how each woman turns out.

"The Magic Hour came from the idea of wanting to hear the forgotten voices.

"For instance, the Red Riding Hood story is told through grandma's eyes."

The indigenous actress was offered the role in the production about two years ago.

"When I was offered the role, it was after I'd done an interview saying I was getting quite frustrated being typecast as a certain actor," Ms Yovich said.

"These are amazing characters that are not black or white and can be played by any actor.

"Having read the script, Vanessa has a wonderful way with words and a wonderful rhythm.

"We had an amazing writer, Chris (Bendall), too.

"I wanted to be able to do something like this and get pushed, too - to step outside what I've always done."

Being nervous before stepping on stage was just a part of her process, Ms Yovich said.

"I'm always nervous, regardless of how ready I might feel," she said.

"It keeps you in the moment, as you're not thinking ahead or what you did earlier that day.

"As much as nerves are quite stressful, I put it down as my process to feel the nerves."

The all-rounder said it had been exciting seeing Gods of Wheat Street on TV, after filming it last year.

When asked whether she preferred film, TV or stage, Ms Yovich is a little hesitant to name just one.

"They all have their wonderful points," she said.

"I love theatre, as you can't let go of your characters - you have to hold onto them, up until you close the show.

"For film and TV, you can let them go a little more."

As a working mum of a five-year-old daughter, Ms Yovich said she tried to balance her time the best she could to also be there for her family.

"We seem to cope well, as I have a wonderful husband," she said.

"My husband works part-time, so I'm able to do what I do.

"And the times I'm not doing anything, he can then go back to being full-time."

THE SHOW

Pilbeam Theatre

Tonight, June 7 (7.30pm)

Adult tickets are $48

For more information visit pilbeamtheatre.com.au



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