The Fame Reporter interviewed Australian actor Christen O’Leary, starring in Queensland Theatre’s ‘Mouthpiece’ – playing until 14 November at Playhouse, QPAC.
A cliff. Night. A woman stands on the edge. Her dreams crumble around her. But this ledge belongs to Declan. It is his only safe space. She’s trespassing. They should never have met.
Mouthpiece – the premise seems simple: Libby (Christen O’Leary), a middle-aged, middle-class playwright has not picked up a pen in years and, rejected by the artistic establishment, spends her time brooding around town. Declan (Jayden Popik) is a 17-year-old struggling with a volatile home life in a deprived housing estate, but in possession of a remarkable artistic talent.
When Libby’s despair drives her to a literal cliff edge, their lives collide.
Libby is a woman who has wasted her opportunities, while Declan is a young man who will never be offered any. He has a story, and she has the voice to tell it… but does she have the right to? When does inspiration become theft?
We talked to Christen about Queensland Theatre’s play ‘Mouthpiece’, the most exciting aspect of returning to theatre, how people can support the arts industry and more.
See our interview below!
For you what is the most exciting aspect of returning to the theatre?
Being part of a Creative collaboration between artists…yes….but the immediate exchange between actor and audience? It’s immediate, visceral and thrilling. Nothing like it.
What enticed you to be apart of Qld Theatre’s Mouthpiece and what is the play about?
After months of unemployment? Work! The play is about a struggling middle aged playwright who befriends a 17yr old young man, is inspired by him, his talent, his story, and uses that story to create her new play. What happens when she assumes ownership over that story? Does she have to right to?
What do you love about your character and how can people relate to her story?
That she is flawed. And deeply human, because of that. The messy imperfections of character are always relatable and intriguing to audiences I think.
Perhaps we see shades of ourselves, if we’re courageous enough to look?
What inspires you and keeps you creative during this difficult period that the arts industry is going through?
Honestly working in the Arts is always difficult. The “little lives” and great works of others is always inspiring to me. I’m not sure I’m creative at all…I certainly don’t consciously pursue Creativity on a daily basis. Unless you count the tiny gestures of love for my family aka..questionable culinary exploits!
What 3 performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with?
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Daniel Day Lewis, Meryl Streep!
What do you love about Queensland theatre in particular?
Queensland theatre is as diverse as its people. It is more than any one company. Or few.
It is a passionate, committed industry of [mainly] freelance individuals who care deeply about creating thrilling relevant, diverse performance pieces that speak to and of our community.
What do you think audiences will love about this show and what is the best way we can support the arts industry at this time?
Go to the Theatre! Buy a ticket! To any show you can afford to see!
Audiences will love this show because it is thrilling and funny and moving and confronting and essentially theatrical!
Fame Reporter Word Play
Favourite mantra when you are down
This too shall pass
Can’t live without
My 3 happy, healthy, contented
TV Show Binge
Thank-you for joining us at The Fame Reporter and best of luck with Queensland Theatre’s Mouthpiece!
All photos – Supplied