An interview with David Oliver aged 21, playing the role of Hanschen
Photo courtesy of Hannah Bracher
Is this your first show with Simply Theatre?
I’ve performed with Simply theatre before, in ‘Return to the forbidden Planet’, and I also got to climb inside a giant polystyrene Audrey II in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.
Did you know the show before you auditioned?
I did! I saw the West End production when it was on. It has a great cult-following among people my age too, so I’d heard lots about it along the pipeline.
What attracted you to the show that made you want to audition?
Spring Awakening is very much a show of our generation- no other show from the past decade captures the feeling of growing up so well. One of the reasons for this is it’s lack of censorship- we all masturbate, have sex, doubt ourselves and have bad things happen to us. It’s part of the human experience. The show brings these taboo issues to the table, and makes us adress why we don’t talk about them, and the consequences that may have. It’s a testament to the writing or Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater. I wanted to be a part of that- I wanted to be part of something that made people think.
What is your favourite part of the show and why?
I very much enjoy the scene with Hanschen and Ernst, sitting on the grass listening to churchbells ring. Hanschen and Ernst are two of the few characters that have a ‘happy ending’ (relatively speaking) within the show. In the midst of the abuse and anguish that their friends are suffering, they find something special. Taboo nevertheless, but it’s something that’s positive. That’s the last scene we see the two boys- we don’t know what happens afterwards. Even though they find sanctuary in each other, we feel that 1800s Germany might not share the same attitude towards them. It’s disheartening- but that’s in keeping with the show, the theme of inpemenance. Everything is relative, and everything is temporary.
Oh, I also enjoy it because I get to kiss Matt Hough- and it’s entertaining watching his sister squirm in the wings.
Favourite show you’ve been in and part you played?
I’m enjoying this part a lot- I still feel like there’s a lot to explore and find out about Hanschen. Where he’s going, what the world means to him. Yes, he’s arrogant and a little overbearing, but he has a lot of heart. I can’t wait to get costumes- I think that will really add another layer to our performances.
What’s the most embarrassing costume you’ve had to wear?
I once had to dress up as a wicked witch wearing tights and my mothers black skirt. Was it embarrassing? Yes. Secretly I loved it. One day I’m destined to in a all-drag performance of Dreamgirls. Watch this space…
Why do you think people should come to see the show?
It’s got a lot more heart and soul than anything you’re likely to see this summer. We’ve got some very exciting lighting and tech in store, and when the admission price is a snip of that of shows in London- you’d be crazy to miss it.
Still not got your tickets? Surely David’s interview has convinced you to get yours. You can buy them here. Get yours before they’ve gone!