|Bumming with Tahli Corin|
|Written by Augusta Supple|
|Saturday, 09 August 2008 03:10|
It’s a week out from opening night when I meet Tahli Corin and its clear she hasn’t been bumming around. Bright-eyed, effervescent with excitement and anticipation, she tells me the story of how she came to be a writer, and how it happened that the first play she has written has landed safely in the Downstairs Theatre at Belvoir St… and it is a sweet tale that stretches over two years which involves a little chance, a need to avoid watching film, a gin and tonic in Hong Kong and a poem by Charles Bukowski called “Bumming with Jane.”
Trained as an actor in Adelaide, Corin spent some time with a touring children’s show (Monkey Baa Theatre) before taking matters into her own hands. Admitting that often actors are at the mercy of the tastes and decisions of others Corin admits she is “far too impatient” to let projects she wants to be involved with find her and so made a decision to write a play. Using playwriting as a means to escape the steady film diet her partner was consuming as a part of an AFTRS screenwriting course, Corin was delighted to discover the liberation that comes from being able to call her own shots... “to create without asking permission.”
Corin freely admits that to produce a show you must really love it. That the energy and time and effort it takes to put on a show must be worth it…
For two years Corin worked on her play… confessing that in the long term love affair with the characters and story of Bumming with Jane, hasn’t always been easy. As with all relationships there were moments of reckoning. Whilst touring, she locked her self away in her room in Margaret River with a bottle of wine and as she wrestled with the characters who “were not doing as they were told” which turned out to be “a good weekend of not much love but good cheese.” Using her background as an actor she set to work on the script making sure that the “action was present and characters were as clear as I could make them.”
And how did the play end up with its premiere at the Downstairs Belvoir Theatre? After submitting the play, Corin was in Hong Kong where she met up with Belvoir St Theatre’s Artistic Associate, Eamon Flack who also happened to be in town and somehow over a gin and tonic they discussed the possibility of having the show as a part of the B Sharp Season.
Corin cites director Kellie Mackereth, recent NIDA graduate as a wonderful person to collaborate with on Bumming with Jane. After seeing Kelly’s production of Lunch by Steven Berkoff in the 2007 NIDA Directors showcase, Corin knew that Kelly was the director she wanted working on the project. “The actors seemed to be enjoying themselves” and that was the kind of working environment she envisioned for the actors working on Bumming with Jane. Corin attributes the invaluable support of Mackereth who has spent nearly a year with the script, making dramaturgical suggestions strengthening the world of Patrick and Jane. And after such a development process Corin praises the importance of dedicated and focussed actors such as Sophie Cook, Tahki Saul and Gertraud Ingeborg. “In the casting process - it is wonderful to have the actors we cast just as much in love with the characters as Kelly and I.”
Having a dedicated team of collaborators who are equally passionate about the characters and story whilst “taking the play to a whole new level” has liberated Corin from the rehearsal room and has allowed her to fully embrace the role of producer. Racing from a production meeting at Belvoir St to lunch and an interview then off to the Sydney Theatre Company to borrow Gobos … then who knows where. Although Bumming with Jane is a story about “love, poverty and the fleeting joy of choosing to live a free and ragged-arse life” Corin is a highly energetic, deeply thoughtful and perfectly impatient person, who’s impatience has been rewarded.
Bumming with Jane opens August 13. For more information click here»
Top Right - Tahli Corin