Director Steven Stead has started rehearsals for his second production of the year: the musical Camelot. This time, the show undergoes a Game-of-Thrones-makeover, and Stead takes on the dual roles of lead actor and director. With Camelot to take the stage from 18 May – 3 June, the Westville Gazette caught up with the actor-cum-director to chat about theatre, dreams and juggling it all.
Westville Gazette: How are you going to manage playing one of the leads and directing?
Steven Stead: It is certainly going to be a major challenge, but I am up for it. I have done a lot of preparation and research, and I trust my fellow cast members explicitly. But best of all I have a terrific associate director, Mervyn McMurtry, who was my tutor at university, so my back will be well and truly covered.
WG: What do you prefer: acting or directing?
SS: I generally prefer directing, but every now and then I need to flex my acting muscles and I have wanted to play Arthur all my life. Now I am old enough to do so, and I must just seize the moment. It is a tremendous role to play, very satisfying.
WG: Was it always your dream to be involved in theatre? What did you want to be when you were a kid?
SS: Yes, it was. I never really wanted to do anything else. Which is just as well, because I can’t.
WG: What one production is on your bucket list to stage and why?
SS: I want to do an outdoors production of A Midsummer Night Dream sometime soon. It is the perfect play. It has romance, humour, adventure, and some magnificent language. And it is so audience friendly. I want people (especially young people) to fall in love with Shakespeare. And that play is the one to do it.
WG: Do you have a favourite genre of performance to work in and why?
SS: I love textured, thought-provoking musical theatre best and opera. But I don’t have a favourite genre, really. All of them are basically story-telling, which is my job essentially, and what I love doing.
WG: If you had the ear of the state president, what would you advise him to do to improve the status of the performing arts in SA?
SS: I would advise him to set up training facilities in all the state owned theatre complexes, and use us older folk who have skills that emerging youngsters don’t have, to instruct and teach and hand our knowledge on.
Please complete the sentence My dream holiday is… far away from people and cities, steeped in nature, soaked in sunlight, and full of peace and wonder.
My perfect day would be… spent on a pristine and deserted beach, followed by a romantic sunset cocktail or two, and dinner overlooking the sea with a few dear friends.
If I had a super power it would be… to vaporise litter and pollution. Or maybe vaporise the litterers and polluters!
Choose one: Night out or stay in? Stay in with series!
Mansion or tent? Something in between. Cabin in the woods is good.
Lemon and herb or Extra hot Peri Peri? Bring on the hot stuff!