TWELVE TIMES HE SPOKE (2018)

by Finegan Kruckemeyer

28 June – 7 July, 2018
Backspace Theatre Royal


Co-commissioned by Guy Hooper, Blue Cow Theatre and Tasmania Performs. World Premiere production 

Structured as a series of public and private speeches, ranging from the prosaic to the beautiful, it begins simply enough, mapping the twists and turns of one man’s unremarkable life. But the course he has charted is not the one that unfolds, and he ends up in places – some quite dark – that were never part of his plan. The fortunes, mishaps, and joys of his years provide a life-long reminder that happiness and comfort can be found in the seemingly insignificant. That the unremarkable can in fact grow to something rich and rare. 

PERFORMER

Guy Hooper 

PRODUCTION

Director/Designer Ben Winspear
Sound Designer Heath Brown
Lighting Design Ben Winspear & Adam Powers
Set manufacture Greg Methe
Technical assistance Aron Webb
Stage Manager Adam ‘Gus’ Powers
Front of House Christine Bailey
Graphic Designer Nathaniel Hiller
Promotions Adrian Smith 

WHAT PEOPLE SAID ABOUT “TWELVE TIMES HE SPOKE”

It is a simple but profound idea. Trace the shape of a life solely from a small selection of one man’s public speeches. The result is a wonderfully unsentimental, muscular and at times deeply moving solo theatre piece commissioned by local company Blue Cow Theatre.  

There are so many elements to savour. Playwright Finnegan Krukemeyers’s forensic examination of one man’s awkward relationship with words says much about language and even more about male identity.  Ben Winspeare’s experienced direction brings real energy to what could, in lesser hands, have been a stop start affair.  His austere compass inspired set, a fine unity of design.  

But it is actor Guy Hooper as the speechmaker, who must bring continuity to the young boy who grows to late middle age, in a single stage hour.  Hooper’s comic sensibility, hallmarks of the actor are used to fine effect in the boyhood scenes.  But there is an emotional rawness in the dark night of the soul moments that stalk the latter part of the play where Hooper breaks new ground. A confession, the dramatic high point, is the most superb piece of storytelling - masterfully delivered.  Hooper’s physical ease in the closing scenes, a man unburdened, is a revelation.

– The Mercury