MK (Mitch) Taylor and Gillian Avery have both had varied acting experience which includes roles in Repertory Theatre, Amdram and the independently produced Shakespeare in the Park plays at Bason Botanical Gardens.
In Eugenia, Mitch Taylor plays the part of "Pub Joe" who's been discharged from the war. He has a problem with alcohol. "The drink makes him pretty aggressive and he's not very nice to know," Mitch says.
Seamus Finn, his other character, is quite different, giving Eugenia employment at the construction company and treating her with respect.
"I'm trying to learn to talk with an Irish accent, which is quite challenging but fun too."
Gillian Avery is also learning to master another accent — Italian. She plays the Italian landlady who looks after these characters in her establishment, treating them like one big family. "I've been involved in theatre since 1994 but took a break in 1996 when I met my husband. We travelled the world in a Land Rover, returning in 2001."
I recalled a newspaper article about the Averys travelling to the commemoration of the D Day landing at Normandy in their 1942 Dodge. "Yes. We went with a group — five Australians and five Kiwis, shipping the vehicles in containers while we flew over to Italy. We travelled up Italy to Croatia which was very beautiful, across to Austria, Germany then France. At Normandy people were dressed in 1940s uniforms. It was one big party!"
I asked Gillian if she'd learnt any of the language as she travelled through Italy which might help her with mastering the accent. "No, but Google helps, although they do say the words so fast," she says.
Good luck with the accent mastery Mitch and Gillian. I'm sure you'll be great.