Tobacco, and the Harmful Effects Thereof: an insight from Andrew Buckland

Hayley Grammer

Rhenish Girls High School – Some would argue the mark of a true actor is arguably being able to portray a character that challenges you and is completely different from you.

AB smoking
Andrew Buckland during his obscure performance via: steynsays.files.wordpress.com

Still, something of that character needs to connect with you.

Award winning performer Andrew Buckland agrees that a character doesn’t need to be like you in order for you to give a convincing performance.

“They need to resonate with an aspect in which you see the world, and you need to have a strong sense of empathy when portraying a character, even if they are the complete opposite to you.

“How we source the experience in ourselves is a fascinating part of doing the work.”

Tobacco, and the Harmful Effects Thereof, Buckland’s critically acclaimed show which was staged at Woordfees, was the first script Buckland ever read that contained the complex contradictions human beings face in their relationships, especially in long term marriages.

“You can wake up and want to murder the person next to you, but five minutes later you think that if I’m without this person for 10 seconds I’ll die.

“Those extremes held at the same time, and how we relate to each other…I’ve never found a text that contains that so beautifully,” Buckland said.

Buckland, who has been married for nearly 40 years, says he has gained a strong sense of what marriage entails, which enabled him to relate and interact with the text in a personal way.

“You draw on your own fear and your own anger…what I perform on stage may be drawn from my own truth but the audience remembers their own lives, their own yearning, their own frustrations.

“The way they experience it becomes totally unique, its magic.”

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