It’s hard work touring around the continent in David Stevens’ play “The Sum of Us”. A night in Darwin, a night in Tasmania and, on July 16, a night in Canberra.
But Harvey’s not complaining. “Touring keeps it fresh for us,” he tells me. A plus is that he’s acting for the first time with John Jarratt, who plays his dad and Glenn van Oosterom, playing his love interest, as well as Nell Feeney whom Harvey already knew from “Neighbours”.
“Everyone pulls their weight, but we respect each other.”
Anyway, during a stint in England a few years ago, he played pantomime for 82 days in the same venue with only a day off – now that was a bit depressing.
As for his lilting native Irish accent and an Aussie play, “I get rid of it all for the part”. And he does it better than Meryl Streep.
“The Sum of Us” was made popular by the film starring Jack Thompson and Russell Crowe, so it’s not raising too many eyebrows in the country.
“The fact that Jeff is gay is in the sub-plot, but the play doesn’t concentrate on it.” Harvey says audiences have been receptive because the play is very simple and it has a universal theme – “everyone needs someone to love… it’s funny, it’s sad, it’s bittersweet”.
Though Harvey has been addicted to theatre since he was young and performing since age nine, many of his day-to-day mates just “don’t want to see a play”, except Melbourne Comedy Festival shows, where “they’re guaranteed a laugh”. But once dragged in, they’ve enjoyed “The Sum of Us.” And that, to Harvey, signals that the play is about something real.
“The Sum of Us” is at the Playhouse on July 16. Bookings to 6275 2700 or www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au