Friday, 11 January 2013

Jersey Boys Preview – Interview with Martin Croft

  Martin Croft, Resident Director, Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys opened on Jan 12 at the Princess Theatre, Melbourne
See review on this blog

Jersey Boys, Australian cast. Photo by Joe Calleri

Jersey Boys is back in Melbourne and one of the big questions is, ‘How do you keep a show that is touring the country fresh?’

Getting the show in shape for every new town and with each new cast is the responsibility of Martin Croft, Resident Director for Jersey Boys in Australia, who says that he has celebrated four birthdays since starting working on the show.

Although Croft remounts the production according to Des MacAnuff’s original staging, he wants each new cast to give it some of their own magic.

The role of a Resident Director is to return regularly to watch the show, give the performers notes and check that the production is still sharp and shiny.

To keep this production sparkling during its tour from Auckland, Adelaide and Brisbane to Melbourne, Croft shakes the cast up by playing theatre games in rehearsal, even having characters swapping roles so that Frankie Valli ends up playing his own wife.

The performers need to shift their perspective in Melbourne because they lose 1.5 metres of stage depth at the Princess Theatre, which alters not only the performances but also the lighting and design.

Croft is full of praise for the current cast that includes Canadian Jeff Madden as Frankie, and Australian performers, Anthony Harkin as Tommy DeVito, Declan Egan as Bob Gaudio and Glaston Toft as Nick Massi.

‘It’s like a family’, says Croft, and when he leaves the production for weeks at a time, for example to work on The Addams Family in Sydney, he feels the separation strongly – just alike a father.

By Kate Herbert
 Jersey Boys, Australian cast. Photo by Joe Calleri
Jersey Boys, Australian cast. Photo by Joe Calleri

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