Actor and dancer Phil Blackman, of Lismore, in the 2012 Norpa production of Railway Wonderland.
Actor and dancer Phil Blackman, of Lismore, in the 2012 Norpa production of Railway Wonderland.

Between Giacomo and Leonard

PHILIP Blackman was born in Paddington, Sydney, but lives and works in Lismore.

He is a dancer and choreographer working with theatre and solo dance making.

Over the past four years Philip has been engaged in the disability sector as a dance facilitator for local service provider R.E.D Inc, and he is currently in development with Norpa for a new work called Dreamer.

Phil is currently performing in the remake of Railway Wonderland, of which he is an original devising cast member during his time as associate artist to Norpa between 2010 and 2012.

Mr Blackman plays three different characters in Railway Wonderland: Leonard, a young man in modern times, slightly obsessive compulsive, fixated on bus and train schedules; Giacomo, an Italian immigrant who marries Ana via arranged marriage, and Duncan, a 1970s flower child.

We sat for a chat with Mr Blackman in between Railway Wonderland rehearsals.

How was the process of devising Railway Wonderland in 2011?

We started in a room with four actors and we set up ourselves some tasks: we were waiting, coming and going and we had the backdrop of the railway station.

Those three characters that I play, particularly Leonard and Giacomo, are characters that I devised as part of that process.

How much of you is on each one of them?

(Laughs) Whenever you look at creating a character or performing, you have to touch parts of yourselves to bring them alive and to make them truthful.

I'm not obsessive compulsive, but if I were to be that way, or somewhere on the spectrum, maybe that's the way I would be.

Why do you think people still remember Railway Wonderland after so many years?

Railway Wonderland's poster talk about it being a magical event, and I think that (director) Julian Louis, (producer) Marisa Snow and the team have captured the imagination of people in this area.

You can't replicate the wonder enthusiasm of being in the station re-living those stories.



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