Steven Tandy

Profile | Steven Tandy plays Selsdon Mowbray

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Steven Tandy plays Selsdon Mowbray in Noises Off and the burglar in Nothing On.

What makes Noises Off such an iconic play?

Until I first saw this play at the Comedy Theatre in Melbourne in 1983, I had never witnessed a play of its nature – which turned the whole acting process inside out and gave us such delightfully eccentric characters struggling with their ridiculously limited talents and vagaries of personality. Every line is a winner – it is a perfectly structured and comically brilliant piece of writing.

What do you LOVE and what do you LOATHE about performing in a farce?

There’s nothing more rewarding than performing in a legitimate farce than to hear the increasing waves of laughter coming from the audience when the plot and its usual absurdity takes off. What it usually requires from the performer is an acute sense of timing and discipline and, in the case of Noises Off, performance energy and total focus.

What is your favourite line in the play (it doesn’t have to be your own)?

I actually love Lloyd’s line in the play when he bursts in, exasperated upon hearing all the contradictory addresses given to the audience by both Tim and Poppy – ‘We hear three minutes and we all rush to the gents – we hear one minute, and we all come rushing out again! We don’t know which way we’re going!’

What are you most looking forward to about bringing this show to Melbourne audiences?

I am personally extremely excited about returning to work for MTC after a period of 34 years! Melbourne is a highly cultural city, renowned for its appreciation of quality theatre, and I feel we have a great product to bring to the audiences.

What makes Sam Strong a great director?

Sam engenders a great company feeling and we have really worked as a team on this. I have always found his observations and notes to be highly positive and constructive.

What do you like about performing/working on a co-production between two state theatre companies?

I haven’t done it often, but have thoroughly enjoyed the connection between QT and JUTE in Cairns in the last few years. This one seems very special as it’s a co-production between two of the biggest, most professional companies in this country, and the standards of production are very high.

Can you tell us three highlights from the Noises Off season so far?

Some standing ovations, cries of ‘More! More!’ and a yellow rose landing at my feet at the curtain call for our first preview – obviously intended for Miss Munro!


Noises Off plays at Arts Centre Melbourne from 8 July.

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