Show artwork for Looking up and down

Looking up and down

George Zhao on his role in Così

George Zhao tells us how he found the slightly patronizing, but mostly well-meaning character of Justin.

What do you think the driving force behind your character Justin is?

The need for this theatre program to be successful. So that the newly introduced social worker system can be successful. Justin being one of the front runners for the program would be regarded highly.

How do you inhabit your character? Do they have specific gestures, movements, facial expressions or habits?

Justin will sometimes look down on people, although he treats them kindly and with a measure of respect, he still has a subconscious bias against those who are deemed mentally ill. This means that his gait is one that is quite confident and measured.

How does your character grow during the course of the play?

He wants this program to succeed but as the play progresses he begins to doubt. He is completely surprised, but ultimately joyous at the end result of Così.

Can you describe a moment or exercise from rehearsal that helped you interpret or develop your character?

Movement helped, walking around the stage with a straight back and looking down at things immediately puts you in the mindset of Justin.

How important is experimentation and improvisation in rehearsal for you, in regards to interpreting the script and its characters?


Do you have a favourite line from the script? It mightn’t be your own. Why is it your favourite?

The entire section where Roy is berating Henry, the harshness of how Rob Menzies delivers those lines is so aggressive that it’s hilarious.



Published on 1 May 2019

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