Peace? He hates the word! Chris Asimos to star as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet

Chris Asimos will star as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet
Chris Asimos will star as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet

This week, AussieTheatre is featuring interviews with members of the Montague and Capulet families from Australian Shakespeare Company’s upcoming outdoor production of Romeo and Juliet.

Today we chat with Chris Asimos who will star as Tybalt, the leader of the Capulet gang and cousin to Juliet.

South Australian born and bred, Asimos is an honours graduate of the Flinders University Drama Centre – and now calls Melbourne home.

Since finishing university, Chris has worked steadily in theatre, music theatre film and television. Some of his many stage credits include Three Sisters, The Give & Take, Everynight, Everynight and Boy’s Life (Curtain Call Award Nominee). He recently starred as Ron Barassi in the Australian premiere of Barassi.

What do you find are the major challenges of performing Shakespeare? 

Finding the truth behind the words can be quite difficult especially when the language contains cultural gags and references that are completely obscure to us.

You’ve been doing some pretty intense sword fight choreography. Can you tell us about a funny moment or a sticky situation?

Splitting numerous number of pants while attempting lunges has definitely aroused laughter from the rest of the cast.

What scenes do you think audiences will enjoy the most?

The sword fights are exciting, full of high energy, impressive choreography, passion and lunges in tight pants!

Your role as a Capulet involves some pretty intense issues of hate and prejudice. How does this relate to modern society?

[pull_left]The montague/capulet conflict is not unlike any other modern day gang warfare you hear about in the nightly news.[/pull_left]

The montague/capulet conflict is not unlike any other modern day gang warfare you hear about in the nightly news. Two groups trying to take control of the town they live in. Just like the characters in R&J members of a gang cannot interact on any basis with those of another gang without swift retribution.

This is why Baz Lurhmann’s modern interpretation was so successful people can still relate to feuding families/gangs whether it be in 16th century Verona or 21st century L.A.

What’s your most embarrassing stage moment?

Splitting my pants on stage and forgetting to wear underwear.

What is it like performing and rehearsing outside in the Royal Botanic Gardens? Have you performed outside before?

This is the first time I’ve performed on an outdoor stage, it’s challenging because your lines are drowned out by the open space, so one really has to work on there vocal projection. However, the beauty surrounding you in the botanic garden outweighs any con, performing outside also gives a realistic setting to the scenes in R&J I.e. the famous balcony scene and all the market scenes, which are set in outdoors.

Australian Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet opens at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne on December 20 and will run until 9 March 2013. 

Book tickets online and remember to bring a picnic full of goodies, blanket/cushions, insect repellent and a hat. 

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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