Taking a gander at Come From Away with Richard Piper

Anticipation is building for the Australian Premiere of Come From Away.

With only months to go, the cast of the upcoming premiere cast are gearing up to begin rehearsals on this beautiful piece of theatre. Richard Piper is one of these very excited few.

Richard Piper
Richard Piper

An aficionado of the arts, Richard has been seen across theatre, film and television. Recent credits include The Lady in the Van and Twelfth Night with the MTC, Jack and the Beanstalk (Australian Shakespeare Company) and Oklahoma! (The Production Company).

Richard will be playing Claude (and others) in the upcoming production of Come From Away – Claude Elliot was Gander’s mayor at the time of 9/11 and highly involved in facilitating the refuge of over 6000 strangers.

How are you feeling about Come From Away?

Isn’t it just so exciting? Suddenly, it’s real, we’ve started. The rehearsals are exciting and fantastic, nerve wracking. It’s been so beautiful to meet everyone.

Can you tell me a bit about your role in the show?

We play one main character, I play the mayor Claude Elliot. Anything else that comes up can be from anywhere in the world as well, since the show is about the passengers. We can’t choose, someone chooses for us [laughs].

You’ve just finished working on a much more straight piece of theatre (MTC’s The Lady In The Van). How have you found shifting from a play to a musical?

Because there’s such a dramatic and comedic context to this, it’s alright for me. I did Billy Elliot and that was a similar thing, with more of the theatre in it as opposed to just songs.

Somewhere In The Middle Of Nowhere

? Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of clear blue air,you've found your heart & left a part of you behind ?Is it July yet? ? While we count down to #ComeFromAwayAU opening the Comedy Theatre, we’ve got this performance from our cast at the Melbourne launch event on repeat ??

Posted by Come From Away Australia on Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Have you seen the show before?

I’m going to England in March and I’ll see it when it’s on there. Maybe even follow the choreography since dancing isn’t my strong point. I’m not even sure if or how our show will be like theirs, we’ll have to see when we start!

How do you feel about playing a real person?

It’s really exciting. I think it’s something that I love to do, I looked a lot at Claude online and on YouTube and I’ve really almost gotten to know him. I hope I do get to meet him. I really enjoyed that process. The fact that the whole script is sourced out of real people is kind of a responsibility for us. It’s a beautiful experience.

Come From Away premieres at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre in July 2019. Tickets and more information are available at Comefromaway.com.au

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator, and is the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief of AussieTheatre.com. She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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