Wayne Scott Kermond: Keeping vaudeville alive

Wayne Scott Kermond’s favourite party trick is a run-up-the-wall. What’s yours?

Wayne Scott Kermond is one of Australia’s best-loved comedic musical theatre performers. His biography reads like an annual catalogue of all the mainstage musicals in Australia – Gypsy, West Side Story, A Chorus Line, Guys and Dolls, Chicago, The Producers. Next to be seen on the big stage as Moonface Martin in the all-star cast of Anything Goes with Opera Australia, there’s a project close to Wayne’s heart that he is bringing to life first – KERMOND COMEDY CAPERS.

Kermond Capers: a family dynasty brings vaudeville to a new generation.
Kermond Capers: a family dynasty brings vaudeville to a new generation.

Kermond Comedy Capers is a children’s vaudeville show devised and performed by himself and his song-and-dance father Warren Kermond (who himself has been a fixture in Australian musical theatre for decades). The two take to the Monkey Baa stage in Darling Harbour’s Darling Quarter Theatre 30 September – 4 October to showcase their well-honed slap stick comedic skills – perfect for children this school holidays as well as the young at heart. I had a quick chat to Wayne about the show and the biz.

 What is it about vaudeville that’s so compelling? Is it a lost art form?

Vaudeville is variety – so by its very nature it engages and has “something for everyone.” It breaks the forth wall and connects with the audience. I believe that while the art form is old, it has recently undergone a resurgence and people are once again enjoying the delights of Entertainment with a capital E.

Children’s shows are a genre in and of themselves. How do you approach writing and performing a show for children?

Children make wonderful audiences. They are emotional, intense and spontaneous – there is no filter. When entertaining children you need to physicalise your comedy and indulge in the “spark of creativity” that children understand so well, and not fear their honesty.

How have you gone about creating this work with your father? Is one of you the boss?

We collaborate really well, no one is the boss. We both respect each other and we both know that we bring different talents to the piece.

Kermond Comedy Capers
Kermond Comedy Capers

Kermond Comedy Capers is about showbiz – what’s your favourite thing about showbiz?

Making people laugh and feel good. There is nothing better than to stand on stage and hear laughter greet you. It is a wonderful gift that the audience gives.

And the thing about showbiz you dislike the most?

The inconsistencies of work in Australia. You have to be able to diversify a lot to be able to survive. Australians honour their sports people a lot more than their creative community, but I hope that through shows like “Kermond Capers” audiences start to realize how very special the art of comedy and performing is.

What can audiences expect from the show? Are the parents going to leave in stitches, too?

Audiences should expect the unexpected as we plunge head first into the crazy mad-caped world of slap-stick comedy and engage their senses in some wonderful classic sketches that will have them all (including parents and grandparents) in stitches.

You’re a man of many entertaining talents – what’s your all-time favourite party trick?

Well I have a few: run-up-the-wall, hop-on-the-bum or any prac-falls.

KERMOND COMEDY CAPERS runs from 30 September to 4 October at Monkey Baa’s Darling Quarter Theatre. To book visit: www.monkeybaa.com.au.  

Maryann Wright

Maryann Wright is a performer and writer. She has a Diploma of Musical Theatre from Brent Street and a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) from The University of Sydney. Recent performance credits include Heart of a Dog (Australian premiere), Carrie (Squabbalogic) and Urinetown (Brent Street). She is currently shooting new Australian pilot TV show Subject To Change playing Karly.

Maryann Wright

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *