Striking a chord on stage
According to Geoff Faiella, Killing Carlisle is an actor’s dream: it’s funny and thoughtfully written, with lots of twists and turns. His hope is that he does it justice.
Mr Faiella will play the lead character Doe in the world premiere of Killing Carlisle, Owain Johnston’s play that opens at Daylesford Theatre on Thursday night. “Doing it with Owain in the room is very rewarding,” he said of the Bermudian playwright and journalist with The Royal Gazette. “It’s giving him the opportunity to see his work come into the real world.
“I’m confident enough that I think he trusts me with his character, but I do hope that I do it justice.”
Billed as “a dark comedy with light weaponry”, Killing Carlisleis about “a trained hit man and a jilted lover [who] break into the luxurious Bermuda home of Carlisle Mooney on the same night with murder on their minds — completely independent of one another”.
“Unfortunately for both, Carlisle isn’t home,” Mr Faiella explains. “The pair find themselves killing time waiting for Carlisle to return home but, as the hours pass, plans fall apart, secrets are revealed and tensions rise until an explosion is inevitable.”
“Blood, firearms and naughty words” make the show inadvisable for children, however for adults it’s a chance to support a home-grown cast, Mr Faiella said.
“People should come out not only for an entertaining evening, but to support performing arts in Bermuda,” he said. “It’s a cast of mostly Bermuda talent and it’s community theatre at its core. We’re all volunteers. It’s a hobby for all of us. We’re all bringing our passion to it and hopefully that shows on stage.”
Mr Faiella discovered acting around the age of 10, when he got involved with the annual pantomimes put on by the Bermuda Musical & Dramatic Society.
“My father’s mother, Isabelle ‘Puss’ Faiella, encouraged me to get out there,” he said. “She used to perform in clubs in Bermuda in the 1950s and 1960s.
“In school at Saltus, I liked performing on stage and when I went to high school in the States, I started getting even more involved in drama and performing arts. So it’s really been a lifelong hobby.”
On returning to the island in 2010, Mr Faiella rejoined the local theatre scene, getting involved in shows with both BMDS and the Gilbert & Sullivan Society.
He also frequently acted in plays Mr Johnston submitted for BMDS’s playwright competition, Famous For Fifteen Minutes.
“When I heard he was going to be producing the world premiere of his play, I jumped at the opportunity and dropped everything to audition,” Mr Faiella said. “Owain’s writing style sort of matches with the way I go through the world.
“The dialogue matches with my mode of speech and his humour is always something that struck a chord with me. His plays were right up my street.
“Killing Carlisle is very much an Owain play. There are lots of twists and turns.
“Naughty words and light weaponry aside, it’s a funny and thoughtful play and I’m having a great time. It’s billed as a dark comedy and it is a comedy, but it doesn’t shy away from some important issues facing the island. It has heart.”
Despite that enthusiasm, the reality was that he was a relatively new father with a limited amount of time for his hobby when the call for auditions was made.
“I went into this completely fresh thinking I would put myself forward for a minor role because I wasn’t sure of my time commitment,” he said. “I have a 16-month-old and my wife Sarah and I try to take turns in [the roles we take on in the] performing arts.”
As it turned out, his wife encouraged him to go for the role he really wanted. “The main role was a bigger commitment, but I am able to do it because of the support of my family. Because of my family, I get to enjoy my hobby,” Mr Faiella said.
• Killing Carlisle runs Thursday through Saturday and from October 3 to 5 at Daylesford Theatre. Performances begin at 8pm. Tickets, $35, are available at ptix.bm and at the theatre box office one hour before each show. For more information: 292-0848 or bmds.bm
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