Midsumma at Theatre Works: Matthew Hyde

The Theatre Works Midsumma program has started with the sold out Psycho Beach Party and promises to continue being awesome with Sydney Fringe favourite Here Lies Henry opening on 22 January.

Henry has an aversion to telling the truth, but actor Matthew Hyde doesn’t mind chatting with Anne-Marie Peard.

Matt Hyde. Photo by Shannon Ashlyn
Matt Hyde. Photo by Shannon Ashlyn

Describe Here Lies Henry in three words?
Funny, profound, sexy.

Who shouldn’t miss the show?
Anyone who likes challenging, unconventional theatre that throws out the rule book. Anyone who just wants to play, be entertained, laugh, cry, think, feel, question and ultimately celebrate the sheer act of living in the here and now.

What other Midsumma show(s) will you NOT miss?
I’ve heard Here Lies Henry is simply not to be missed, other than that I would like to check out Gaybies, Bent Burlesque and The Prince’s Quest – An Adult Performance sounds a lot of fun.

Midsumma is 25 this year. What do you remember most about being 25?
Deciding to pack up my bags, kiss London and my native UK goodbye and move to the Emerald City.

Midsumma is also about celebrating queer culture. What does your show celebrate?
It celebrates us as human beings in all our wonderful complexity as well as love in all its beauty and pain.

As Henry is a liar, what’s something you’ve lied about?
My age.

What’s something you should never lie about?
Telling a casting director “of course I can do that accent!” in order to get an audition.

Apart from the Midsumma, what festival would you love to be a part of?
The Edinburgh Festival; it’s massive!

What was the first festival you were a part of?
A dance festival aged eight. I had a tap solo, a ballet solo and was in two group numbers.

What else are you looking forward to doing on your trip to Melbourne?
Hanging out with my mate Indi whose house I will be gate crashing, catching up with Melbourne friends, drinking coffee in the hidden alleyways, seeing theatre and visiting the rooftop bars.

If you could invite anyone to see your show (and you know they would come), who would it be?
My family in the UK. It’s a bit too far for them to come, which is a shame as I’m so proud of the show.

What is the best theatre advice you’ve received?
“Grab it by the balls darling and act the shit out of it” and “Find the truth and play it from the heart.”

What’s the worst and/or best thing a reviewer has said about you or your show?
I haven’t had anything really bad said about me (yet), In his review o Henry, Jason Blake from the SMH said,”If there is a harder working actor in Sydney at the moment then I haven’t seen him’. I felt this was testament to the blood, sweat and tears of the rehearsal room.

What’s your favourite gelati flavour?

What was the last film you loved?
The Iranian film called A Seperation.

What’s the best thing to do when it’s over 40° and you don’t have air conditioning?
Absolutely head to the beach and soak it up.

What work changed how you make theatre? Why?
Without doubt have to be this show Here Lies Henry. To stand in a spotlight with nothing but the text, your body and your imagination is a whole new skill set. It took me right out of my comfort zone in every possible sense, but I learnt to not be afraid and be excited by it.

What director/actor/writer/creator would you just die to work with?
A Shakespeare play with Judi Dench as a cast member and Michael Grandage directing.

What do love most about your show?
Not knowing what’s going to happen each night, the audience is literally the other character and what they do very much dictates what Henry does. It’s scary as all hell but oh so exciting!

Here Lies Henry
2219 January
Theatre Works


Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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