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The Canberra Times | In The City Magazine
Ihad a Spiderman costume that
was very accurate and I used
to wear it under my school
uniform and casually tell other
kids in the playground that I
was Spiderman. When they
laughed at me I would just pull down
the uniform a bit to reveal a bit of the
Spiderman thing underneath, which
really impressed them.''
Duncan Driver got his first taste of
the big time in Oliver.
"I was just a workhouse boy in the
chorus but it was on the main stage of
the Canberra Theatre,'' he said. "Talk
about a debut performance. It was just
Driver grew up in Canberra and
remains based here but he spent
substantial periods of time in England
during the noughties. There he built
on his experience and knowledge of
theatre through academia and the
London arts scene.
It was in 2008 that he was invited
to join Duncan Ley and Jarrad West
in what would become the critically-
acclaimed Everyman Theatre.
"Everyman was the first time I ever
had a hand in the artistic direction of
an entire company in deciding which
shows to put on,'' Driver said.
"I suppose it comes out of having a
play that you desperately want to do
and no other company is willing to do
it. So you start up your own company
in order to be able to do the production
that you want to do.''
Everyman is a small company
conscious of its limitations. And it's
that self-awareness that has guided the
trio toward an array of award-winning
and acclaimed productions. It has also
allowed them to steer clear of major
pitfalls that can hound freshly formed
amateur theatre companies.
"You can't just go out and do a play
that you desperately want to do,"
Driver said. "He insists attention must
be given to whether you can do it well,
whether you have the budget for it and
whether you have the people available
to perform in it.
"I think many amateur companies
don't take those things into
consideration early on.
"One of the things that we try and do
is think 'what is a show that nobody
else is performing?' 'What is a show
that we can do on a modest budget?'
and 'what is a show that we can do
given the kinds of people that we know
that we want to work with and will
showcase our talents the best?
A Driving Theatre
PHOTO: DANIEL SPELLMAN
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