Underneath It All - Nude actors turning heads
Following its opening three weekends ago, David Tulloch's erotic play Sugar Daddy has, not surprisingly, garnered a lot of attention. With a promise of profanity and nudity, the players made good – and harbour nary an inkling of regret for their shows of nakedness and expressions of ecstasy.
Certainly, there are utterings from those who would rather more modest modes of communication.
“If I were to be on the big screen, acting and telling the same story, it would be seen in a different light. The only difference is that one is live, and one is not. And the sex is minimum compared to what the story is saying,” said Samantha Brevitt, who plays, Anita Leslie.
"The energy from the audience has been phenomenal, and that I believe also assists with spurring us on," Tulloch told The Gleaner.
The players – Tulloch (George Leslie), Brevitt, Trishana Wright (Kysanne Williams) and Rolando Fagan (Jermaine) – all reiterate the writer’s intent: that the ultimate story is a relatable circumstance played out between frustrated (and sexually charged) couples. They echo that underneath it all, there is a fully developed plot – and amid all the excitement the action on stage brings, the audience's gales of laughter do get abruptly cut.
"My role in Sugar Daddy has imparted tremendous growth to my craft. The energy from the audience each night is overflowing with love," Fagan said.
He plays Jermaine, a troubled man who is struggling in the inner city with infidelity, poverty and to hold on to his girlfriend, Kysanne.
"After each show, we make our way around to greet and have a natural interaction with the audience. It gets me emotional to know I left a strong impact from the acting I did on stage. A quote from Tulloch: ‘Theatre is not an institution; it’s a culture that has to be printed into your DNA,” Fagan said.
For many, it is a task to be naked in front of one person. For this cast, of course it isn't easy. But by all accounts, it seems worthwhile. "Let’s not discriminate against live theatre. It’s just the same as acting in 50 Shades of Grey or How Stella Got Her Groove Back. I allow Anita to take over my body. Once I become that character, I can easily transition into being nude without feeling uncomfortable,” Brevitt said.
Tulloch is the most concerned.
"I’m probably the most out of shape as I represent the ‘beer-belly’ sugar daddy-type man. I can never fully prepare to go nude on stage. It’s always a roller-coaster ride for my motions every intermission as I know my nude scene follows. However, throwing myself into the role, into the moment — and my co-actress Trishana is extremely helpful in the process, so I get through it on a nightly basis. Heading into our third weekend, and it’s still a big deal for me. I would have thought that it would be repulsive, but so far, so good. I guess people can relate," he said.
Fagan said he would definitely go nude again.
“I’m Ronaldo Fagan, and this won’t be the last time you’ll be hearing my name,” he said.