Cast Spotlight: Matthew Hallworth

Matthew Hallworth plays reporter Roy Bensinger in our upcoming production of His Girl Friday.

Bio: Matthew is a Toronto-based Producer, Writer, Actor, Improviser and Singer. He is a largely supportive member of the Toronto Improv Community both on stage and as a Stage Manager at The Second City. His most notable work is “Fumbled” a short film created as part of the 48 Hour Film Project which he was Producer, Writer and Actor on and won “2nd Runner Up” and “Best Ensemble”.

1. How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?
I have been familiar with Bygone Theatre for some time because of their Retro Radio Hour shows, I just had to jump on the opportunity to do a fast-talking 1940’s piece!

2. What made you want to be involved?/ what do you love about the story?
I’ve always had a fascination with classic comedies and as a modern comedic performer; I feel its important to be in touch with these classic styles as so many elements are still very much crucial today. I love all the layers to this work; the love triangle, the sleazy reporters, the big plot changes and the fun of all of it!

3. What’s your favourite old movie?
The Great Dictator (1940) I’m a huge admirer of Chaplin’s work and this one really speaks to me as a brave political satire which mocked Hitler before the world knew him to be a monster. Everyone knows the famous speech at the end, but the film all around is a beautiful work of slapstick and screwball comedy, all the bits with Chaplin and Jack Oakie still make me laugh hysterically. 

4. Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?
I was once cast in a slapstick production which unfortunately never came to be! I’m mainly an Improviser and perform throughout the city, I recently Produced and Directed Miracle on the Danforth, an Improvised Holiday Special at the Social Capital. In March you can see me in Round 2 of the World’s Biggest Improv Tournament with my esteemed partner, Sean Browning. 

5. Why should people come and see the show?
The comedy, drama and relationships in this piece are timeless; add to that the presence of a strong female character (Hildy) and, well, this is going to be a great time! 

See Matthew onstage this March in His Girl Friday. Buy tickets now.

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Kill Sister, Kill! A Musical – Crew Spotlight – Director Jamieson Child

Jamieson Child is co-writer and director of the show. Here he shares his thoughts on the process so far.

This is my third time directing this frigging show. You think I’d be sick of it by now. I’ve worked on numerous projects in the intervening years since my brother [Drac] and I first put on the earliest version of this show back in 2010 when it was nothing more than a very serious joke–but whether I’m acting, writing, or directing some other thing, I just keep coming back to Kill Sister, Kill!. I think we’re a little obsessed with our own idea and get too much joy freaking out an audience with new challenging material, mostly using humour and shock. I hate watching a lot theatre, but there is so much potential in the live format to grab people in their seats and give them a good shake, so this is me being a pissed off spectator wanting something entertaining out of the experience if I’m going to leave my house and spend more than $20.

A lot has happened since that first show and this time we’ve managed to assemble an amazing crew of very talented artists with a new perspective. Bygone Theatre helped us get the show back on its feet. Finding Mike Zahorak (Composer) and David Backshell (Lyricist) has launched us deeper into the depravity with more juice than ever before. They gave us the creative power we needed to expand and hear this story in a whole new way; now proudly, a full-length 90 minute musical. *Tears of joy.

However, this is my first time not acting in the show. I leave the character of Ronnie in better hands with Tom [Finn] anyway. So it goes. Taking off my performer cap was easy when he walked into the audition room. That’s how you know when you’re making the right decision out of a hard one…when the answer simply lands in your lap; it’s just following your instinct. I’d love to say that’s how easy my decision making process has been throughout the whole production so far, since I know the track so well, but we’ve changed the story so much, added new characters, big all-cast musical numbers, that I’ve been digging like a fiend into books, watching video, researching, pulling favours asking friends and colleagues for assistance wherever I need it. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a wicked cast who do more to empower me than they know. The true joy is in seeing our material come to life.

As for now, my excitement for taking Kill Sister, Kill! to the NYC Fringe off-Broadway stage is completely stunned by the colossal amount of work that remains to see this show reach the high level of thrilling performance that myself and my team demand from it. Will it be easy? No, but will we kick serious ass and blow minds? We’re ready for it.
I told you I like a challenge.