The Butt of Shakespeare’s Jokes

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Fiendishly naughty actor and playwright Patrick Graham is taking on the role of Bottom (for the second time) in Michael Hurst’s take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream at this year’s Auckland Summer Shakespeare. express probes his passive role.

So this is the second time you’ll be a Bottom?

I guess that makes me vers then. I should put that on my acting CV, “Has topped and bottomed more than once” Do you think it will get me more parts?

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What is the best thing about being a Bottom?

I get to be an ass, or make an ass of myself but not show my ass (that might frighten the ladies and most of the men)… some may say I’m a power Bottom and yes he is a bit of a … well actually he’s an immense drama queen! I also love that he thinks he’s so intelligent but completely misuses words all the time, much like myself.

Okay, serious face now, why should all express readers attend A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

It’s really funny. The actors really understand the text and I think the meaning will be well conveyed. It’s also damn sexy in places, there’s a couple of cute boys and girls and a donkey (if your into that sort of stuff). The fairies aren’t your typical twee little things at all. Of course Michael Hurst is a damn fine director and has really made this play his own and it’s just lots of fun.

I’ve heard it will be a thoroughly naughty take on the old tale, can you concur?

The fairy King and Queen are very saucy and the fairies themselves are very cheeky. They are played mostly by Marvelous a group of mostly over 65 year old actors. Titania also has a pair of very sensual Moon women to look after her every need…

Is A Midsummer Night’s Dream your favourite Shakespeare play?

It’s one of my favourites… I’m rather unusual when it comes to Shakespeare enthusiasts because I hate Hamlet. I love his comedies and his fool characters.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream plays at the University of Auckland’s Old Arts Plaza Saturday 14 February – Saturday 1 March. Tickets on sale from www.maidment,auckland.ac.nz or 09 308 2383.

Read Patrick’s full interview at www.gayexpress.co.nz.

Article | Oliver Hall.

Photo | Brian Low.

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