AN IRISHMAN AT THE Potato Shed
In 1964, Dennis Coard was 11 years old when his family moved from Ireland to Australia. A few decades later, Dennis made another giant leap and launched into acting as a 35-year-old.
The change proved successful with Dennis landing enduring roles with Australian soaps Home and Away and Blue Heelers; his latest show The Fall of the Roman Umpire has received rave reviews and arrives to the Potato Shed on April 4.
Self-narrated, Dennis charts his journey from Ireland as a child emigrating with his immediate family to Adelaide, and his new life in Australia.
A stint working for Telecom, two divorces and a couple of kids later his decision to audition for the Victorian College of the Arts at the ripe old age of 35 was a fruitful one.
For Dennis, the show he wrote 20 years ago is “well and truly tried and true” and guarantees the audience will laugh and maybe even shed a few tears.
“I’ve done it so many times around the country but never at the Potato Shed which is exciting. It’s well and truly tried and true, my motto is ‘if you don’t laugh, you’ll get your money back’,” he said.
“No one’s ever asked for their money back. I find everyone has a story to tell. One in four people were born overseas and so a lot of people feel like the show is their story too.”
Married to fellow actor Debra Lawrance, Dennis said they have returned to Ireland on several occasions to perform and acting had always attracted him.
“We’ve both done pantomime in Ireland together, it’s amazing to go full circle. I’ve always liked entertaining people, my family, friends and work colleagues.
“I had a real job for 20 years but always wondered about acting. I did a bit of amateur theatre and decided to audition for Victoria College of Arts and have been acting ever since.”
The show set up is basic but the performance is anything but with Dennis taking on the role of his mother, father and grandad to name a few.
“I take on many roles, there’s a table, chair, a few hats and a lot of memories. It’s a tried and true show, I love doing it and guarantee the audience will too.”
Book your tickets now by phoning the Potato Shed on 5251 1998 or visit the box office or any City of Greater Geelong Customer Service Centre.