WHEN asked to describe what he does; multi-award winning director, writer and actor Simon Denver says he likes to add “journeyman” to his role description.
He feels that, even after 40 years of working successfully in the theatre industry, he is still continuously learning and honing his craft.
As a writer, Simon has an impressive catalogue of more than 100 plays, musicals and cabaret scripts performed and published under his name, with a similar number of directing credits. He has enjoyed an extensive career as a performer and as an acclaimed theatre director and has led a diverse range of professional and independent productions.
A long-term Maleny resident of 46 years, Simon is a founder of the Suncoast Repertory Theatre and has enjoyed a professional career that has traversed an enormous range of creative projects. His work includes writing for TV and radio, working in theatre in education, and directing and performing in classic Shakespeare productions, rock operas, musicals and theatre restaurants.
Simon said he had always held a fascination for theatre that most likely evolved from growing up with a mother who was a drama theatre teacher.
With COVID restrictions limiting live performance work over the past 12 months, Simon said that for the first time in years he had a bit of time up his sleeve, which he was happy to put towards working with the Maleny Players who will be performing his cabaret show ‘Secrets’ at the end of July.
Simon has written and will direct the production. He said that while writing the script he found the intriguing theme of secrets allowed a lot of material to be explored. However, after 40 years of writing, he was able to put together a script relatively quickly.
“What I have found is that as you get older you have more faith in your abilities and you can use your acquired skills and knowledge to back yourself and not spend time sweating over the small stuff as you know what works and what doesn’t,” Simon said.
He describes the production as a pastiche of comedy, drama and intrigue and said it would be performed by the Maleny Players alongside some members of the Suncoast Repertory Theatre.
When asked, Simon said there were many things he enjoyed about working in theatre, and not just the great parties and getting up late!
“I love that in live theatre we essentially have a contract to pretend with the audience in real time, and if the performance is good enough then the audience will be drawn into pretending along with us,” Simon said.
“I also love the adrenaline of live performance and the heady mix of excitement and fear!”
‘Secrets’ will feature a cast of about 20 and, according to Simon, it promises to be a paella of fun and fury!
The production will run for four performances at the Maleny Playhouse from Friday-Sunday, July 30-August 1, with sessions at 7.30pm on the Friday and Saturday nights, and matinee performances at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Photo: Maleny writer, director and actor Simon Denver