THE two characters of Repertory Invercargill’s production The Last Five Years each have a story to tell.
Cathy, a struggling actress, starts at the end, while budding novelist Jamie tells his from the beginning.
During the course of 14 songs, performers Lauren Payne, Tim Lindsay and the accompanying band convey Cathy and Jamie’s story – they fall in love, marry and divorce during the eponymous five years.
Lindsay said he was excited about the production and how everything was coming together ahead of opening night on Wednesday.
“Kicking off the arts festival as well is a cool thing to be able to say.”
Lindsay, who is from Southland, returned to the region about three years ago after studying at university.
While he said he had performed some ensemble work before with the likes of the Invercargill Musical Theatre, this lead role was a new challenge.
“It’s a full 90 minutes from start to finish for us, so running it is quite intensive.”
While it had been quite difficult, it was also really satisfying, particularly learning everything from scratch, he said.
“I’m really looking forward to being able to put it on.”
He said his character – Jamie – was a great writer who ends up having a lot of success.
Although he meets the girl of his dreams, their relationship begins to falter and he becomes conflicted.
“You’ve got the good and the bad.
“She starts with the tears and I end with the tears.”
Payne moved to Southland about four years ago and is originally from Australia. And, as a neurologic music therapist, she spends a lot of time singing.
Payne said she knew the production from when she was at university studying towards a Bachelor’s Degree in musical theatre and said although it was demanding, it was a really cool musical to sing.
Both the characters were ambitious, she said, and it was a relatable story.
“They both love each other but they love themselves a little bit more, which is a good thing.
“I don’t think it was any sort of lack of love that stuffed up the relationship.”
Although Cathy moved to New York to act, she finds that Jamie begins to have more success than she does.
“She’s sort of fighting with herself as far as supporting him and feeling like she’s not an equal maybe.
“The good thing going backwards is at the end it’s not like a jealous ending split up. She wanted both things to work.”
The off-Broadway musical was written by Jason Robert Brown and is being directed by Phillie Holmes.