The actors' special - Dom Bradley

Dom Bradley is a 24 year old actor, singer and #strongmover based on the Gold Coast. He first began acting at the age of 4 in the UK, and after moving to Australia he joined his first community theatre production, an ensemble role in Blood Brothers in 2011.

Since then he’s continued at every chance he could, with acting credits in over 25 community theatre productions around the Gold Coast and Brisbane Area. Highlights include; Kurt Kelly in ‘Heathers The Musical’, Ted Hinton in ‘Bonnie & Clyde’, Edward Lyons in ‘Blood Brothers’, Odysseus in ‘The Penelopiad’, Franz Klineman in ‘Rock of Ages’ and Uncle Frank in the Queensland premiere of the musical adaptation of ‘Little Miss Sunshine’.

Dominic also originated the role of Andrew George Scott (Captain Moonlite) in the inaugural production of ‘The Last Letter of Captain Moonlite’, an original one-act play written by D.L. Gorman and first directed by Bradley Chapman. This production was toured during the 2019 SEQ One Act Play Festival circuit, and at Beenleigh Theatre Group. Dominic was awarded Best Dramatic Actor and Best Actor of the festival. Most recently, Dominic also originated the role of Captain Moonlite in a musical of the same name by Jye Bryant. This was staged at Redcliffe Musical Theatre in its world premiere.

Since then he had the pleasure of assistant directing and playing the role of Mr. Cocker in ROAR Academies holiday production of “Back to the ‘80s”.

When not on stage, Dominic has enjoyed advocating for change with Amnesty International, where he until recently convened the QLD LGBTQI+ Network, a group that fights for improved LGBTQI+ rights both locally and internationally. Additionally Dom is a founding member of ‘Moonlight Ensemble’ and currently serves as the Marketing Director for Beenleigh Theatre Group located at Crete Street Theatre in Beenleigh.

On Tuesday nights you’ll find Dom hosting a regular trivia night with Quizmeisters at The Lucky Squire in Broadbeach.

I have asked him about his process for his role in “Venus In Fur” and the journey through his collaboration with The Drama Merchant. Here are his answers, in his own words:

“I chose to make Thomas American after the first read of the script. The locations referenced seemed to be specific to the states so it seemed to fit. I also found that based on the script he’s intelligent but also has quite a fixed world view, so I gave him a bit more of a scholarly, dry accent and characterisation. He’s definitely someone who fixates on things and also probably takes a bit of pleasure in correcting other people or impressing them with how much he knows.

In terms of similar roles I found him to be a bit similar to another character I’ve played, Uncle Frank in Little Miss Sunshine. Frank was a scholar of Proust and a university professor. They’re both intellectuals, with a wealth of knowledge on specific subjects and with a bit of a penchant towards condescension. However Frank was also gay and starts the play having recently survived a suicide attempt so the similarities end at their academic achievements.

Having a lot of lines was not a new experience, as I’m used to characters like Nick Carraway in the play The Gatsby Experience, or Captain Moonlite in The Last Letter of Captain Moonlite. Both of these characters were narrators and had a lot of lines, mostly monologues, which sets the story. Venus in Fur has been a huge challenge because while it’s the same amount of lines the majority of it is in a conversation between the two characters, which I found a lot more difficult to memorise as it is more disconnected and I can’t ‘map my way through it. The rhythm is dependent on my scene partner, not just me.

I’ve done many plays and musicals, especially community theatre, and have always particularly enjoyed a fun comedic supporting role. I love play acting, as a great deal more thought goes into the nuances behind the characters motivations. Not all musicals, but many, tend to have fairly one dimensional objectives to be achieved. Plays often allow much more room for exploration, and Venus in Fur has been no exception. I’ve enjoyed unravelling the layers, trying to figure out when Thomas is ‘acting’ as Kushemski, versus letting his own desires seep through. And also playing with the idea that he is, at first, uncomfortable and not very good at acting, and settles into it as the show progresses.

Something I’ve loved about this process working with Nathan, Jenna and Barry, is how collaborative it has been. A musical or a play with a large cast and a lot of moving parts often doesn’t have time for input from performers, that’s the nature of the beast, there’s a lot of things to get done and a finite amount of time to get it done in. In this process Nathan and Barry have graciously let us contribute to the process. There are parts of the blocking and lighting design and even costuming that have been at the suggestion of Jenna or myself, and it makes the production as a whole feel like a team effort, and something I can be proud of pouring myself into, as opposed to just my own character.

I was drawn to the role by how much ‘meat’ there was to sink my teeth into. I’d seen a few of Nathan’s plays and always kept an eye on what he has been doing. I’ve noticed that The Drama Merchant tends to take risks and be a lot more creative than other theatre companies around the area. When the opportunity to work with Nathan for the first time presented itself, and in a role that has such great layers and a great arc to it, I jumped at the chance.

Working alongside Nathan and Jenna has been a great experience. They’ve both been a dream to work with. Jenna is a natural talent, expressive and quick on her feet. I’ve loved that she immediately threw herself into the role. She takes risks and encourages me when I do the same. Nathan has been fantastic. From the get go he’s had a vision of how the play should run but has been so open to suggestions and contributions, even encourages it.

We’ve all really built on each other’s ideas. Another fantastic aspect of Nathan is his attention to detail. Down to the sound escape, the location of props, etc, he definitely considers everything and takes our considerations about how things should be on board equally. It’s been a very trust filled environment where we don’t feel afraid to make suggestions and take risks.”

Dom is a very focused and clever actor. He keeps himself busy and likes exploring new areas in theatre., pushing himself and keeping on his toes. I have no doubt his hard work will continue on paying off and his success in this hard industry is a certainty. He is one to watch out for.

Follow his page HERE to keep up to date with his work, whether be it in plays, films, cabarets or kids’ parties.

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