Discover more from Overthinker
Interview: John Whinfield
A Canberra-based theatre actor, voice actor and writer
John Whinfield is a Canberra-based theatre actor, voice actor and writer. He began acting on stage in 2015 for his high school’s annual musical productions, before branching out to community theatre in 2019. When not performing, John is a part-time student at the Australian National University and studies English and Screen Studies.
What do you love about acting?
I engage with characters a lot when analysing media, and to actively make decisions in how these characters are portrayed to an audience just elevates the experience for me. I love resonating with words on page and bringing whatever I can offer to it, and helping the audience see what I saw in it.
What do you enjoy about playing Edward Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility?
Edward’s a challenging role for me, because unlike some of my previous roles, where I really got to ham it up and go all out, Edward requires a bit of restraint to work in Sense and Sensibility. He’s a quiet, nervous, and very awkward character to play. I’m honestly surprised at how much turmoil I had in figuring out the basics of his character. I wanted to keep it restrained, but to also make his presence noticeable, yet not overpowering, which is something that’s very difficult with quiet characters like him. It’s that challenge that has really made me value the experience of playing him.
What is the best part of being involved in Sense and Sensibility?
It’s got to be the cast. Sense and Sensibility has got a really great cast of actors. They’re friendly, talented, but above all else, they’re really, really funny. Their collective comedic value really shines in this show, and it’s honestly been one of the most fun rehearsal periods I’ve ever had with a cast.
How did you first get into acting?
My mother absolutely adored performing in Canberra theatre back in the day, so when she heard my high school was doing a musical, she encouraged me to go for it. Every year since, I always shot for that annual musical, because it was a fun extra-curricular activity. When I was around 17, I was encouraged by a friend to audition for a show that was being put on by a community theatre company, and so I went for it and landed a role. It was fun, and it was an experience full of very welcoming people. And so far, that’s been the repeat experience for every show I’ve done thus far, and I think that’s what keeps me coming back.
What’s your dream role?
Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead has always been at the top of the list.
What have you been reading/watching and loving lately?
I’ve been enjoying Better Call Saul, Heartstopper, and House of the Dragon. Other than that, I’ve kept myself too busy to really engage with much other media.
What would you like to see more of in Canberra theatre?
That’s a difficult question to answer. I’m very satisfied with the Canberra theatre scene, as it seems to be constantly evolving, and I’ve been seeing some incredible opportunities for actors and directors come up as a result. Additionally, stuff like Canberra Youth Theatre is invaluable in getting the young ‘uns into theatre in more ways than just performance. I suppose the only thing I could ask for is more of it, and that the community really bands together to support these efforts and ensure they thrive!
John is currently performing as Edward Ferrars in Canberra REP Theatre’s production of Sense and Sensibility from 17 November to 3 December 2022.