Beulah Koale: Dramatic Stamina
Rugby. It’s got a lot in common with theatre, only the players are unlikely to admit it. When Beulah Koale was growing up in Otara, life revolved around the game.
In one memorably dull school holiday when he was 16, he attended a drama workshop led by youth theatre group Massive Company. “I never wanted to do acting,” he says, “I thought it was just standing and talking, but we were being so physical it felt like I’d done a training.”
You can tell someone takes exercise seriously when they refer to it as training, and it’s clear that Koale does — he’s ripped. Three days into rehearsals for Silo Theatre’s production of The Events, and his daily workout has been disrupted. “I feel jittery and itchy to train, but all my energy has been poured into theatre.”
Koale’s role requires stamina; he plays 10 characters in the story of a choir leader (Tandi Wright) who experienced a horrific event she has yet to process.
Scottish playwright David Greig wrote the play in response to the Anders Behring Breivik massacre in Norway in 2011. Like the original production, Silo’s version will feature a different community choir each night; the choirs learn the music but hear the plot for the first time with the audience. “It’ll keep the ball up in the air,” says Koale. “I’m hoping that some disaster will happen on stage. It puts everyone on their toes, and I love that.”
When it comes to his own career, though, Koale, now 23, has everything mapped out: “I did a five-year plan about four years ago, so next year, I will put together a showreel and go and show it off overseas.”
He’s already appeared in several films, TV shows and plays, though he says he doesn’t really hang out in the acting world. “I’m a naturally shy person. I don’t go out to watch theatre, I usually just stay at home and watch rugby.”
The Events, Q Theatre, September 3-26, silotheatre.co.nz