Geordie Johnson & Irene Poole star in the brilliant & beautiful new work from Kate Cayley: ‘The Bakelite Masterpiece’ – on stage in our Extraspace until November 30th. Here they talk about the show, their experiences on stage, and working together at Tarragon.  


Q. Have you worked together before?

Irene: No, never.

Geordie: We have a lot of very close mutual friends and had met very briefly, but never worked together.


Q. What is your favourite scene in the show?

Irene: The scene with our fight, when I am wearing the blue dress. All the stuff that I’ve held inside, both in the scene and in my life prior to it, all comes out. That’s an exciting thing to play.

Geordie: The first scene at the table. I love the interplay between our characters and the guessing games.


The Bakelite Masterpiece, Geordie Johnson & Irene Poole, Photo by Cilla von Tiedemann


Q. What attracted you to this play / these roles?

Geordie: I was totally drawn in by the writing and the subject matter. Not often in a contemporary play do you get to speak words, sentences, and ideas like this. I also had not worked with Richard before, and was very thrilled when Irene came on board.

Irene: Kate’s writing. She is a beautiful writer. Also Geordie was already involved when Richard asked me to be a part of it, and I was excited for the chance to work with Geordie and Richard.


Q. What is one thing you can’t live without?

Irene: Salt. And my family.

Geordie: Love.


Q. What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on stage?

Geordie: I was doing a tour of a show in the Middle East in Jordan, playing the role of Petruchio, and we were told that we could do the kiss scene on the lips and that would be fine. When we did it, this bizarre yelling and shouting came from the balcony, and eventually that person had to be escorted out of the theatre. There were also guards with machine guns at all the doors on that tour; it was a very different place to perform theatre.

Irene: I was once in a show at the Factory theatre, and we were acting out a scene and all of a sudden we heard another voice in the scene. We couldn’t tell where it was coming from. It turned out someone had come in through the backstage and hid behind the stove on the stage, and was answering questions as part of the scene. It was a very strange, eerie moment.


Q. What is the best part about working at Tarragon?

Geordie: The opportunity to do Canadian scripts, and sometimes new ones.

Irene: There seems to be a level of commitment to the work here that’s inspiring. People who work here also seem very happy and content; there is an air of respect and dignity that I appreciate. And right now it feels like a very exciting time to be a part of this theatre.


The Bakelite Masterpiece, Geordie Johnson & Irene Poole, Photo by Cilla von Tiedemann

Photos by Cylla von Tiedemann