Friday, 11 March 2011

CENTRE STAGE: Cutting-edge actor Chris McFarlane brings his inner fire to the cast of 'Judgement'

ELUSIVE COOL: Chris McFarlane returns to the stage as a charming bad boy.

Prize-winning theatre and film actor Chris McFarlane is no stranger to inhabiting difficult roles in the name of his art. A quick run-through of his professional resume reveals standout stage parts like the monster Caliban in A Tempest (for which he won his second Actor Boy award in 2009) and his explosive alpha-male type in 2010's Appropriate Behaviour, the source of his latest nomination. McFarlane is set to bring much of that fierce commitment and blazing energy to Richard/Antonio, the charmingly villainous bad boy in the crowd-pleasing hit Judgement, which ends its run at New Kingston's Pantry Playhouse at the end of this month.

McFarlane, who replaces Andre Morris, relishes the opportunity to step into another role fraught with challenges. "This is my first time taking on such a role. The hard part is that I only had two weeks of rehearsals," he reveals. So is he concerned that he might not satisfactorily do justice to the role? Hardly. Besides, it's to the actor's advantage that his costars (Dahlia Harris and Deon Silvera) are artists he's swapped lines with on stage before (in works like Concubine? and Jamaica 2 Rahtid) - and share natural, believable chemistry. "I'm never worried about work," says McFarlane. "I'm a challenge lover; I'm turned on by it."

Shortly after his performance in Judgement, McFarlane will turn his attention to Ghetta'Life, the new action-packed Jamaican film, in which he has a starring role. An early screening is scheduled for this week at the Palace Cineplex, Sovereign Centre.

TWO OF A KIND: Chris McFarlane and Dahlia Harris bristle with tension in this scene from Judgement.

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