THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT has been a hit among families, and Adrian Churchill plays the part of Mr. McGregor with “comic verve” according to The Dallas Morning News. Adrian has been working very hard to keep Peter away from singing vegetables, and we were able to visit him briefly about his co-stars.
SW: When we watch PETER RABBIT, it seems that you are all interacting so naturally. Adrian, what is it like being the only human on stage?
AC: I love being the only human on stage with these puppets. It feels like I’m living in my own childhood’s imagination. Peter Rabbit is a very real foe and gives me quite a workout. The main thing to remember as a performer is to treat the puppet as a fellow actor on stage. Always address the puppet, not the puppeteer.
SW: Is this your first time co-starring with a puppet?
AC: I have been onstage with puppets before (in a production of PINOCCHIO) however that show had other humans in it.
SW: We have all experienced the magic of Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts from the audience. Can you talk about the magic of the puppetry from your perspective?
AC: What I find magical is watching the show from backstage. The sheer traffic madness is amazing to see and the commitment of each puppeteer to their own character is fantastic. What a great group of theater artists they all are.
SW: We know the role is physically for the puppeteers backstage. What physical requirements for this role have been very unique for you compared to other roles?
AC: This has been a very demanding show for me physically. I’m a big round guy and I run and run and run after that rabbit only to be interrupted by two (out of breath) songs that I sing.
SW: What is one of your favorite things about the show?
AC: I must say that B. Wolf’s little operetta score to this show is just so wonderful! It has a depth to it both musically and lyrically that you just don’t see much of these days. It is both detailed and full.
Adrian, Peter and Peter’s rabbit family will be romping through the garden through April 5. On Easter Weekend, the Easter Bunny will be on hand to greet families and grant each child their own candy-filled egg. We hope you’ll make plans to come see the entire cast soon!