Purdon takes pride in Privilege role
Ted, a slick Manhattan stockbrocker, is (thankfully) nothing like Jonathan Purdon, the Toronto actor who portrays him in Theatre North West’s production of Privilege.
However, you can tell that Purdon is enjoying his new role, slipping into his new character’s snakeskin.
“Ted’s smart, he’s slick. He’s the kind of person that achieves things using his charm and charismatic personality – he gets high on it,” says Purdon who spoke with the Free Press Wednesday between rehearsals.
Like many actors, Purdon was bitten by the acting bug in high school. His drama instructors apparently saw in him a “natural talent” – one that has never let him down in finding work in his competitive world. His debut role was ambitious and very unforgettable, he admits.
“We did a group piece that was adapted from To the Light House [1927 play by Virginia Woolf] set to music by [Amercian composer] Philip Glass and we took it to New York.”
TNW audiences may remember Purdon in his role as Leonard in Corker.
Purdon loves his craft and working in theatre. He also writes. However, his versatility as an actor gives him opportunities in television and film as well. Recently, he appeared in Murdoch Mysteries, Mayday and Flashpoint. And he plays the lead role in a new, short film, Paranormal Radio (in the soon-to-be-released remake of Robocop).
Blessed with a quick wit, sense of humour, engaging smile and measure of charm (he does have some positive traits of his character Ted), it’s not surprising Purdon enjoys being in a comedy like Privilege with great one-liners.
However he’s taken on other roles including Flavius in Julius Caesar and Clifford Bradshaw in Cabaret (Sudbury Theatre Centre).
Purdon says he’s happy to be staying in Prince George for the run of the play (though he hates leaving his girlfriend behind in T.O.) because there’s lots of snow which gives him a chance to get in some favourite winter sports.
“I love cross-country skiing and I love winter,” he says. “Really, one of the reasons I love doing theatre is because I get to experience what it’s like living in places like Prince George and other parts of the country.”
It may be cold in the north but Purdon finds the audiences here very warm.
“When I was here last time in 2003 to play in [TNW’s] Corker, I remember the audiences were very warm and receptive.”
Theatre North West’s production of Privilege by playwright Paul Weitz runs from Feb. 7 to 27 at TNW at Parkhill Centre. Evening performances start at 8 p.m. Sunday matinees 2 p.m. Feb. 17 and 24. Tickets are available at Books and Company or by phone order at 250-614-0039.