interviewed | Yorick!’s Oliver Delvin

Q Theatre’s Matchbox Season returns in 2018 with Binge Culture’s, Yorick!. Promising to be an experimental, totally unique, and hilarious show about death… as well as a full-on musical with stunning design.

Yorick! is reinventing Macbeth as you know it.

We chat to Music Composer and Performer, Oliver Delvin, ahead of the Auckland Matchbox Season.

What is your role in Yorick!?
I am the musical composer and musician character “Oli” in Yorick!.

How are you preparing for it?
Well, we’ve made all the tunes and just finished our paper tech and packed everything up ready to go to Auckland. So right now I’m doing some much-needed laundry, doing some polishing of the backing tracks, practicing my 5 lines and preparing a few little surprises.

Can you tell us more about the music of Yorick! – have you composed original songs?
The songs, just like the rest of the show, were devised collaboratively. The cast was given provocations, I played some piano and they improvised lyrics and tunes to what I was playing. I took those improvs and shaped them into the musical theatre song form we were going for, and then gave them to Jake Baxendale who arranged them for his hot band of Jazz cats who we’ve recorded into this beautiful backing. In the show, it’s just me on stage playing piano and the cast singing.

Are you a fan of Shakespeare? Do you have a favourite character or play?
I would say I am a keen theatre-goer. I was lucky enough to be taught Shakespeare all the way through high school so feel comfortable enough going to a show. My favourite has definitely been the Bright Orange Walls production of Midsummer Night’s Dream that was put on in the NZ Fringe in 2014. Also, favourite film/stage adaptation/reimagining would have to be West Side Story – huge fan.

You’re a busy man, in addition to your theatre work, you’re also part of a band, Hans Pucket – can you tell us more about that?
We’re a guitar pop band, making pretty thoughtful and sometimes pretty emo songs you can dance to, and we’ve just released our debut album Eczema. You can get it on cassette!

Where would we find you on a Friday night?
If I’m not at a gig or rehearsal, at home making a meal with some friends and probably watching a movie.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Joel has been picking us up to go out to Avalon at 8:00 so I gotta be up! When we’re not doing this my girlfriend works 9 to 5 so I get up when she gets up otherwise I just feel stink. I keep pretty with music and theatre so there’s usually a reason to get out of bed. And when I’m not busy like – oh boy – when all this is over, there’s nothing wrong with having some much-needed rest – am I right?

What’s currently trending for you?
Westworld season 2 is giving me my TV fix. Also, I’ve gotten really into whiskey this year – nothing fancy, just on ice in the evening. Also would love to spend some more time with Samin Nosrat’s cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat. Music-wise I am overwhelmed with the good local stuff that’s come out this year: Womb, Onono, Girlboss, The Beths, Wax Chattels, Estère, Dateline, Being, and Kody and Ruben Neilson obviously forever – great to see them playing together again in UMO.

Catch Oliver Delvin in Yorick! – playing at Q Theatre Tuesday 12 June – Saturday 23 June.  Buy tickets here.