Interviews Adapting William Harding

Adapting William Harding

A man in a tawny, ankle-length coat, grey onesie and maroon slippers is asleep on a chair. Piles of books surround him. On such a miserable, rainy day, I am immediately jealous of his situation. William Harding is about to perform Travels around my Room, a production directed by Sylvaine Strike. He captivates the audience from the start. His rich voice and eloquent speech are a treat to listen to. His diction is like a perfectly cooked chocolate lava cake – oozing with decadence.

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William Harding juggles being a writer and performer, appearing in Travels Around my Room and writing Tobacco, and the Harmful Effects Thereof. Photo: Greg Roxburgh.

But Harding is more than an actor. He is a writer. A double-threat.

When he started writing, he attempted to write adaptations rather than originals, because he thought adapting material would be the easier option. He soon realised it was the opposite.

“It’s a lot harder to adapt a story and keep the integrity of the piece,” he says. “You need to give it something that’s new, but to also keep it on the same level.”

Harding pauses for a bit to take a drag of his cigarette. He claims to be awful at discussing his writing process.

“If you use good writing in the beginning then all the work is done,” he offers. “You just have to keep that integrity going and then add a spin to it.”

Despite his coyness, he manages to let his love for writing come through. He lets his cigarette burn out after less than five drags and he smiles with his eyes as he gets on a verbal roll. And this roll is taking him somewhere.

“It’s just about finding what interesting places you can go on the journey of the characters,” he says. “Where you can take them and what suprises there may be.”

Leah Soloman
Cue Student reporter

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