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County actors will paint The Regent ‘Red’

– F/12 photo.

Known for his voice and ‘Saturday Shenanigans’ at 99.3 County FM, Pat Larkin is no stranger to The County’s theatre scene.

He’s worked with a number of community theatre groups in the area for years, taking on a dynamic range of roles and honing his craft.

Now he’s taken on one of his greatest challenges yet, portraying famous painter Mark Rothko in Shatterbox Theatre’s production of six-time Tony Award winner ‘Red’ by John Logan.

In Red, Larkin plays Famous Master Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko – one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

He was known for his abstract colour field paintings and was offered the highest commission in art history at the time to paint his Seagram’s Murals, a series curated for the famous Four Seasons Restaurant. He painted the works, but eventually turned down the offer.

“This play brings us right into the heart of Rothko’s studio, during that time period,” said Georgia Papanicolaou, director. “We get an intimate look at who he was and what inspired his work. He was a huge personality, full of ideas, he could be overbearing at times, and difficult to work with, but he was an inspiring man, whose past lingered in every brush stroke. It’s a riveting play, that has you hanging on every single word and Pat is absolutely incredible as Mark Rothko.”

Papanicolaou notes when the opportunity came to audition, Pat immediately jumped on it.

“I received a phone call from Pat. He was visiting his son in Toronto and I wasn’t able to take the call, but there was a message on my phone that said ‘G just read the first page of the script. This is incredible I’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time. I’m in.” said Papanicolaou.

“We had worked together before on a production of The Drawer Boy in 2014. I was directing and he was playing Angus. We took it to festival and we both won awards for our work. It sparked this wonderful theatrical relationship and we knew that we wanted to work together again on the right project, and five years later here we are.”

Jacob Dey another County actor, takes the stage as Rothko’s assistant Ken.

“Ken threatens Rothko’s established ideas about art and life. He’s of the new generation, where pop culture is just starting to hit the arts scene, which causes a stir and plenty of tension for Rothko.

“These two battle it out on stage, it’s a delicate tango at first, with Ken trying to figure out how to navigate around Rothko’s personality, but then the darts come out and the words and paint start to fly. It’s absolutely gorgeous to watch,” said Papanicolaou.

Jacob is currently studying theatre at Queen’s University. He is a PECI graduate and has also worked on a number of productions in the area.

He has worked with both Georgia and Pat before as all three were in the production of The Rocky Horror Show a few years ago.

He has also been directed by Georgia in the past and he is thrilled to be back on stage at The Regent Theatre and to be working on this compelling drama.

“For those that have seen Jacob before, they are going to be absolutely amazed at his performance of Ken. He has grown so much as an actor, I’m completely blown away with his professionalism and characterization. It’s an absolute joy to work with him and watch him come to life on stage.”

RED is playing at the Regent Theatre Sept. 27-29th. Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5p.m. Tickets are available for purchase online at The Regent Theatre.org or at the Regent box office.

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