Liam Jacobson is one of the stars of Massive Company’s The Island. The new play sees six young performers share tender and funny stories as they navigate their way through what it means to grow up on islands. It’s playing at Mangere Arts Centre before heading to Stirling, Scotland, for the National Theatre Scotland’s Exchange Festival.

We caught up with Liam ahead of the Auckland season of The Island.


How would you describe The Island?

The Island is our ideas around living in NZ and in the world. It is about who we are and who/what we carry with us.


What’s the most interesting thing about your character?

The awesome thing about our show is that we mostly play ourselves or versions of ourselves. All the individual pieces that string together to make The Island are our own responses and views.


What do you hope audiences will take away from the play?

Hopefully the audiences will find themselves reflecting and dreaming around their own journey so far. Also that they get to know who we are and (particularly for the overseas audience) what New Zealand is to us.


You’re also studying at University of Auckland – where would you like to be in five years?

To be honest, I don’t really know – I’m still trying to figure it all out! Hopefully, I’ll be travelling the world with friends and making new ones.


What is it about theatre that you love most?

I love the truth and the play. A great piece of theatre will always have a truth (a genuine connection) between the actors and with the audience and a sense of play with them. Also, the feeling of standing on stage with a live audience is really powerful and brings out so much from within you.


If you could collaborate with or learn from anyone, who would it be?

At the moment, I am inspired by Rupi Kaur‘s poetry, art and storytelling – so I would have to say her. She’s got this beautiful way of letting you know and feel so much with even a few words.


Would you recommend Massive to other young Kiwis, and why?

YES! Massive works extremely hard, with great vitality and play. It provides so many opportunities (like this trip to Scotland!). It is a home as well as a theatre company and one I’m proud to say that I’m a part of.


What’s your advice to young Kiwis interested in acting?

Be curiously engaged. Watch as many shows as possible, talk to actors and directors, find and go to workshops (Massive runs these for free throughout the year), dance in front of your mirror, and sing in the shower. Love to perform!


The Island is on at Mangere Arts Centre from June 28 to July 1. Get 30% off your tickets by quoting tearaway when booking online. Offer available until June 26.