Seth Peake will play Eugene in St Paul's production of 'Grease: The Musical' by Mark Hamilton

Grease – Cast Q&A – Jan and Eugene

In the first of a series of cast Q&As, we chat to Hannah Mayer who plays pink lady Jan, and Seth Peake who plays school "nerd" Eugene, in Grease: The Musical. Keep an eye on our Facebook page as we continue to post cast interviews in the lead up to the show's debut on Sunday 30 June.
Hannah Mayer will play Jan in St Paul's production of 'Grease: The Musical' — Image by: Mark Hamilton

Name: Hannah Mayer
Year: 13
House: Harington

Which character do you play?
Jan.

In a sentence or two, sum up who your character is in the context of the story:
Jan is a member of the Pink Ladies and has an extremely quirky personality. However, her enthusiastic and bubbly character falters as she develops a slight weakness for a certain boy named Roger, a member of the T Birds.

What do you like most about playing this character?
What I like most about my character is that she doesn't have a care in the world with what people think of her. She isn't afraid to show off her quirkiness to others.

Have there been any challenges taking on this role?
The accent has definitely been a personal challenge for me, knowing which vowels to say longer or not say at all. It brings a special touch to my lines and the play as a whole.

Grease is best known for its catchy musical tunes, do you have a favourite song?
The song Magic Changes is one of my favourite songs from the show – how the awkwardness of Doody from the beginning transforms into a catchy, impressive song, which leaves the rest of the T-birds speechless.

If you were a high school student in the 1950s, which Grease character would you most relate to?
I would most likely relate to Jan, we share the same bubbly, quirky personality and like her, I’m not scared to show off who I really am.

Is this your first stage show/musical or have you performed before?
This will be my third musical I have taken part in. I was firstly a member of the orchestra which performed the music for the St Paul’s musical Jekyll and Hyde in 2017, playing one of the keyboards. Last year I had the great opportunity of playing the role of Brooke Wyndham in the successful production of Legally Blonde, a famous fitness trainer who ends up getting blamed for the murder of her husband.

Who do you look up to (as an actor/singer/performer)?
Robert Downey Jr inspires me immensely. Not only because of his brilliant acting skills in a variety of different characters, but that even though he had a troubled phase during his life including drugs and prison, it didn't stop him from becoming one of the best actors we have in the entertainment world today. It just shows that no matter the circumstances you are in, with determination you can always better yourself and become the person you choose to be, not letting past choices make up who you are.

Do you have plans to continue with any performing once you leave school?
Unfortunately, my plan after St Paul’s sways away from the performing arts. However I am so incredibly thankful to have had the opportunities that St Paul’s has given me to really shine in the talents that I have been given.

Is there anything additional you would like to share about your experience so far being involved in this year’s school production?
Even though the cast this year is small, each student is incredibly talented and with the help of dedicated teachers, we all can't wait to blow the audience away with what we can do.

Seth Peake will play Eugene in St Paul's production of 'Grease: The Musical' — Image by: Mark Hamilton

Name: Seth Peake
Year: 13
House: Fitchett

Which character do you play?
Eugene Florczyk.

In a sentence or two, sum up who your character is in the context of the story:
Eugene is the classic school nerd, here for the entertainment of the T-Birds to throw around and bully, but also to add a bit of quirkiness and comedy to the storyline.

What do you like most about playing this character?
What I like the most about playing my character is how much fun I get to have with playing someone who is totally opposite to myself and diving into a new world of acting I have never done before. Being a comedic character is also heaps of fun, as I get to be the one that is always fun and makes people laugh.

Have there been any challenges taking on this role?
What I think has been most challenging about taking on this role is how he is the complete opposite to my personality, I am a loud big personality that is up to anything and Eugene is this small little afraid boy who very quiet and scared. But this being a challenge has also helped me have more fun exploring a whole new side of myself.

Grease is best known for its catchy musical tunes, do you have a favourite song?
I would have to say the song 'Born to hand drive' would have to be my favourite song as we as the cast get to bop around to the music and do some cool and crazy dance moves.

If you were a high school student in the 1950s, which Grease character would you most relate to?
I think if I were a high school student in the 1950’s I would most likely be like Sonny (from the T-Birds) as he is a big personality that seems to have heaps of fun and is always involved with friends and that’s what I like to do.

Is this your first stage show/musical or have you performed before?
No this is the fourth show I have performed in. My first two were 'Annie get your gun' and 'Fidler on the roof' at Southwell School and last year I was in 'Legally Blonde' here at St Paul’s.

Who do you look up to (as an actor/singer/performer)?
I look up to Eddie Redmayne as a performer as he has showcased many of his talents in shows and movies he has done from Les Misérables, The Danish girl, The theory of everything and Fantastic beast and Where they come from.

Do you have plans to continue with any performing once you leave school?
Yes, I do plan on continuing on with the performing arts once I leave school, either in shows or backstage, it is a love of mine that will never die.

Is there anything additional you would like to share about your experience so far being involved in this year’s school production?
I think this year’s show will be one to remember as we have an amazing cast filled with talent and enthusiasm and since most of the cast is Year 13, we want to end our last school show off with a bang.


GREASE hits the stage at Southwell School Performing Arts Centre June 30 – July 4.

Snap up your tickets here.


Image by: St Paul's Collegiate School