Homeland TV star Allan happy to set sail for Crucible

SHOW BOAT by Hammerstein,

SHOW BOAT by Hammerstein,

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Homeland actor Allan Corduner has taken a more light-hearted role on stage at the Crucible in Show Boat.

The musical is a far cry from the complicated international politics and espionage of the hit TV show, where Allan plays Israeli ambassador to Germany, Etai Luskin.

Not that it’s plain sailing for his character, Captain Andy Hawks of the Mississippi show boat Cotton Blossom.

He has to cope with losing an actress to the racist laws of the Deep South of the 1880s that banned racially mixed marriages, plus a controlling wife, Parthy Ann (played brilliantly by Lucy Briers).

Allan said: “Captain Andy is a man of the river. This is his whole life. He is like an impresario, taking the show boat up and down the river.”

He has loved learning the score of the show, which was written in the 1920s by the star team of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II.

“There’s romance and tragedy and it’s about something really important, which is why it endures.”

He added: “That is what is so brilliant about this show, it is about something important. The racism it explores means it is a very pertinent time to put the play on now as the world is polarising.”

Allan isn’t surprised that the Cotton Blossom is a place where everyone is welcome and there is no prejudice.

“Theatre folk are always seemingly a little bit ahead of their time in terms of being tolerant. The world on the boat is a different world from the world on the shore.

“It’s a world where, even though the blacks have different jobs, race is not an issue.

“Captain Andy is an inclusive, harmonious sort of man.”

That tolerance extends to his daughter Magnolia falling in love with Gaylord Ravenal, a southern gentleman drifter who ends up becoming an actor on the Cotton Blossom.

“Andy thinks that they’ve got something real. He wants his daughter’s happiness and he’s always prepared to see the best in people.”

Allan has been in a musical set on board a ship before. He was in Titanic on Broadway in 1997. “Six years ago I was also in Hello Dolly in Regent’s Park. That was fantastic.”

Allan has worked a lot in the US and even has a green card work permit. “You’ve got the freedom to work in both countries but you have to pay tax in both countries!”

He filmed an audition scene for Homeland that the producers sent him in his kitchen, then emailed it over.

They loved what they saw and Allan found himself in Berlin, filming the fifth series.

He said star Claire Danes is “tremendous” to work with.

Show Boat is at the Crucible until January 23. Box office: go to {http://www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/ |Sheffield Theatres|click here} or call 0114 249 6000.