Meet the Cast of Doris and Ivy in the Home – Ian Deakin as Arthur Beech

Ian Deakin is making his Lighthouse debut in Norm Foster’s Doris and Ivy in the Home, on stage in Port Dover from May 22 to June 8 and in Port Colborne from June 12 to 23. He’s worked at Stratford Festival in a number of productions, and state side in productions on New York and Chicago stages. We chatted with Ian about what roles mentors played in his career, what drew him to the character of Arthur, and how he sees the role of theatre in today’s society.

Ian Deakin as Arthur Beech

Lighthouse Festival (LF): What role did mentors play in your career?

Ian Deakin (ID): I was lucky enough to have as my mentors some of the Theatre worlds acting royalty. John Neville, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Tony Randall, Len Cariou, to name a few.  Watching observing, listening and being encouraged and nurtured by any mentor is vital to a young actor hoping to make it in this business, and have any chance of a lengthy career. Unlike the instant gratification world surrounding much of our society now, actors must be willing to adapt. 

(LF): What drew you to this character in Doris and Ivy?

(ID): I’ve known playwright Norm Foster for decades, and have appeared in several of his productions. My character in “Doris and Ivy in the Home “ is an eccentric and heartfelt role, but essentially fulfills the playwright’s promise of lots of laughs too. And Norm has been serving up his comedy style from the very beginnings of his long and prolific career, much to the delight of audiences across Canada and around the world. 

(LF): How do you see the role of theatre in today’s society?

(ID):  Live performance is a fragile art form, and we could see that when our whole industry shut down for three years during the pandemic. We rely on an audience for our existence. It is returning  like a phoenix  from the ashes, but it is different, and will continue to evolve moving forward. We continue to fight against film and television, and for a minority of the general public’s hard earned entertainment dollar.

(LF): How do you balance personal life and the demanding schedule of theatre productions?

(ID): Life in live theatre can be difficult. You have to sacrifice home life for much travel, low wages, constant rejection, short contracts, and you are only as good as your last performance. But you make a career doing the job you love, and that is worth all the hardships that may come your way. 

(LF): What advice would you give to aspiring theatre actors?

(ID): If  have any advice for young actors, make sure you get your training before you take to the stage. Pay your dues, and don’t think stardom is either entitled or the goal. Experiencing the joys of collaboration to produce a well crafted play in truthful storytelling is what will give you the most reward.