October 05, 2016 - 11:29 AM
TORONTO - "Game of Thrones" actor Michael Condron has no recollection of his Canadian birthplace but his love of the country's national pastime runs deep.
Condron relocated from Toronto to Northern Ireland around the age of two but he's a longtime NHL fan. He tunes in to league games on satellite TV and watches a professional team in Belfast, which once featured retired Canadian star Theo Fleury.
"It comes from my family's time over there," said Condron, who portrayed Bowen Marsh, the first steward of the Night's Watch, on the smash HBO fantasy epic.
"We're a big soccer family, but when my parents moved there, there was no soccer on TV, so my father had to pick up a sport.... He's a big Chicago Blackhawks fan."
Condron is returning to Toronto to showcase his comedic chops in "Graeme of Thrones," a theatrical parody of his hit TV series.
Debuting Tuesday at the Panasonic Theatre, the acclaimed production centres on Graeme (Ali Brice), a diehard "Game of Thrones" fan seeking to adapt his favourite fantasy series for the stage.
Graeme enlists Bryony (Libby Northedge), the girl he used to like at school, as well as his best pal Paul (Condron) to make the project a reality. The challenge? Recreating the sprawling world of Westeros without the same budget, or cast — or performance skill.
"Watching his struggle to pull all of the strings, to keep everything together, to have his vision of the show on the big stage is comedy in itself," said Condron.
"The props, the dance movements, that's all very physical and funny. You don't necessarily need to know what it's in reference to to the show. It would help, but it's certainly not important by any means."
Condron said while there are comic moments in "Game of Thrones," he still finds it "a bit strange" to be a part of the parody, particularly when it came to portraying other members of the Night's Watch onstage.
"I have to, at times, play Jon Snow, Samwell Tarly and Olly," said Condron, a seasoned stage actor, who performs regularly at the Belfast Lyric Theatre.
"At every opportunity, privately and publicly, those guys were so good to me, so welcoming, such fun," he said of the actors Kit Harington, John Bradley-West and Brenock O'Connor.
"We had such a laugh between takes and between days and they're a good bunch of guys who have a sense of humour themselves who will take it — I presume, hopefully — in the spirit that it's meant."
As "Game of Thrones" prepares to air its final two seasons, the 38-year-old is among the throngs of fans awaiting how the story unfolds and ends.
For viewers who haven't watched all of season 6, there are spoilers ahead.
Following the resurrection of Jon Snow, Marsh is among the mutineers sentenced to die by hanging for treason.
"I enjoyed watching people watching it," he said of the Jon Snow storyline. "I'm very proud to have been part of that moment because it was a huge part of TV history, really.
"With the announcement now that it's coming to an end, I think that will just keep people even more hooked. People will not want to miss it. I know I certainly don't want to miss it."
"Graeme of Thrones" runs until Oct. 23.
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News from © The Canadian Press, 2016