Aspiring young actor Ben Oakes has taken the greatest leap of his short career in a role he hopes will lead to bigger and better future opportunities.
Ben recently completed his debut season at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre in its production of Cloudstreet, which is based on the novel by Australian writer Tim Winton. He played the role of Fish, the disabled son of the Lamb family.
Ben, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, was cast after a nation-wide search for an actor with a disability to play the role. It follows his earlier work with Geelong’s Back to Back Theatre.
Ben appeared in the production alongside well-known actors including Guy Simon, Natasha Herbert Greg Stone, Alison Whyte and Geelong’s Bert LaBonté. He said it was “an amazing experience”.
“Everyone has been so nice,” Ben said. “I’ve enjoyed it immensely.”
Ben will travel with the production to Perth in 2020 and hopes to secure an agent to help him find other acting work. He is well known at Cloverdale, Rosewall and Norlane community centres where he has been a volunteer in various programs and at events.