INTERVIEW | Wayne Hope is BACK IN VERY SMALL BUSINESS
It’s been ten years since we were in the world of Don Angel (Wayne Hope) in the ABC comedy series Very Small Business.
He gained a dedicated following for his ‘questionable’ business practices and an avoidance of both tax and intimacy. In some ways, he was an ‘every man’ that many could relate to.
And now Don is back in an eight episode ABC series; BACK IN VERY SMALL BUSINESS. Ten years on; and his World Wide Business Group is staffed by ethnically diverse, gender-fluid and psychologically damaged people, who’re all hired on government subsidies.
For creator, writer and star Wayne Hope, it’s good to be back as Don in the ethically corrupt world of the self-made man.
“It’s a show we wanted to come back to. We loved it and loved what it was exploring and we always felt that it was a little short with six episodes originally.”
It was really great creative opportunity to do something ten years later because story-wise, it allowed us to contemplate what has happened in those intervening ten years.
We’re calling this a ‘re-imagining’ rather than a season two because it’s not directly following on from the first time around.”
In what’s a bit of a family affair, Hope’s wife Robyn Butler shared writing duties and directed the series, while their daughter Molly Daniels is also a returning character.
“She was 12 when we shot the original. Back then; she was just my daughter, who I made to come to work and act.
Now she’s an actor on her own right. Everyone else is new.”
Those ‘new’ cast members include the legendary Robyn Nevin, who also involved in ‘Upper Middle Bogan’ and Roman Hadley-Lund.
Hadley-Lund plays the daughter of Gyngell’s character Ray, who in the intervening years has transitioned into a man. Hope says it was important that they find the right actor to take it on.
“We went out to the trans community to cast that role and this is Roman’s first acting job.
That was fantastic. He’s done an amazing job. It also gives Don something interesting to be confronted with.”
While it was 10 years between seasons, Hope laughs at the idea of another long wait between drinks.
“We had to answer, as writers, what did happen in the intervening years?
We thought it was more interesting to perhaps find something potentially opposite what you first might think.
At the end of this series, we have left ourselves plenty of opportunity to keep it going in interesting ways.”
In the meantime, Hope and Butler are working on a kids comedy project for Netflix and the ABC called The Investigators.
“We wanted to make a kids show that didn’t annoy parents. It’s a little Like Little Lunch meets Sherlock.
We’re making 40 15-minute episodes. It’s a five-month shoot that will take us through to next year. It’s going out on Netflix worldwide and the ABC here."