Most performers would admit frustration at being constantly linked with a particular role, but Andrew Benson seems unconcerned.

Mardi Gras audiences will always associate the actor with his alter ego, the musically inclined former bowling club president Aunty Mavis.

As he prepares for a part in a Seymour Centre production of the Stephen Sondheim musical Putting It Together, Benson cheerfully admits he’s not sidelining his signature character.

I spoke to Aunty Mavis the other week about it and she was going to organise a Probus bus trip with the church to come down to one of the Saturday matinees, he laughs.

Benson’s also planning to bring some of Aunty Mavis’s satirical humour to his role as the commentator in Putting It Together, a Sondheim best of that includes songs from Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music and Anyone Can Whistle.

The part is quite comic. I play the observer or narrator character. There are two couples. There’s an older man and woman and a younger man and woman, Benson says.

I am single in the piece and step in and out of the piece.

I suppose my couple is the audience -¦ I facilitate the audience’s understanding of the linking of the songs, because at times there are tenuous links.

What would Aunty Mavis make of the show?

She’s very fond of the work I do, Benson says. [But] she can be harsh at times with the ones she loves.

Putting It Together is on at the Downstairs Theatre at the Seymour Centre from 31 March to 30 April. Book on 9351 7940.

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