Published on April 13th, 2019 | by Biz Books

The Biz Interview: Sarah K. Harlow and Malcolm Stead

The countdown is on to the Vancouver opening of the new play Mal and Cara – written and directed by Clive Scarff.

We spoke to the show’s two leads – Sarah K. Harlow and Malcolm Stead – to find out more about the show and about them.


Can you start by telling us a little bit about you and your involvement with “Mal and Cara”?

Sarah K. Harlow: I’ve always loved acting and decided to pursue it more seriously, much later in life, after we adopted our daughter. “Mal and Cara” is the first play I both produced and acted in. It’s been a bit of a learning curve. I play Cara.

Malcolm Stead: I grew up in England, living in a teeny tiny small humble village (population 500) where we all lived inside of hills, had big feet, and drank a lot of tea. 12 years ago, my talents as a Bridge Troll were recognized by a Bridge Troll company in BC (I think it was called TreeLo or something), and they promptly decided to pay for me to move out here and demand that everyone pays their Bridge Trolls – until the current government put me out of work. My involvement in “Mal and Cara” is that I play some guy named Mal – a suave, sophisticated, devilishly handsome, sexy 20* something with an amazing slim, muscular body and a full head of hair.

* (EDITOR: This might be a typo)

What can audiences expect from the show?

Sarah K. Harlow: They can expect an evening of fun and laughter.

Malcolm Stead: They can expect an evening of fun and laughter.  (No, Sarah – im NOT copying you!  Honest!)

What do you find to be the most interesting aspect of your character?

Sarah K. Harlow: Cara is a very strong and smart woman. I love that.

Malcolm Stead: Mal is the most interesting amazing person in the world – as are all people called Mal.  Mals are full of life and charm, and are always fun to be around – and you should always make time to be around a Mal.  In fact – if you ever see a Mal pop up in your online dating site – make that guy a priority to go on a date with – he’s probably going to be awesome, fun, amazing – and the best date you’ve ever had.

Also my character is very modest.

What was your preparation process like?

Sarah K. Harlow: Mostly, I work on the connection with my scene partners, but that’s after I’ve done some script analysis, subtext and inner monologue work.

Malcolm Stead: I tend to go to North Vancouver – find a forest in the middle of nowhere, strip down to my underwear and dance and frolic with the monkeys and baby Sasquatch.

What do you specifically enjoy about acting on stage?

Sarah K. Harlow: I love the instant connection with the audience, and with your castmates. I love taking them on the journey with you and being able to feel that immediately.

Malcolm Stead: Enjoy?  I take this stuff very seriously.

What theatre-related books have been influential to you in your career thus far?

Sarah K. Harlow: I can’t think of any one particular book that has been influential, but I do read a lot of plays.  The most recent ones are “Mothers and Sons”, “A Different Moon”, and “In the Next Room”. I’m currently reading “The Full Monty”.

Malcolm Stead: I remember once going into Biz Books when it was a physical store – i was young, naive and asked the attractive, friendly lady behind the desk what plays she felt suited my “type”.  I walked out with a copy of “Of Mice and Men” and never looked back.

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned in your career?

Sarah K. Harlow: The most important lesson I’ve learned (although probably not fully) is that sometimes you’re not right for the part even though you had a great audition. I’ve seen this more fully being on the other side of the casting process.

Malcolm Stead: Always show up to auditions wearing pants… And don’t bring monkeys!

What other projects are you involved with beyond “Mal and Cara”?

Sarah K. Harlow: We will be working on another original play called “Million Dollar Shot” by Clive Scarff and probably “Barbara’s Wedding”.

Malcolm Stead: I wish i could say I was in a plot to assassinate a certain popular politician (reader : please make your own mind up as to who that is – depending on your political leaning)… But alas, I tend not to be able to think of what I’m going to do tomorrow, let alone what project I’m doing next.  One day I will try to plan further ahead than “do these socks smell?” (does that count as a life goal?).


Thanks to Sarah K. Harlow and Malcolm Stead for speaking with us!

You can check out Mal and Cara at the PAL Theatre from April 18th to April 25th. For tickets, please visit

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