Former Home and Away star Jake Speer has weighed in on the producers’ decision to stop having school-aged kids and Summer Bay High on the soap. The young actor, who played Oscar MacGuire from 2013 to 2016, was shocked when he realised there are no more teens living in Summer Bay.
Fans have been begging producers to bring back the school storyline for years now, and Jake is quick to agree. In a chat with Yahoo Lifestyle about his next big career move, the star reminisced on his first major role and explains why producers should ‘bring back Summer Bay High’.
“What is Home and Away without high school kids? The show was built around what it’s like growing up in Australia and all the highs and lows that brings,” he tells us.
The Clickbait star adds that he always ‘loved’ talking with fans who could see versions of themselves in the soap, often ‘facing similar dilemmas’.
“I felt we were having a national conversation about things that really mattered to the people who watched the show,” he explains. “There’s no kids in Summer Bay anymore? Give the people what they want, bring back Summer Bay High”.
‘I’d go back in a heartbeat’
The star’s character was killed off six years ago, but there’s still a possibility that Oscar, twin brother of Evelyn, could make a return. In soap operas, a common trope is for characters to fake their own death or return as a long-lost twin — in Jake’s case, it would need to be a triplet.
While Jake has been busy working on other stage and screen projects, he says that he’d return to the show in ‘a heartbeat’.
“Who could say no to Summer Bay? Although we’d have to get creative about how,” he jokes. “I like [the] idea of a triplet. Who knows how many siblings Oscar left behind when he fled the cult!”
The Kinky Boots Australia star speaks fondly of his time on the show, saying many of the cast and crew felt ‘like family’.
“It was tough to say goodbye, but I am incredibly grateful for my time on the show and all the wonderful memories,” he reminisces.
He’s still close with members of the cast, and had a mini-reunion when he wed high-school sweetheart Leanne Wood in 2021. Former co-stars Philippa Northeast (Evelyn MacGuire), Alec Snow (Matt Page) and Scott Lee (Hunter King) were there to celebrate his big day.
“I see Pip and Alec quite often, as well as Georgie Parker (Roo Stewart) and Shane Withington (John Palmer). Georgie is my ‘stage mum’ and Shane is my sailing guru,” he tells us.
Jake’s exciting career move: ‘Perfect Christmas outing’
While Jake has dipped his toes into all aspects of the entertainment industry since leaving Home and Away, his next big project is a new take on Shakespeare’s A Midsummers Night’s Dream.
The Catch Me If You Can theatre star is taking on the roles as Theseus and Titania as part of Sport for Jove’s 2022/2023 season. The much-loved piece of theatre will be performed at two outdoor venues, and Jake teases that the show will be unexpected and ‘wild’.
“Folks may have visions of cute fairies, love-drunk teenagers and a bloke with the head of [a] donkey, but our production is taking a different approach. It’s a play set in a world plunged into environmental chaos, where marriages are arranged and forced, where people are not free to be who they truly are,” he explains.
The star adds that audiences can expect a ‘confronting’ and ‘hilarious transformation’, in what will be a ‘perfect Christmas outing for everyone’.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed at Bella Vista Farm from December 16-30, and Everglades Gardens, Leura from January 7-22. Tickets can be found here.
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