“It is unusual for me to sit in the audience. But you’ve got to keep in character cause people will often have a look see what bits you like, what you’re watching.”
In his third interview Phil talks about being part of the audience, the challenges of tech week and the audience reactions.
Time: 4 minutes 6 seconds
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Transcript of Podcast
Phil Brooks: Welcome to the Adopt an Actor podcast series. This is the third interview with Phil Daniels who is playing the role of Citizen in The Knight of the Burning Pestle.
So how was tech week? I guess that was the first time you were all together in one space?
Phil Daniels: Well tech week was good, you know everybody got their costumes, and there was lots of frivolity because everybody looks silly and funny. You know great costumes. The giant Barbarossa was fantastic. So there was a bit of fun to be had. I think it was difficult because it’s a small space, and there’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and getting on and off, and we’d never run the show so... You know the day before we did it was the first time we ever went the whole way through it. Or even half the way through it. So tech week was tough. But it was what we had to do, what we needed to do. If we’d have had more time we’d have run it a few more times.
PB: And how was it seeing the play come together as one entity?
PD: it was great to do. But it was a bit of a shock that it was sort of three hours long.
PB: Yeah. You mentioned your costume, what is that like and does it help with your character?
PD: Yeah they’re great. I’m wearing sort of old fashioned knickerbockers and tights and a silly hat and a doublet. So its fine you know. We all look fantastic. The design is great on this show so everybody looks great.
PB: And the music as well, is that quite important to your production?
PD: The music is fantastic. You know, Nigel Hess has written a brilliant score, and the museo’s play about 15 or 20 instruments each. I mean, and there’s a hell of a lot, it’s like a musical as well, there’s what 1 2 3… I mean one character Merrythought sings his whole part. And there are other songs, so it’s a bit of a musical. It’s got everything. It’s like a big cake.
PB: Are there any scenes that are still proving quite difficult to play or unlock, or get quite the reaction you want?
PD: Um, not really. There’s times when there is so much going on it’s a bit difficult for the audience to concentrate on what me and my wife are saying. But apart from that it’s fine, yeah.
PB: How is it now you do have an audience, are they reacting in ways you expected?
PD: No, they’re very pro - I thought they might be anti the citizen a bit, but they’re very pro, they’re very pro what we get up to. Even though we get on their nerves as well, you have to play a very delicate line of not getting on the audiences nerves and taking them along with you on your journey, which we seem to be doing which is nice.
PB: How is it being in the audience, is that quite unusual for you?
PD: It’s very unusual for me. And I’ve never watched a play so many times in all my life. Because I have to sit through the whole play, so on a matinee day, I watch six hours of theatre, of the same play with my neck croaked up in the air. I mean obviously I’m joining in with the play cause I’m in it but it is, is quite a long, it’s quite a feat of concentration. Because you have to keep in character, you’ve got to keep doing it cause people will often have a look see what you’re up to, what bits you like, what you’re watching. So you can’t drop off or anything like that.
PB: Have your initial impressions of the play changed since you started rehearsals and of your character as well?
PD: I’m not sure. The initial thought of my character is hasn’t changed. I thought it would be a bit like it is. But the play is funnier than I thought it would be. I mean I thought it would be funny, I think it’s a funny play, but it has worked out, funnier than I thought it would be.
PB: Brilliant thank you very much.
PD: That’s alright.