"We did that Midnight Matinee, which was a crazy thing! We did the first show and then I went to the roof, had a bite to eat, I got a cup of coffee. I was like, ‘It’s twelve o’clock...I’ve got to do another one!’ Then you get out and it’s full. And it was actually dark, for the first time..."
With just two performances left, Josh looks back on the 'rollercoaster' that has been this production, from Midnight Matinees to mullets and everything in between!
Time: 6 minutes 9 seconds
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Transcript of Podcast
Rona Kelly: So, we’ve just finished a matinee performance of Twelfth Night.
Joshua Lacey: Yes, we have.
RK: And we are joined today by Josh, who is with us for the last time for our Adopt an Actor series. How are you feeling, at this point of the week?
JL: Yes, a bit tired. Tired, physically, which is weird. I’ve done more physical shows than this one, but just the calves and the shin splints are really kicking off. But it’s that last little sprint, so everyone’s jumpy, everyone’s there, everyone’s pushing through. It’ll be a lovely little end of run, I think. Everyone’s happy, audiences have been great. And a good way to finish it on a Saturday night, as well, which is nice.
RK: You said that about other physical shows. What other [ones have you done]?
JL: Well, for example, Imogen last year. A lot of fight scenes, that whole aerial battle. But for some reason, I hardly really do anything in this physical; there’s a little jig, a little dance, but for some reason my legs are kicking off. Maybe it’s old age!
RK: That’s it!
JL: I’m getting there! I’m absolutely getting there.
RK: You’ve got a little grandpa cap on, as well!
JL: I know! That’s because I have a mullet at the moment, haven’t I? That’s why.
RK: It’s not a wig!
JL: It’s not a wig. I wear a wig! I don’t need to, I’ve got one.
RK: You’ve got one already.
JL: I know!
RK: The last time we caught up was just a couple of weeks after Press Night, I think. How has the latter half of the run been?
JL: Yes, you get through that, through that Press Night. That massive rollercoaster is going up and then Press Night hits. Then you just come down and it becomes work, it becomes a job. So you turn up, you do your thing, you go home. But it’s been lovely, because the rep[ertory] we’ve been in, it’s been a really casual kind of contract in a sense. A week off here, a week off there. It’s been really really nice. So by the time you do end up feeling it, you have a nice few days. So it’s been a really gorgeous run. And again, because of the cast, it really is a pleasure coming in to work. Sometimes you can’t say that; sometimes it does feel like a job. But this has been a laugh a minute.
RK: What’s been a favourite moment so far, do you think? A memorable moment when you’ve been like, ‘Yes, yes’?
JL: I liked the Midnight Matinee we did, that whole…I don’t know if we spoke about it beforehand?
RK: Yes, we spoke just before.
JL: Just before. So we did that Midnight Matinee, which was a crazy thing. We did the first show and that first audience (it was a half seven show), and it was incredible. And they were really buzzed up for it, really buzzed up. And I think it was a Friday night, so that was a good Friday night audience. And then I went to the roof, had a bite to eat, I got a cup of coffee. I was like, ‘It’s twelve o’clock...I’ve got to do another one!’ It kind of feels weird. And then you get out and it’s full.
It was actually dark, for the first time. Because we always start the show at half seven, being summertime, it’s not dark. So we’re going out there, to start it. It’s like, ‘Wow, this is what the lights actually look like’, we’ve never had that before. But they were a great little audience, really buzzy. I think everyone had had a few drinks, you know!
RK: Cast included!
JL: I can’t say that! You’ll get me in trouble! No.
RK: This is actually just evidence for HR!
RK: Yes, yes.
JL: There was no drinks at all with the cast, during the performance, at half past two in the morning! No, but there was afterwards! But it was lovely, lovely. And it was a really kind of obscure thing to do. Yes, I think it was a lovely little highlight. You won’t get that anywhere else, I don’t think. I’ve never had it, never heard about it anywhere else.
RK: Adds a little bit of magic to it.
RK: And, since we’re right at the end, what have you learned about Orsino during your time on the show? Because I know we’ve had a bit of a back and forth with Orsino.
JL: Yes, we have. We have. I’ve learnt to just accept him; accept me, really. And my take on it is, obviously, not to everyone’s liking, not that any character is in this world we inhabit. I’ve learnt to love him, because he is, in essence, me in a sense (just a little more exaggerated).
I kind of wish I would have explored a little bit more on the melancholy side of the text. I really do, I wish I broke that. But time ran out and my own inability came through, not to be able to do that. So I went the other way with it. But it’s been an absolute challenge, I’ve cherished and, not despised, but I was afeared of in equal measure, which I suppose is good. I suppose there’s no point coming to work, not feeling something. So that’s what I’ve learnt from that.
RK: And what have you learned about yourself?
JL: Myself...discipline, a little bit. Well actually, no, I take that back. Normally I can really play around. You get into a little bit of the run, Press Night is done a few weeks in, you can start exploring stuff. You can have a little play, start cooking some scenes. But I always find with Shakespeare, maybe it’s the rhythm and how it is and it’s set in the language, it’s hard to play too much, because then that scene might become something else. Do you know what I mean? In a modern language play where you can, I don’t know, not add things, but just…I found with this one, I couldn’t. So what I did in the rehearsal room what I found via Press Night and maybe a little bit afterwards, it’s kind of stuck to that. I don’t know if I’ve enjoyed that or not, because I do like to...not mix things up deliberately, but find something else. And on this one, maybe because of the short contract, I haven't had time to find it. I haven’t enjoyed that, as much. In myself, maybe because I’m too scared to with him. Maybe.
RK: Well, I think audiences seem to have loved it to be fair. I think we’ve got the hashtag #DreamboatOrsino going on Twitter!
RK: It’s something like that.
JL: Dreamboat Orsino!
RK: Dreamboat Orsino.
Thanks to Mary for the transcription of this interview.