Shakespeare's Globe

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“Doing theatre you start out with a play that you can hardly understand, and as you go along it starts to fathom to you what this things about. And they’re much cleverer these plays than they seem to be at first.”
In his final interview Phil talks about his favourite moment of the play, and the challenges of putting the production together.

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Time: 4 minutes 29 seconds

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Transcript of Podcast

Phil Brooks: Welcome to the Adopt an Actor Podcast series. This is the final interview with Phil Daniels who is playing the role of Citizen in the Knight of the Burning Pestle.

So four more shows to go you said, how have the last few performances been going?

Phil Daniels: They’ve been going well really, the last, we’ve really got into a run of it now. We’ve done quite a lot of shows so we’ve had a few days off which is nice, which we’ve never really had before. And we’ve got four shows left and I think everybody is looking forward to doing those and finishing really because it’s been quite a long sort of run.

PB: What would you say the challenges have been of putting this production together?

PD: The challenges have been the mix and match of it all, you know. This being a rather old play that doesn’t, you know, that could be a bit of an old rusty old sort of relic, which we’ve turned into something that, you know, becomes rather funny. And it’s easy to do that, the funny side of it, but there’s quite a bit of pathos in the play as well and that needs, we need to keep on top of that too to make it moving, as well as funny. And I think we’ve achieved that. It’s a long show of an evening; and it has three false endings so you’ve got to make sure that you’re keeping on top of your audience and they are enjoying themselves.

PB: You’re known for your film and tv work, how have you found it compared to doing that?

PD: I know, it’s a different thing doing theatre. I mean, and especially doing some of the classical old theatre, it’s fun because you start out with a play that you can hardly understand and as you go along, it starts to fathom to you what this things about. And they’re much cleverer these shows than they seem to be at first, they’re much more about things that are relevant than things that are irrelevant which I think a lot of television is; its things that are irrelevant and not relevant, and they’re trying to be relevant when they’re irrelevant.

PB: How have you found working in the theatre as well, in that space?

PD: The space is good, I mean obviously I… my experience of the space is going to be different from other peoples because I’m sitting in the audience for the whole play. I mean I do venture on stage to stop the show three or four times in an evening. But on the whole I’m in the audience so it’s an odd place to be, and an odd place to deliver from in the pit. You have to do a lot of craning of the neck to talk to people. I think as long as you’re loud enough in the space it’s a good space to play. It’s not a space – I mean you can whisper in the space but it’s quite tricky space to play, you have to be quite loud.

PB: Is it quite nice that, almost being within the audience yourself and having that engagement with them?

PD: Yeah it’s been an interesting, that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to do it, to have that sort of, to be in the audience, to be with them, them watching us being in a play – there’s so many different plays going on its quite an interesting evening.

PB: You’ve performed in the Globe as well, have you found many similarities between the spaces or -

PD: No not really, it’s just, they’re quite different. There are similarities in that they are both sort of old fashioned in the way you’ve got two doors coming on, and one door in the middle, so you come on you come off… And there’s no sets, as to speak of you know, except what you bring on. So, and that’s obviously an old fashioned thing to do, and I quite like that, that there’s no sort of scenery.

PB: And my final question is, what is your favourite moment in the play?

PD: Well it’s quite interesting, my favourite moment changes quite a bit because I watch it every night. But I would say, the bit I kind of enjoy is, it’s the kid in me, is the giant; coming out and having a fight with the giant. And everything leading up to the giant, the whole bit of the tact, the telling Rafe about the giant and how he knocks peoples teeth out, blinds them, and puts serpents in their ears. I like all that, that’s my favourite bit.

PB: All that sort of fairy tale type

PD: Yeah it’s wonderful.

PB: Great thank you very much.

PD: Pleasure.

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