Jack Bence, well known to TV fans as Grayson from Bad Education, plays a rookie cop in One Minute, Simon Stephens’ fragmentary play about a child’s disappearance. The second offering at the Cotswolds’ new Barn Theatre, after the wildly successful inaugural production of The Secret Garden, One Minute starts performances in Cirencester this Saturday (19 May 2018). Catch up on our interview – and then get booking!
A child goes missing, vanishes into thin air, leaving a tender, fragmentary play about the inarticulacy of grief. One Minute is a disquieting portrait of lives that are united in the single moment it takes for a child to disappear. The play follows several connected characters through their struggles with Daisy Schults’ disappearance: the two policemen investigating the disappearance; Daisy’s mother Anne; and Marie Louise, a woman who believes she glimpsed Daisy after she had been separated from her mother.
Robert (Jack Bence) is new to the police force, and his enthusiasm for the case is keener than that of his cynical colleague Gary. Mary Louise begins a strange friendship with a woman who knows Gary from the café where she works. Anne’s life has stopped: she wants to know when ‘missing’ becomes ‘presumed dead’.
Bence is joined in the five-strong cast by Rebecca Crankshaw, Sarah Hanly, Gary Summers and Sophie May Wake. One Minute. The production is directed by Barn artistic director Iwan Lewis and designed by PJ McEvoy.
Talking to… Jack Bence
Tell us about your character.
Robert is a rookie police officer. He is young and enthusiastic but very new to the situation he finds himself in. It starts to grind him down.
What attracted you to One Minute?
The writing. Simon Stephens is a phenomenal writer and to get the opportunity to work on another one of his plays was something that really excited me.
You regularly work on both stage and screen. What do you enjoy most about each medium?
The buzz of a live audience is great. Hearing them laugh or feeling the tension in the room from what you’ve created onstage is a wonderful feeling. You get to be more naturalistic in front of a camera and I love the process of being on a shoot. I enjoy both sides of the coin.
We noticed you’ve worked with the Shitfaced Shakespeare company. What’s it like being drunk on stage? Would you recommend trying that in One Minute?
Being part of Shitfaced was one of the most ridiculous and enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had onstage. The company is made up of some of my best friends. To have the freedom to dick about on stage and know you can’t get in too much trouble for it is joyous. Sure, we can try it for One Minute, if you like, but someone might cry or perform a sexy dance at an usher. On your head be it.
What do you think of the new Barn Theatre?
I love the Barn. Everyone involved is so driven and passionate and just wants to produce the best work possible. As for Cirencester, I’m a big fan. I love the town centre. Everyone says hello to you, which as a Londoner, at first I found quite disturbing, but you get used to it. Everyone is lovely and I really enjoy the fact there are more little dogs than shops, people and blades of grass combined.
One Minute runs from 19 May to 16 June 2018 at The Barn, 5 Beeches Road, Cirencester GL7 1BN. Performances are Mondays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced £14-£28. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
The producers behind the 5-star show ‘The Secret Garden’ bring you ONE MINUTE by Simon Stephens. Playing 19 MAY – 16 JUN.
Jack Bence is DC ROBERT BANKS
— Barn Theatre (@Btheatreciren) May 12, 2018