Actor Anthony Fagan, part of Proforca Theatre’s ‘family’, reunites with the team behind Feel to play “the most ordinary man in the world” forced to do the extraordinary in At Last. He told us more about the dystopian future drama and how it’s just inches from today’s reality. Time to get booking!
At Last runs from 10 to 22 September 2019, with a press night on 12 September. It’s co-written by James Lewis and Alexander Knott and helmed by Proforca artistic director David Brady with associate director Jess Barton.
A dark, brutal, almost verbatim-style selection of interconnected monologues, At Last tells the “what if” story of the aftermath of ten years of a totalitarian right-wing regime in the UK. It is a searing search for redemption and reconciliation in the rubble of a broken society, whilst questioning who we are when everything that makes us human is stripped away.
The cast for Proforca’s premiere production features Melissa Phillips (Grace), Anthony Fagan (Colin), Gemma Wray (Nikki), Demelza O’Sullivan (Marie), David Angland (Danny), Michael Faulkner (Jack), Malcolm Jeffries (John) and Ciaran Lonsdale (Sam). At Last is accompanied by Hannah Bates‘ response piece At First at select performances.
Talking to… Anthony Fagan
Actor Anthony Fagan plays Colin in At Last at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre, where he is also part of the team as a senior duty manager. He previously played Jamie in Feel for Proforca Theatre, while his other stage credits include Glitter Punch, Romeo & Juliet, Will Power, Our Town and The Jungle Book.
What’s special about working with Proforca Theatre Company?
The special thing is the ‘family’ feel the company has to it. Having worked with Proforca for nearly a year now, I have met so many people who have either been involved in previous projects with Proforca, or are going to be working on the next project – artistic director David Brady is always two steps ahead with his next project – or are even just regular audience members who are fans of our work. Everyone seems to know everyone and there’s something quite nice about that.
What was the highlight from your time with Feel?
For me, it was visiting different venues. We did a mini-tour around the Midlands and two theatres in London. Performing the same show in different spaces was cool as no show was the same! Also, taking that story to different audiences was great.
How do you feel reuniting with the same creative team?
Excited! I trust David, associate director Jess Barton, and writers James Lewis and Alexander Knott implicitly. To take a leap of faith into the unknown with them is a bit of an honour, to be honest.
What did you think when you first heard the idea for At Last?
David approached me with the idea a few months ago, when he was talking about me auditioning for the role. I was instantly drawn to it. It is very different from Feel, and I think quite experimental in its approach.
Tell us about your character.
I play Colin, who is, and I quote from the stage directions before my first line, “the most ordinary man in the world”. He has a boring government job, hates to go out and hates to make a scene. As the play goes on, you find out more about how the job Colin has is actually more terrible than you are first led to believe, and you find out more about his partner, what happens to them and how a set of unfortunate circumstances leads Colin, the most ordinary man in the world, to do something extraordinary.
Could you imagine something like the scenario in the play actually happening in the UK today?
Absolutely. I think what we want the audience to take away from this is that, actually, the reality of the play we’re performing is only inches away from our own reality. Without sounding dramatic, politics right now has gone absolutely mad; At Last reflects a possible, extreme future. Having said all this, I don’t want to scare anyone reading this! I’m sure we’ll be fine!
Why do you think now is a good time to stage At Last?
Theatre has always had an important part in commenting on the current state of affairs, and, although this is set in an alternate reality, I feel the play does comment on some events and topics that have been prevalent over the past few years in our world. Staging it now gives audiences an opportunity to see the very worst of scenarios for our country and planet and open up a dialogue about how we can stop it.
Why should audiences see At Last?
If you’re worried or concerned about the state the world is in right now, you’re not the only one. Maybe we can all have a part in stopping it.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Proforca Theatre has been on a mad journey the last couple of years, and it’s been a privilege to be a small part of it. Taking over The Lion & Unicorn Theatre has been an adventure for us, which hopefully means people can come and create work that is challenging, relevant and important. Support fringe theatre as it’s often where the best things start!
At Last runs at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre, 42-44 Gaisford St, Kentish Town, London NW5 2ED from 10 to 22 September 2019 with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced £12-14. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!