There was a time when actor, Steven Arnold was best known for treading the cobbles of the nation’s most famous street… Coronation Street. The local butcher was either under the thumb (and meat cleaver) of his Uncle Fred or his issue-riddled wives! These days Steven is never happier than when he’s treading the boards, challenging himself with new characters. Chaplin – The Charlie Chaplin Story offer him that very opportunity. I caught up with Steven to find out all about this fantastic new show, which launches its UK tour from Malvern Theatres on 10 June 2016.
Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, Steven. So tell me about the show and what the audience can expect from Chaplin – The Charlie Chaplin Story.
The audience can expect a fantastic experience, it’s very heart-warming at times, it’s very sad at times, there are great musicians in it, great songs, a fabulous cast who all play a number of characters each. It’s one of those shows where you’ll come along and learn a lot about Charlie and his life as well. You’ll find out about his relationship with his mother, his family and his relationship with his first love. It’s just a great show to be involved in.
As you’ve been rehearsing, have you found any one scene to be particularly poignant or is there a particular scene that you really enjoy doing?
I like them all to be honest. I play six different characters so coming on as a different person each time is fantastic and the whole show for me is a great experience.
Were you a fan of Charlie Chaplin before you started working on the show?
I knew about him, I’d seen clips of him when I was a kid and of course he was the biggest star in his time. I’ve done some research on him, now, there’s not much footage on Youtube unfortunately. Being on this show now and learning more about him has meant I’m a massive fan, now.
Have there been any moments in rehearsals that have been particularly poignant given what you know about him, now?
I think when we portray what he went through to get to where he got to is very poignant, he had a rough upbringing, he was passed from pillar to post. He got separated from his mother, he got separated from his brother, they were nearly on the verge of starvation at times. His journey in general is poignant, he knew how comedy should be played and through his whole career he did what he thought was right.
You left Coronation Street in 2010 after a long stint playing Ashley Peacock, how are you finding the difference between screen and theatre acting? Have you got a preference between the two mediums?
Well, since I left Coronation Street I’ve done eighteen stage shows and that was what I wanted to do when I left. I hadn’t been on stage before Coronation Street except for the odd bits here and there, but certainly nothing like I’m doing now. It’s totally different to television and what I’m enjoying most is doing something different all the time. This show is challenging because I play six different people.
What would you say to potential audience members to encourage them to come?
Please come down, it’s a fabulous cast, the show’s been very well put together, it’s a really entertaining show in so many different ways. I can guarantee that people will leave the theatre feeling that they’ve had a cracking evening of entertainment.
Huge thanks to Steven for his time, wishing you all every success with the show, hoping to come and see it at one of the touring venues!