Metal Rabbit presents Philip Ridley’s Tonight with Donny Stixx at London’s new underground venue, The Bunker, for a limited season from 8 November to 3 December 2016. I caught up with the show’s star Sean Michael Verey to find out more about it.
Tell me about Donny Stixx?
Donny Stixx is a young person who sees the world in a different way from most people. He takes everything for face value. Donny doesn’t aspire to be the best magician in the world, he is the best magician in the world in his eyes.
What was your initial impression of the script?
When I read the script for the first time, my mind was blown! I couldn’t think of a more relevant piece of writing to highlight how a large part of our society has become driven by fame. From purely an actor’s point of view, I had that feeling most actor’s get if they’re lucky enough to be handed such a gem of a piece: pure excitement! Like a kid in a sweet shop. My mind was racing with ideas on how to portray Donny and all the other characters in his life, itching to get in to the rehearsal room!
Was it easy to translate from page to stage?
I think it was quite straight forward to translate from page to stage. We had a clear idea on how we saw Donny’s story play out, and with no props or set of any kind, I was free to move around the space how I saw fit. The main challenge was making sure I was portraying all of the characters correctly, as there aren’t many clues in the script on how they should sound or what they look like, leaving it up to imagination of the actor and director.
Did you have any ideas about what you wanted to bring to the role?
The main thing I wanted to make sure I was bringing to the role was the constant innocence Donny has. For us to believe Donny’s story we must understand that he doesn’t get irony, he has learnt to believe what someone says is always the truth. This then makes the final couple of scenes almost unbearable to witness.
How does the space lend itself to the piece?
I can’t wait to perform this piece at The Bunker. Not only is there more space to play with than we did it in Edinburgh or Soho Theatre, but the layout of the audience is slightly raised from the performance space. So you get this sense that the audience are on top of you looking down. It has a slight court room feel about it. Phillip Ridley described it as “Walking in to a bear pit” and that is just perfect for Donny’s story!
What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?
I would say that seeing Tonight with Donny Stixx and hearing Donny’s story is an experience you most certainly won’t have had before and you definitely won’t forget in a hurry!
Thanks for your time! Break a leg!