The actor chatted to Emma Clarendon about being part of Wise Children’s Romantics Anonymous.
Thanks so much for talking to me. How does it feel to be bringing this musical to audiences again?
It feels amazing. We received such a fantastic reception in Bristol earlier in the year and were really looking forward to taking it on tour. Obviously Covid put the kibosh on that, but to now get the opportunity to live stream it, safely and directly into people’s front rooms is a challenge were all totally up for. Theatre is constantly evolving and reinventing itself. Never has that been more true than now.
What do you think it is about Romantics Anonymous that appeals to audiences so much?
It’s a delicate love story about two very socially awkward people. It has enormous emotional depth and is choc-full of complex characters and real life situations we can all completely relate to. And true to Emma Rice’s form, it’s handled with such dexterity that it simultaneously punches a hole in your chest while filling you to the brim with scintillating joy.
What was it about the musical that made you want to be involved with this production?
This show is so incredibly rare. I was a huge fan of the show when it first premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe back in 2018. I saw it five times. So to become part of the cast in 2020 was a real pinch yourself moment. Being a fan of the show, I’ve experienced first hand the wonderful lasting effect it has. It celebrates our differences and also reveals the undeniable truth – more connects us than divides us.
What are you most looking forward to about being back on a stage again?
Well we won’t have a live audience, so that will feel a little strange. But the cast and crew are all wonderful humans and formidable artists at the top of their game. Sharing the stage with them is nothing short of a privilege.
Given the current restrictions – how has the show been adapted?
The show, for the most part, has stayed pretty much the same. Only minor adjustments have been made in order to make the show “camera friendly”. But it’s a theatrical show and we want to keep its heart where it should be. It’s life around the show that has had to adapt in order to keep everyone safe and Covid free. It’s an incredibly smooth operation. Wise Children has done a remarkable job.
It’s been such a long time without live theatre – but what have you missed the most about it?
Well I, like everyone else, have had a lovely time catching up on lots of brilliant box sets – and there are many. But for me, nothing is as exciting as watching actors perform live. Speaking to friends and family who have watched lots of fantastic pre-recorded theatre shows during lockdown have really enjoyed them, but they’ve all said the same thing – they felt something was missing. With Romantics, we’re trying to remedy that by streaming the show live every night. In the hope that the element of nervous excitement will return for the audience. I know it certainly will for us!
For those who haven’t seen Romantics Anonymous what can they expect? Music, tears, laughter and chocolate. Lots of chocolate! Simply put, this show is magic. And we could all do with a little magic, right now. Couldn’t we?
By Emma Clarendon
To book tickets for the virtual tour from the 22nd to the 27th September visit: https://www.wisechildren.co.uk/