Blast From The Past, written and directed by Anna-Lisa Maree, runs at London’s Upstairs At The Gatehouse 16 to 19 August 2016 as part of the Camden Fringe festival. Andrew Irvine plays Mark Harrington in Blast From The Past. I caught up with him to ask him all about this exciting step back into the 1990s.
Hi Andrew, thanks for talking to Break A Leg. Tell me about Blast From The Past. What can the audience expect?
The audience can expect a very funny and touching comedy/drama set in the late Nineties about a dysfunctional Northern family and their hilarious struggles since moving to Blackpool. However it could shock some people when it revisits a certain event of that era.
Tell me about your character in Blast From The Past. What’s his relationship to the other characters in the show and what’s your impression of him?
My character Mark is best friends with Danny (who famously appeared on Kilroy for being one of the first people in Manchester to be electronically tagged) and is the ‘sensible’ member of the group. He is a bit of a geek who is trying to finish his teacher training while dealing with the madness around him. He is also going through massive problems with his fiancé Melanie.
What was your first reaction to the script?
It’s a very witty and realistic piece of writing (albeit with larger than life characters) that delves into many difficult areas of relationships and family. Anna-Lisa Maree has a great sense of comic timing and understanding of her characters.
I realise you’ve yet to go into rehearsals, but at the moment, have you got a favourite scene or line you can share with me?
There is a scene with Danny’s brother Nathan which suddenly calls into question everything that Mark thought he knew about himself. It contains some great visual comedy and is very touching as well.
Finally, sell the show to me. What would you say to encourage potential audience members to come along?
How far have we come since the late Nineties? It wasn’t that long ago but seems a world away. Come and experience big characters and even bigger situations. Blast From The Past is a Northern comedy that’ll leave you laughing, crying and reaching for your old Spice Girls CDs.
Thanks to Andrew for a great interview, wishing you all the best with the show!
Photo credit: Simon Annand.