Photos

During our 'Get-in' day at The Hen & Chickens Theatre we were lucky enough to have Emma Phillips around to take photos. She's put them all up on her Flickr page here and here's a couple of them:


Once the show wraps I'll have time to feature them properly in the photos section of the website. But for now they can (and should) be seen at Emma's Flickr.

Cast Interview - Catherine Ashton


As we approach our production of Stripped we've decided to pose some interview questions to our actors so that the world may get to know them and relate to them before going in. And to find out just how much pain I inflict upon them.
 
The final person to blow our mind holes is Catherine Ashton who plays Mother.




Describe yourself in six words?
Loyal, compassionate, funny, random, quirky and determined. 

What attracted you to the role?
The chance to play my alter ego was undoubtedly my initial attraction to such a great role. Well I couldn't turn it down. I relish character acting and have been waiting for a role like "Mother" to come out and play with.

What attracted you to me?
The fact that you were willing to give me the chance and were brave enough to let me play a deranged 70 year old. I shall be forever grateful.

What's your origin story? What traumatic event or alien encounter has lead you down this theatrical path to the point where I'm making you answer this inane question?
Well I must thank a nursery teacher of mine, who pointed out to my parents that I'm not just playing Mummy's and Daddy's. But I'm dressing up and directing and putting on plays at nursery. She told them about Saturday classes at Sylvia Young's stage school. And here I am still dressing up and getting to play.

I’m genuinely jealous of how much fun you’re having dressing up whilst I watch on.
Tell us about the character you play
My character is just the sort of mother no one would want. A feisty, outspoken, embarrassing parent, though this doesn't come anywhere near to describing some of "Mothers" character traits. She is sometimes a bit disconcerted and slightly terrifying. But she would do anything for her kids and loves them to pieces! I think she's just slightly misunderstood and is suffering from empty nest syndrome.

What do you know about the character that no one else knows?
Well that would be telling! My father once told me that a secret shared, is no longer a secret. But I will tell you this she is partial to a gin and tonic or sherry.

How have you found the rehearsal process?
I have thoroughly enjoyed rehearsals but also found it awkward at times in regards to the positioning. Being on ones knees for a long time, as we have all come to learn isn't a comfortable experience. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect group of individuals to be frolicking around with.

It must be this weird power issue thing I have where I must have you all on your knees before me.
As
a member of the chorus you play lots of different characters in different situations. What effect does this have? Do you create intricate back stories for each individual, create a caricature for each line or focus on making each one as different as possible?
You don't usually get the chance to be let loose on a multiple of characters. I've given every chorus line or chorus member in a scene an individual character. l usually go with my instincts with a character and then build from there. I think it's important to use different tools and techniques for different lines or characters. I don't think there's a right or wrong way to approach this. As long as it gets you to be where you need to be; that's my motto.

Do you have a specific warm-up or ritual before going on stage?
I like warming up individually or as a group, depending on the role and also feel of the piece. I do think it's important to warm up physical and vocally. But most importantly it’s essential to be in the right frame of mind, calm and not rushed. I always need to pee, it's my nervous thing! Even when I know I've just gone. But as soon as I'm on stage I'm fine.

The play is supposedly a comedy and whilst a lot of that rests on the script, everyone has been cast because they're naturally funny. What are your comedy influences?
Well I am flattered. I think it all depends on the writing. From there an actor is given the chance and freedom to play and create a funny character. I also think that with comedy you have to let the actor find the fun in the scene and lines. That's why it's important to cast the right actor for the right role. But you do also need to have a great and comedic line or script in the first place.

I honestly couldn’t be happier with who I have delivering those lines.
You're my actor of a thousand accents. Is there an accent you can't do? Can you do a Martian one or a Russian Dolphin?
Well I don't know about that, but I do love doing accents. There are more than a few I am yet to conquer! I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to me revealing a new accent or voice. But to be honest some of them just seem to come out, whilst in jest or while looking at a character. I can't do dolphin or Martian yet Michael but, I can do non-specific Russian meerkat. As they say practice makes perfect...I'll be sure to add those two to my list.


Cast Interview - Amy Wiles


As we approach our production of Stripped we've decided to pose some interview questions to our actors so that the world may get to know them and relate to them before going in. And to have our Harry Potter dreams crushed.

Our current victim is Amy Wiles who plays Scarlett.


Describe yourself in six words?
Just your average human being, really. 

What's your origin story?
I had one of those idyllic childhoods growing up in northern countryside villages; happily married parents, little brother, a cat and a dog. When I was five I started taking dance and singing classes after school with my friends; as the years went by they all left to focus on exams but I could never choose between performing and my only passions at school, art and writing. Then I was awarded a scholarship to train at The Italia Conti in London; fast forward 4 years and about 5 months and here I am. It turns out my mum had dreamt about being an actress before she went onto teach English, and when my brother decided to give drama a go he ended up training at RADA for a year, so I guess it’s in my blood.

What attracted you to the role?
Pretty much as soon as I read the script I knew I wanted to be a part of this play. The characters in Stripped are so colourful and the plot is brilliant; it touches on serious subjects, but it’s playful and witty at the same time. I also thought Scarlett would be a really great role to get my teeth into.

What makes her so good to bite? What do you know about the character that no one else knows?
We meet Scarlett about half way through the play. ‘He’ has been informed of his death, when finally he hears about a room that holds all the answers to the meaning of his life. But when he enters the room the only thing he finds in it is another lost soul, Scarlett. She’s been driven mad with loneliness and anger towards those who deceived her. I guess what no one else may be aware of is that behind the vicious exterior there is a very vulnerable girl, crippled by vivid hallucinations and psychosis. I decided this could also be linked to her death when I was developing her character since many accident victims develop psychosis as a result of violent trauma.

You have the…most annoying of my dialogue to deliver, stuff like "blood of the undermind". How do you get your head around that and deliver it straight?
Scarlett is terribly vicious with her words, but I think that’s partly why I like her character so much. Sometimes what she says very seriously can sound comedic to the audience, but so long as I’m completely in character I won’t get the giggles.

What is your characters theme song?
I think her theme song would be Blondie’s ‘One way or another’ or on a darker note Courtney Love’s ‘Life Despite God.’

You're probably half the height of Kris, is it a challenge to feel threatening to him?
If I’m honest, no. I’m sure he’s more frightened of me than I am of him. Like a spider.

You're also a member of a chorus playing lots of different characters in different situations. Do you create intricate back stories for each individual, create a caricature for each line or focus on making each one as different as possible?
When a chorus member’s line can be as short as 1 or 2 words it seems silly to create a whole character history for that fraction of a second. I tend to concentrate on what is happening in the scene and then see whatever personality seems most natural for that moment. Of course, a ‘funny accent’ thrown in here and there can be amusing for the audience as well as the other actors.

How have you found the rehearsal process?
I’ve worked on a few plays that rehearse a couple of evenings a week, so I’m used to long rehearsal periods. Of course it’s still been difficult. Being an actor is like having 2 jobs; 1 to feed the family and 1 to feed your soul. But once you start to see it all come together it feels fantastic, I’m really going to miss everyone when the play finishes its run.

Do you have a specific warm-up or ritual before going on stage?
Just like at the beginning of a rehearsal it’s good to get your body warmed up and your brain focused so that the energy stays high throughout the performance. I’ll have to do a few vocal exercises as well since I tend to be a bit ‘shouty’ when I’m playing Scarlett. I’m afraid I don’t do anything dramatic like throw up or sell my soul to Lucifer before a show, so long as I’m confident with my lines I shouldn’t get nervous.

The play is supposedly a comedy and whilst a lot of that rests on the script, everyone has been cast because they're naturally funny. What are your comedy influences?
Why, thank you. I think it’s so much harder to write a comedy than a tragedy because everyone has different opinions on what they consider is funny. I’m not sure if I have any specific comedy influences, I just try to see lots of different plays and films and keep an open mind. I’m a big fan of the comedian Tim Minchin, his use of wordplay with music is genius.

Were you to be around Dan and I when we sing Inflatable You or Rock n Roll Nerd we might just be able to ruin Tim Minchin for you.

Did you learn any magic spells when you were filming Harry Potter?
No magic spells I’m afraid, but I did learn how to get paid lots for doing nothing! Background work is great if you can get it, but there are a lot of early mornings and sitting around waiting to do what will end up being just a 5 second shot. I think it’s pretty magic I never missed the bus that took us to the studio at 7am; I am definitely not a morning person!

And finally if you had Nine days to find the meaning of your life where would you look first?
I’d look on eBay.

Cast interview - Daniel Farley


As we approach our production of Stripped we've decided to pose some interview questions to our actors so that the world may get to know them and relate to them before going in. And to see just how lost actors can be without a script in front of them.

The latest person to tempt us into their parlour is Daniel Farley who plays The Bishop.



Describe yourself in six words?
Tall, not as tall as Kris

What attracted you to the role?
The fact that the bishop is really funny.  Although he doesn’t think he is, he is just wonderfully absurd and I like that about him.  Plus I am often a doing more serious roles and really wanted to do something that was more over the top.  He can be a little sinister at times, but it’s his fundamental view point that he is right and the world is wrong that creates this sinister helpfulness.

What attracted you to me?
The Beard

What's your origin story?
What traumatic event or alien encounter has lead you down this theatrical path to the point where I'm making you answer this inane question?
I have acted as long as I can remember.  As a child all I wanted to do was play my favourite TV characters.  I would have my brother act with me, re-enacting things like Ghostbusters and Terminator 2.  I don’t really know anything else.

What is your characters theme song?
‘Jesus he knows me’ by Genesis.

What do you know about the character that no one else knows?
He knows the path to enlightenment, but he has no idea who his local MP is.

Being in the chorus also means you’re playing lots of different characters in different situations. What effect does this have? Do you create intricate back stories for each individual, create a caricature for each line or focus on making each one as different as possible?
The different characters come mainly from caricature, they don’t really have back stories with myself, oddly some inspiration for them popped into my head from random films.  Beetlejuice for one!

How have you found the rehearsal process?
Very challenging.
The play is very different to anything I have done before because of the choral work.  Before, even if I was in every scene, I could concentrate mainly on myself to start with and develop from there.  In this process, I have found that I need to concentrate on everyone around me at all times. Given that my brain is very small, this has proved a challenge.
It’s also felt a long time coming, which in truth it has.  I am used to rehearsals starting a long time before, but this process started very early and did make those first rehearsals for me feel less urgent. 

It has been a bit of a drawn out process. I started early because I didn’t know how long Christmas break would be and as you say the choral work requires an intense concentration and awareness that would make the initial blocking a long process
However it really has created what I think is a very strong cast now, one in which people have become friends. It has been rewarding, my fellow actors are all just brilliant which makes working on the play a pleasure.
Great, that’s exactly one of the things I was trying to get out of the long process. I needed the chorus to work as a unit; I needed you to be close and completely able to trust one another and form an intuitiveness that takes time,
And one of the goals of the Sigil Club is to have that communal feel, to have an atmosphere where people can become friends. As it says in the name, a club. One of the most gratifying things I got out of working on The Quest for Beauty with you was a strong friendship and I’d like to allow others to have that experience.

Though having worked with me before why on Earth would you want to put yourself through that again?
Who are you again?  I'm sorry my memory is not what it used to be.

Do you have a specific warm-up or ritual before going on stage?
Standing alone in the middle of the stage, staring at the empty seats.
I occasionally try to beat up the director as well.

If anyone hears crashing about right before the play starts it is not two overenthusiastic young men performing wrestling moves on one another...
The play is supposedly a comedy and whilst a lot of that rests on the script, everyone has been cast because they're naturally funny. What are your comedy influences?
Eddie Izzard is one of my favourites, but also Billy Connelly, and the Goons. (I do a fairly passable blue bottle)
When you say naturally funny, do you mean people laugh when they see me in the street?  Cos that is mainly where it comes from.  I don’t think I am that funny, I play funny characters but I don’t feel like I am the one being funny.  Most of my jokes are pretty bad, I am quite pleased when I tell a gag and people sigh in pain!
Maybe it turns on when I am in a group, leave me to write a gag on my own, it will be bad, improvise a scene with other people and I will come up with a good line.

Have you based your performance on any famous Bishops?
Oddly no, mainly because the main ones I can think of have funny names!  TuTu for example.
I guess I kinda came to him via an idea of making him a super Bishop, one that ticks all the boxes for a career in the clergy.  For me, he is not intentionally misleading or obstructive, he genuinely wants to help, but has no concept that what you actually need is not something he offers.  Its like if you came to him asking for rope to climb a cliff, and he offers you plane tickets, he has no idea why you suddenly don’t like him.
Keep refusing his point of view however, and he continues to force it onto even more vehemently.  This is the danger behind the Bishop, the authority figure who cannot have his view challenged, but must change everyone else’s.

Who is your favourite Bishop?
The one from the X-Men.

If you had Nine days to find the meaning of your life where would you look first?
I have occasionally found the answers in a very good sandwich.
Unfortunately, it’s never the same sandwich twice.



Cast Interview - Kate Quinn

As we approach our production of Stripped we've decided to pose some interview questions to our actors so that the world may get to know them and relate to them before going in. And to see why I should always have my iPad out.
 
The next person to impart wisdom is Kate Quinn who plays Magog.



Describe yourself in six words?
My hair is brown not black

What attracted you to the role?
The breakdown said Magog was a psychopomp and I didn't know what that meant, but it had “Psycho” in it. I also auditioned for Processor, as the original casting on CCP said Magog was male...ha!

What attracted you to me?
You have an iPad.

What's your origin story? What traumatic event or alien encounter has lead you down this theatrical path to the point where I'm making you answer this inane question?
I auditioned for a play because all my friends were doing it, and got a main role. Opening night was amazing, and I knew from then on that this was something I needed to do forever

Tell us about the character you play.
Magog is a Psychopomp, the other half to Gog. For more info, please read Tim's answers, read the Book of Revelations in the Bible, or come see the show!

That’s how you sell something! What is your characters theme song?
Helter Skelter – Beatles

What do you know about the character that no one else knows?
She has a collection of items that she takes from every soul collection, and if someone was looking through them she would be able to tell you who they belonged to, how they died, when she took them etc.

How have you found the rehearsal process?
It has been a very long process...5 months long (but we’ve only been able to meet 1-2 times a week)

I blame everyone else for that, I’d be there everyday if possible. I’ve missed seeing films for rehearsals, Kate. FILMS!
I know this is what you wanted as there is a lot of chorus work and we are to work as a unit, but Meriel coming in in January was somewhat of a blessing in disguise as it shook things up!

Yeah…I planned that…
During the October-December rehearsals I was also rehearsing and then performing in Theatre of the Damned’s "Grand Guignol" Production so it was a challenge to switch focus constantly! However Ensemble plays are always great because you never know what’s going to happen in each rehearsal and you get to be more a part of the creative process as opposed to a director telling you to take one step forward then two steps to the right. I love being able to get involved - whether people want me to or not! I don't take offence at being told to butt out and shut up, sometimes it’s necessary!

What effect does being a member of a chorus, playing lots of different characters in different situations have? Do you create intricate back stories for each individual, create a caricature for each line or focus on making each one as different as possible?
I just looked at each line I was given and thought about what would make sense. Like one of my lines is about being charged 500 volts...so that character is constantly twitching.

Do you have a specific warm-up or ritual before going on stage?
I do a full limber/warm-up, and then usually the last 10 minutes before the audience are let in I'm nervous and need to be left alone. I get terrible stage fright and can be a bit snappy...

It’s starting to sound like I’ll have to stay away from as many of you as possible come the performance.
The play is supposedly a comedy and whilst a lot of that rests on the script, everyone has been cast because they're naturally funny. What are your comedy influences?
I like intelligent/topical comedy/comedians; my boyfriend and I are always going to stand up gigs! But I think my main comedy influences are from the comedy shows I watched growing up - Friends mainly...I love Friends. But I'm not that funny to be honest, its luck.

If you had Nine days to find the meaning of your life where would you look first?
I've kept a diary since I was 9 so a lot of answers are there, but I pretty sure they all point to the stage.

Have you had any weird dreams possibly caused by a play? I had a dream that the smell of kiwis made you ill. Is this true; am I psychic or just mentally troubled?
So far I've had no weird dreams, that'll probably happen during the show. But the smell of kiwis definitely doesn’t make me ill, I like kiwis. I eat it all, including the skin. As for your mental troubling...

Your character is probably the most physically threatening  in the production. Are you that terrifying in real life?
Hmm...at first I wouldn't of said I was the most physically threatening but Kris (He) is over a foot taller than me and he flinches when I approach so I must be. As for in real life, ask my boyfriend!

And you wonder why I don’t tell you to butt out and shut up…
You're not going method for this right? I don't want to find out on the news you've been transporting the dead somewhere.
Nope, just transporting all my possessions from my current flat to my new one! If I was a method actor, I would be seriously troubled.

Cast Interview - Kris Wood


As we approach our production of Stripped we've decided to pose some interview questions to our actors so that the world may get to know them and relate to them before going in and to find out just how much actors like to talk.

The newest person to let us in on their heart's desire is Kris Wood who plays He (Or Him depending on the grammatical context)



Describe yourself in six words?
The tallest man on this stage.

At 6’8” you’re probably the tallest man in the galaxy. I don’t know if this is true, I haven’t done the legwork (and measuring tall people would be a lot of legwork)
What attracted you to the role?
 I was tired of playing grotesques, and fancied having a crack at playing a more normalistic character. Plus, it's the lead role, who wouldn't want the lead role!?

What attracted you to me?
 If you squint and cover half of your face with a hand, you look a bit like a lady, plus you're the only person that will hire me.

Yeah, being able to hire people is how I get most women...
What's your origin story? What traumatic event or alien encounter has lead you down this theatrical path to the point where I'm making you answer this inane question?
 It was the only subject at school I was ever any good at, I kind of regret not following it up so want to make the most of this opportunity.

Never forget all that I have done for you! I trust you shan’t let me down. Tell us about the character you play.
He is just a regular, everyday, somewhat whiney young man who finds himself in an unfathomable situation and is left completely out of his depth. He lives his life in a monotonous routine and finds it safe as he never has to question anything. The meaning of his existence is something he would have never even considered, which is why he is so out of his depth and bemused by the fact he know has to face it head on.

What is your characters theme song?
Probably something dull and downbeat, check the Coldplay back catalogue.

I know that’s a dig at me but I’ll follow up and say that “Now My Feet Won’t Touch the Ground” from their Prospekt’s March EP probably fits most.
What do you know about the character that no one else knows?
His full name and no, I'm not telling.

How have you found the rehearsal process?
Rehearsals have been pretty full on, but they have an organic feel to them (wait, that made me sound like a tit, I'll rephrase)... it's been well good. Basically each time we've rehearsed I've gotten out of it what I've put into it. If I've worked hard I feel like I've had a good day, but if I'm feeling lethargic then afterwards I feel like I haven't really achieved anything. Plus it's a group of people who are all trying to outdo each other in the comedy stakes, so it almost feels competitive, but in a way that makes you want to throw yourself into it more than you have been doing in all previous rehearsals.

Do you have a specific warm-up or ritual before going on stage?
Pace around nervously trying not to be sick. I try not to think about what I'm going to say, so like to just make idle conversation, if I over think I become paranoid that my mind will go blank, so I just try to distract myself.

It’s supposedly a comedy and whilst a lot of that rests on the script, everyone has been cast because they're naturally funny. What are your comedy influences?
Henry Rollins and Charlie Brooker are probably two of my biggest influences, they're not really trying to make you laugh, they're trying to make you think about something or tell you a story and the laughter is a by product or a narrative device for them. Their styles of comedy derive from just not being satisfied with the mundanity of everyday life, they'll obsess and overreact about the minutest of details that most people just wouldn't even notice, much like I find myself doing most of the time. They want you to take a look into their mind and see what makes them laugh, they don't care if you find it funny- it's funny to them. Bill Hicks was probably one of the first people to do that, so I guess I'll have to add him to my list too.

If you had Nine days to find the meaning of your life where would you look first?
 I'd just Google it, then I'd probably get distracted by a video of a cat and forget what I was meant to be doing in the first place.

Do you feel your height impacts your ability to play an "everyman" role? Or to be a part of this ensemble piece where everyone is out to get you? Or do you think being a giant adds something?
 I like to think of it this way. Most of the other characters are manifestations that have existed for thousands of years, when they were first around people were a lot smaller, so their size would have been intimidating, whereas they look small in comparison to a modern day person. Seeing as they're so adept at their jobs of torturing a human psyche, they've never really seen the need to make themselves bigger so that they can feel more physically imposing; they simply don't have to be that physically imposing when their actions and words speak volumes about what they're capable of.

How many walls have you broken during the rehearsal process for ‘Stripped’?
Walls cannot contain me.


Cast Interview - Meriel Rosenkranz

As we approach our production of Stripped we've decided to pose some interview questions to our actors so that the world may get to know them and relate to them before going in and to see just how much they baulk at being accused of being funny.
Photo by Greg Ash

The second person to face this terrifying ordeal is Meriel Rosenkranz who plays The Processor.



Describe yourself in six words?
I really hate questions like this

What attracted you to the role?
I think it's a very strong script and I would have gladly played any part. But I recognize the Processor and I was sure that she would be a lot of fun to play.

What attracted you to me?
You are allowing me to be dark, twisted, powerful and slightly insane...what more could a girl want?

What's your origin story? What traumatic event or alien encounter has lead you down this theatrical path to the point where I'm making you answer this insane question?
Boris Lemontov: "Why do you want to dance?"
Victoria Page: “Why do you want to live?"
Bori Lermontove: “Well I don't know exactly why but..er... I must."
Victoria Page: “That is my answer too."                                               The Red Shoes 1984

Tell us about the character that you play
The processor is described as both a bureaucrat and a psychopath, one so very controlled and official the other unpredictable and intense. I think she truly believes she is doing an important job and that she serves humanity and the universe. And she is very good at her job. However she does get bored and frustrated with the process and has developed an unhealthy fascination with the darker sides of human nature. She does not like being called a bureaucrat as it implies too much structure, she sees herself as an artiste and takes pleasure in finding appropriate -or inappropriate -ways of extracting the information she needs.

What is your characters theme song?
She is too complex for just one song, so instead of a theme song here is her soundtrack 
“Soul to Squeeze” by Red Hot Chilli Pepper
“The Plane Suite: Jupiter” by Gustav Holst
“Youpie” by Cornu
“Engel” by Rammstein
“White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane
“Always Look on the bright side of Life” Monty Python
And when she is sure no one is watching she will be dancing in front of a mirror to ”Bad” by Michael Jackson and singing into a hairbrush

What do you know about the character that no one else knows?
She is a very able horsewoman. Speciality: Show jumping.

I have her pegged as a failed Magician. Her fingers were too stubby and attention span too short to learn the sleight of hand.
How have you found the rehearsal process?
Well I joined the rehearsal process later than everyone else and I am still in the process of coming off book and finding my path through the play and getting to know the cast. I actually think that for a lot of the chorus parts I am in a amazing position, not knowing the blocking and just instinctively following the others, it feels - for want of a less pretentious word- organic!
I think it’s a great cast and everybody contributes an interesting part to the essence of the play.

Being a member of a chorus also means playing lots of different characters in different situations. What effect does this have? Do you create intricate back stories for each individual, create a caricature for each line or focus on making each one as different as possible?
Now that you ask, I do have pictures in my head of what the individual characters look and feel like and if put on the spot I could probably conjure up their back story, but I have not consciously created characters.

Do you have a specific warm-up or ritual before going on stage?
It changes from project to project and cast to cast. But I usually need my peace and quiet, lie on the floor and hum or do some yoga and breathing. I don’t talk much and it’s probably best to avoid me. But other times I am bundle of energy and will be bouncing of the walls probably annoying everybody else in the cast.

It’s supposedly a comedy and whilst a lot of that rests on the script, everyone has been cast because they're naturally funny. What are your comedy influences?
I am funny? Really? But I am German…my cultural heritage aside I enjoy a dry sense of humor often black and understated. I like silliness but I am less amused by slipping on banana peel kind of humor (unless it is very well executed). I like intelligent humor; people who are quick and good with words. I like films like “The Royal Tenenbaums”, “When Harry met Sally”, “The Big Lebowski” and “Twilight” (What? I was not supposed to laugh at that one…oh) etc. I also love Bill Hicks and Eddie Izzard. There is no formula to what can make me laugh but when I laugh I laugh loud.

If you had Nine days to find the meaning of your life where would you look first?
I would probably gather all my friends and family to a big meal, eat, drink, laugh, dance and discuss life, love, God, music and poetry over dirty dishes. I don’t think I will find the meaning of my life by looking for it. I try to live life to the fullest and be at peace with myself and trust there is a rhyme and reason to my being here. I am an actress and a healer, if I can help people with either, then I am satisfied with my lot. (I am sure you were looking for a funnier answer than that but like I said I am German)

Nope. Part of the fun is seeing which way people go with the questions. You’ve all acted and reacted differently to the task just as you approach the play differently.  Some people like Catherine and Kate had an idea in mind and jumped into it; with some actors I don't want to be too stifling during "The process". But you and I have sort of stopped and gone over it. You ask me the most questions, you analyse the script and in a way process the Processor. Is this a conscious decision, to behave like the character or are you just eerily like the part?
Are you implying I am a power hungry, psychopathic bitch? J No it’s not a conscious decision; I am not that “Methode” that I strive to become the Processor. I am afraid the analyzing, questioning actress is all me. Maybe I have more in common with the processor than I thought. I definitely knew that this part would suite me and that because I recognize her I would be able to play her. At drama school they told me my castability is “the intellectual” or “the ice maiden”…The processor is an intellectual ice maiden with a twist.

Do you think the Processor has any time off? What would she do in her free time? Does ordering a cup of coffee because this long drawn out process where she investigates where each bean has grown?
Yeah I can picture that. It seems like on top of all her other characteristics she seems to have an OCD. My instinct however is to say that she is a workaholic. A workaholic by circumstance, as there is only one processor but lots of people dying or losing the will to live like HE. She does not get down time. But it is also in her nature to ponder life. For all her madness she is not a hypocrite. She enjoys what she does and makes clear decisions (even though they may be questionable to others), that is why she gets frustrated with people like HE who have become lethargic. So in the few minutes between ”clients/victims” I can see her pondering and staring into space, unravelling and interpreting life’s mysteries while sipping a fine single malt whiskey.
 

Cast Interview - Tim Nolan


As we approach our production of Stripped we've decided to pose some interview questions to our actors so that you may get to know them before going in and to watch how well they make fun of each other.
First up is Tim Nolan who plays Gog.



Alrighty, start us off: Describe yourself in six words?
Dolt. Reader. Grumbler. General-purpose nerd.

What attracted you to the role?
A good hitman double act is always fun to watch. This was a chance to have a crack at it myself; it’s been great fun to create a character in that tradition.

What attracted you to me?
I’m a sucker for good cheekbones.

What's your origin story? What traumatic event or alien encounter has lead you down this theatrical path to the point where I'm making you answer this inane question?
I collect quotations. By repeating the words of smarter people I can play at being a brighter and more interesting person. I see acting as a natural extension of this.

Tell us about the character you play
Gog is a psychopomp. He and his partner have been ferrying souls to the next world since the beginning of time. Since he only turns up at the point of death, most of the people he meets are confused, indignant or terrified. Gog derives great amusement from this.

What is your characters theme song?
I see him as a fan of early Nick Cave. If there’s a song playing in his head it’s probably Red Right Hand.

That's amazing; I had thought of Nick Cave for Gog too. As you know so much, what do you know about the character that no one else knows?
He has an unblockable 30-hit combo for Ryu in every single Street Fighter game.

How have you found the rehearsal process?
Since we’re all part of the chorus, we have to know what we’re doing at every moment of the play. It’s hard on the concentration. Fortunately I have some real pros to look to and learn from.

What other effects does being in the chorus have? Do you create intricate back stories for each individual, create a caricature for each line or focus on making each one as different as possible?
It’s interesting to see what you can infer about a character from one line of dialogue. Then it’s a matter of putting that into the performance. With the right inflection, the delivery of a simple “No!” can convey to the audience my years of military service, my collection of curious beans and my passion for the novels of August Derleth. It’s all in the eyebrows.

Do you have a specific warm-up or ritual before going on stage?
I used to be a runner, so a bit of stretching calms me down and puts my brain in the right place. Psychological warm-ups make me paranoid.

I'll keep that in mind for when I really want to freak you out.
It’s supposedly a comedy and whilst a lot of that rests on the script, everyone has been cast because they're naturally funny. What are your comedy influences?
All sorts of stuff from Groucho Marx to Marks & Gran. Puns and in-jokes are my special treat. The last time I roared with laughter it was at an elaborately-contrived Goon Show reference in a science fiction novel (thank you, Adam Roberts).

If you had Nine days to find the meaning of your life where would you look first?
Behind the bar.

Tim Nolan. Librarian by trade, Assassin by nature. Using your keen eye how would you categorise "Stripped"?
Self-help techniques > Foodstuffs, thematic use of > Feta

You’re less experienced than a lot of the people involved; we've basically worked our way up together. Is that a little daunting or do you have to just raise your game?
Both. There’s a lot to pick up, but I have some excellent people to learn from. I look forward to dropping the names of my fellow cast members when they’re playing sold-out shows in the West End.

This will sound like it's coming out of nowhere for everyone else but what Winne the Pooh Character are you?
I’d like to say Owl.

But?
But I’m probably closer to Rabbit.

Yeah, I didn't want to say.
As for the rest of the cast, I think actors are natural Tiggers.

And finally is there anything you think I've forgotten to mention which is probably really important.
If anyone has read this far I’d be amazed.