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 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.