11 Questions with the cast of Life of Galileo – Brendan Cowell


1. Can you describe your character in Life of Galileo in three words?

Brave, wise and naive.

2. What’s it been like working with Joe Wright?

Joe’s a bit of a visionary. He has wild ideas but the uncanny ability to make them all assimilate effortlessly. And he has a big sweet heart!

3. How did you find the rehearsal process in comparison to other productions you’ve been in?

Well, we rehearse a lot. On Yerma, the script was being written whilst we worked, whereas with Brecht it seems crucial to analyse the text thoroughly before experiencing it.

4. What can the audience expect from this production that’s different to anything else they are likely to have seen before?

We’ve taken a dense old play about science and tempted it into a sexy and visceral night of dreams and brutality.

5. What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?

Getting dressed! I never got into drama school so I lack proper preparation. I try and make people relax.

6. What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?

Hamlet (all three)

7. If you could travel anywhere in the universe, where would you go and why?

I am scared of the ocean and of anything beyond the earth, unlike Galileo. I’m happy with all I know to be real.

8. What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?
My sisters were singers and dancers growing up. Watching them made me want to make things up.

9. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you ever met them?
I would have liked to meet Jeff Buckley and maybe drive along the coast of Spain with him.

10. If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
Will Power.

11. If you could relocate to another planet, which would it be and why?
No, I can barely control my feelings and curiosities for this weird and wonderful joint called Earth.

Life of Galileo runs 6 May – 1 July at the Young Vic directed by BAFTA Award-winning director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice).  Brendan Cowell plays Galileo following his acclaimed performance in Yerma.  Book tickets now.

Photo credit: Johan Persson

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