11 Questions with the cast of Life of Galileo – Billy Howle

We know you’ve been waiting for it, it’s 11 Questions time with Billy Howle. Currently on stage at the Young Vic until 1 July in Life of Galileofind out what Billy thinks needs inventing right now 👇🏽. 

LIFE OF GALILEO

Billy Howle in Life of Galileo. Photo by Johan Persson

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

Inquisitive. Dedicated. Trusting.

2. What’s you’re favourite thing about working with Joe Wright?

Forgetting everything I thought I knew.

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

Wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.

4. What invention do you think the world is lacking right now?

Truth-o-meter: Bullshit detector, namely for politicians.

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

Singing / Dancing / Sleeping / Eating

6. What is your favourite project you have worked on as an actor?

I don’t have favourite – but this is pretty darn lush.

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

Boldly go where no man has gone before (with Patrick Stewart).

8. What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?

Doing funny voices and fancy dress parties.

9. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you ever met them?

“Unhappy is the land that needs heroes”

10. What is your favourite midnight snack?

Semolina.

11. If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?

70’s/80’s so I could see who my parents were before me.

Life of Galileo runs 6 May – 1 July at the Young Vic directed by BAFTA Award-winning director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice). Book tickets now.

11 Questions with the cast of Life of Galileo – Jason Barnett

jason-barnett

Jason Barnett in rehearsal for Life of Galileo. Photography by Johan Persson.

As we edge closer to the opening performance of Life of Galileo we took 5 minutes out with Jason Barnett who is playing the role of Federzoni. Jason returns to the Young Vic after appearing in Mad About a Boy in 2012.

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

The. Most. Important.

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

It’s been hard. There’s an awful lot to excavate, but it has been fascinating every day.

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

The space, the design, the integration of the music. I think it’ll be AMAZING.

4. Have you ever invented anything before?

Yes. Caribbean sushi!

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

Catching up on Masterchef on iPlayer.

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

Doctor Faustus . . . or maybe Henry IV Pt 1 . . . or maybe Measure for Measure . . . or maybe Big White Fog . . . or maybe, or maybe . . .

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

Tooting High St ‘cos South London rocks!

8. What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?

The kids from Fame.

9. Who is your ultimate hero?

Martin Luther King.

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

The ability to lose weight at will.

11. If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?

I like the idea of being around for the Dizzy Gillespie / Miles Davis jazz era.

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.

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

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

11 Questions with the cast of Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere – Lara Sawalha

Paul Mason and Lara Sawalha in Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere at the Young Vic. Photo by David Sandison..jpg

Paul Mason and Lara Sawalha in Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere at the Young Vic. Photo by David Sandison.

What’s your favourite play you’ve ever seen, been in or read?

There are too many to pick from because each play I’ve seen has left a mark and impacted me in different ways. One that comes to mind is a play I read called The Heresy of Love – a must read.

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

To feel completely immersed in what’s happening around them, like they’re leading the revolution.

What protest or activism have you most recently taken part in or supported?

Protesting against apartheid in Palestine.

Describe in one word what you hope the audience will take away from this show?

Awareness.

What is your favourite midnight snack?

Humous and pitta bread.

What is the funniest protest sign you’ve ever seen?

“I can’t believe we still have to protest this shit”.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

Once I get those wings and fly I’ll let you know (refer to supernatural question). My favourite place constantly changes, so I always have many!

Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you ever met them?

I have many but one of them is Maya Angelou and I would take her dancing.

Which historic revolution or protest do you wish you could have been a part of?

Walking across the bridge with Martin Luther King Jr.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?

To fly so everyday I could experience a different part of the world.

What role do you think the arts plays in activism?

It’s another platform to speak and be heard to express and change the world.

If you could swap lives with anybody for one day, who would it be and why?

Donald Trump so that I can actually understand how his brain works, because it really doesn’t make sense.

What’s one thing about the future that makes you feel positive?

Seeing people around me working hard to improve the world of today for the generations of tomorrow.

Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere will be broadcast on BBC Two this year as part of Performance Live, a two-year strand of programmes developed between Arts Council England and Battersea Arts Centre.

Read what audiences have been saying about #KickingOffLive so far.

11 Questions with the cast of The Bear / The Proposal – George Ikediashi

Returning to the Young Vic after Tobias and the Angel in 2006, you may also recognise George Ikediashi from  Threepenny Opera, Porgy & Bess or his fabulous cabaret character Le Gateau Chocolat. 11 Questions with George below… 

George Ikediashi in The Bear The Proposal at the Young Vic © Ellie Kurttz

George Ikediashi in The Bear / The Proposal at the Young Vic.     Photo: Ellie Kurttz

1) Describe your stage presence in three emojis or words?

🦄💃🤡

2) What’s it been like working on a Young Vic Genesis show?

Thrilling, exciting and utterly exhausting. It was been a true collaborative effort with every moment spent mining Chekhov for his truth and Leo, mining the performers and themselves, for ours.

3) What is one thing you would like people to know about the gender-fierce*/gender queer community? 

To keep questioning and challenging your preconceptions. The fluidity might seem challenging and counter intuitive, in a world that championed and drilled in blue for boys and pink for girls but the rewards of embracing? Liberation.

In the words of en vogue “free your mind and the rest will follow”

4) What are you usually doing 10 minutes before a show begins?

Warming up, doing scales, and or finishing make up. Here though, I’m sat on stage in a cubby hole, waiting to come on as the audience are let in.

5) What is your favourite part of the rehearsal process?

The hope and the boundless ambition showcased and discussed excitedly in the first couple of days – you dive in, get lost, it gets hard, mushy, confusing… you check back and somehow, some of that ambition has materialised and evolved to an unfathomable and interesting place and you’re like – “ah, that what the work was for”

6) What did you want to be growing up?

A lawyer. Ha.

7) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Um…. no. Making me Sophie’s Choice my food?  You’re ridiculous. Nope, not even hypothetically.

8) What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?

Life. Mine & others. “There is no greater agony that bearing an untold story inside you” – Maya Angelou

9) What’s your favourite play you’ve seen, read or worked on?

This changes so often as I feel it very important to facilitate your growth by consuming a lot of art. So my current answer’s Love at the National; the bleakest depiction of our social care problem. I don’t know when the tears came or when they stopped. It was deeply affecting and painfully human.

10) If you could be a superhero who would it be and why?

Easy. X-Men’s Phoenix; the hair, the costume, the powers. Most importantly though, the metaphor; to rise from the ashes. To embrace the idea that from mistakes, pain, suffering… something beautiful is born. We’re not perfect. You mightn’t succeed at first but learn, grow and rise again.

11) Would you rather have the hiccups for the rest of your life, or always feel like you have to sneeze but not be able to?

First the food question, now this? You’re ridiculous.

George stars in The Bear / The Proposal   which runs 15 – 25 Mar in the Young Vic’s Clare. Tickets for this production are all sold out but you are welcome to join our returns queues from an hour before each performance. Find more information on The Bear / The Proposal here

11 Questions with the cast of The Bear / The Proposal – Rebecca Root

You may recognise her from Trans Scripts, The Danish Girl or Boy Meets Girl  amongst other things … It’s Rebecca Root’s 11 Questions on eating gin (eating?) and more below. 

rebecca-root

Rebecca Root 

1) Describe your stage presence in three emojis or words?

Spirited, unexpected, present.

2) What’s it been like working on a Young Vic Genesis show?

Hard work, exhilarating, enervating, joyful.

3) What is one thing you would like people to know about the gender-fierce*/gender queer community? 

We’re just like you.

4) What are you usually doing 10 minutes before a show begins?

Doing final checks (props, make up etc); running through a scene in my head; reciting Shakespeare’s 29th Sonnet as a personal talisman.

5) What is your favourite part of the rehearsal process?

Coming off book for the first time. Like riding a bike without stabilisers.

6) What did you want to be growing up?

A female actor.

7) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Gin. Wait, does that count? Sunday roast if not. Chicken, trimmings, the lot. And gin.

8) What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?

Doing the school nativity play when I was 4.

9) What’s your favourite play you’ve seen, read or worked on?

Hamlet.

10) If you could be a superhero who would it be and why?

Wonder Woman. Because of the pants.

11) Would you rather have the hiccups for the rest of your life, or always feel like you have to sneeze but not be able to?

Sneeze. There’s so much drama in the anticipation.

Rebecca stars in The Bear / The Proposal   which runs 15 – 25 Mar in the Young Vic’s Clare. Tickets for this production are all sold out but you are welcome to join our returns queues from an hour before each performance. Find more information on The Bear / The Proposal here

11 Questions with the cast of See Me Now – Flynt

flyntFormer development executive Flynt (née Daniel Inglés, née Gabriel) was reborn in Paris in 2012 under the instruction of Madame Paula, a legendary Latina courtesan, following a slight misunderstanding near a towpath. After some time perfecting his craft amongst wealthy ladies around the continent, Flynt returned to his home town of London, where he had to relearn everything, because the English still don’t seem to know what they want. A bi-lingual, multi-instrumental, adventure-seeking polymath, Flynt lists his hobbies as mixing us the perfect pink gin, giving you foot rubs, and always remembering exactly where we left the car.

If you could only eat one ‘Penny Sweet’ for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Probably Jelly Beans. A least there’s variety.

What is one common misconception about the sex industry you would like to change?

There is nothing seedy or wrong about paying for sex, as long as your provider has made that decision for themselves. Though I appreciate that ‘decision’ in many contexts is a complicated issue, which is why these things need talking about, and not be buried under bizarre legislation or moral posturing.

What is one thing you would like people to know about sex work? 

It comes in more flavours than there are Jelly Beans. I didn’t appreciate that until I got to know my fellow cast members. We all appear to have found our respective niches and then worked the hell out of them for whatever reason, be that good or bad. But sex work does seem to be necessarily solitary. It sounds like a contradiction given the physical exchange of the job, but there you go. And yes, many of us care very much about our clients – the nice ones, anyway (so I guess that’s more than one thing).

Is this your first time working in theatre? What’s it been like?

I’ve worked in both television and publishing, but never theatre, which forces collaboration like no other. Your deadline is a live space, and the feedback from audiences is immediate, and unpredictable, and intoxicating.

Describe the See Me Now rehearsal room vibes in three words (or emojis).

“Shitload of doors” (You really need to see the show to understand this!)

What did you want to be growing up?

A writer, actor or director. Professionally speaking, I have accomplished the first two, and only one of those also involved having sex for money …

If days were 28 hours long, what would you do with the 4 extra hours?

I’d cook! I love to cook and I never have time. My beautiful fiancee is from the Brazilian state of Bahia. She produces the most fantastic quick food with cheap ingredients and a pressure cooker. I need to get back in the kitchen.

What’s your favourite song and why?

It changes all the time, but in the show I play the blues piano for Dee, another cast member. She’s a pleasure to accompany, has a phenomenal voice, and her tune is really catchy. We all go home humming it.

What’s your favourite play or movie you’ve ever seen? 

Macbeth, Jaws, The Book of Mormon, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Big Leboswki .. a lot of the usual suspects. But I remember having dreams after seeing The Cherry Orchard  as directed by Sam Mendes with Simon Russell Beale in about 2009, that really affected me. I have a BA in English Lit but Chekov was a bit lost on me until then. My guiltiest pleasure is And Then There Were None  by Agatha Christi, which I saw as a fourteen year old boy somewhere in Ontario, Canada. It still amazes me that she could employ such broadly wooden characterisation and murder almost her entire cast in quite silly ways over ninety minutes or so, yet modern audiences, myself included, remain credulous and hypnotised. Theatre magic.

If you could have one supernatural power which would you choose and why?

Flight. But only while invisible.

Do you think you will want to continue being involved in theatre after this production?

Yes , at least with the Young Vic. It is a remarkable place to work, a worthwhile place to think, and has a fine bar in which to make friends and people-watch. Should it not happen, I will cherish the memory.

Flynt stars in See Me Now  which runs 11 Feb – 4 Mar in the Young Vic’s Maria. Tickets for this production are all sold out but you are welcome to join our returns queues from an hour before each performance. Find more information on See Me Now here