Wings: 11 Questions with Nick Gasson

Nick Gasson is currently starring in Wings at the Young Vic. His character is struggling to rebuild his communication skills after experiencing aphasia – a condition that affects the brain and leads to problems with speech and language.

We caught up with Nick to ask him these 11 questions . . .

nick-gasson

 1. Can you describe your character in Wings in three words?

Recovering stroke victim

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

Wings is an extra-sensory experience!

3. What’s the most exciting thing about being part of this Young Vic production?

Working with such an amazing team of actors and crew

4. Emily Stilson was a wing walker. What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Going on the ‘tea-cups’ ride at the funfair!

4. How do you think this show will make audiences feel?

Apart from hugely impressed at Juliet Stevenson’s performance, I think they will feel like they have a better understanding of what goes on in the head of someone who’s had a major stroke

5. What has it been like working with Natalie Abrahami?

Wonderful. Her approach is always collaborative and the final results are finely detailed

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

Reading the papers!

7. What is your favourite play you’ve either seen, read or worked on?

There have been so many but in terms of taking part, playing the old tramp Davies in 3 tours of The Caretaker. Plays that really stunned me when I saw them include Bent and Angels in America, both at the National Theatre.

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

Writing and performing in play at primary school

8. What’s the funniest thing that happened to you recently?

I was in my local bar in Spain and Bobby Davro walked in. You have to be fairly old to know who he is, but he was a popular comedian / entertainer on TV in the 1980’s.

9. What’s the one thing you value most in life?

Got to be either health or the feeling of warm sun on your face

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

No longer with us: David Bowie. I’d say ‘Fancy a pint?’. Alive: Judi Dench. I’d say ‘Fancy a cuppa and a chat?’

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

I wish I’d been born in ’67 rather than ’57. So much changed for the better in those 10 years.

Wings runs at the Young Vic until 4 November. Juliet Stevenson stars as Emily, an aviator who suffers a stroke that destroys her sense of reality. Fragments of her life come together as she struggles to find her voice and sense of self.

Click here to book tickets from £10

 

11 Questions with the cast of My Name is Rachel Corrie | Erin Doherty

Erin Doherty plays Rachel Corrie in this year’s JMK production My Name is Rachel Corrie. She has received plenty of critical praise with The Guardian describing Erin’s portrayal as “one of the year’s great discoveries with a stunning performance” (★★★★). So without further ado, it’s over to the lady herself…

1. Can you describe your character in My Name is Rachel Corrie in three words?

Determined, quick, hopeful

2. What’s the most exciting thing about being part of this Young Vic production?

The opportunity to tell Rachel’s story

3. How do you think this show will make audiences feel?

(I hope) Charged

4. Did you do anything unusual to prepare for this role?

We went to Israel and Palestine. We wouldn’t have been able to make this production without it.

5. What was it like working with JMK Award winner Josh Roche?

Fantastic. Collaborative. Enriching.

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

For this project: Listening to Mozart, lying on the floor of my dressing room.

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Erin Doherty in My Name is Rachel Corrie. Photo by Ellie Kurrtz.

7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Learn to live off little so you can continue doing what excites you.

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

Well I met Juliet Stevenson last Saturday – she’s a huge hero, a superhero, I think I managed to tell her she’s great…not much else came out.

9. What is your favourite play you’ve seen, read or worked on? 

Mercury Fur, directed by Ned Bennett at the Trafalgar Studios in 2012 – blew my brains out.

10. What is the last thing that made you laugh out loud? 

A phone conversation with my sister, Grace.

11. Confession time. This is a safe space: tell us something you’ve never told anyone before.

I used to think my cat was my twin. Yes. I really did.

My Name is Rachel Corrie is currently sold out, but you can queue for day seats or check the Young Vic website for returns (it might be your lucky day) to catch Erin doing what she does best (10 minutes after lying on the floor listening to Mozart).

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 👇🏽. 

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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

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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

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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