A spot of acting

I’ve long admired actors. Working ‘behind the scenes’ in the theatre and watching how they turn some pages of dialogue into almost-real people is magical to me.

Acting has always been one of those things that I don’t understand – how do they remember all those lines? Why have I forgotten that this is my friend on stage, and not actually a Jacobean prince? It’s also been on my top-secret Bucket List for many many years.

I’d never really expressed any interest in acting on stage, aside from a casual comment in a forgotten conversation with my pal Anna Rose James (hugely talented writer, director and actor). Shortly after she let me know of a small part in a production in York – it was just a stand-in role for a couple of performances, for a couple of scenes, and would I be interested?

Of course, I said yes.

The play was ‘An Interview in the Afterlife’ by Off The Rock Productions. Under the studied eye of director Matthew Wignall I fervently learned my handful of lines and made sure I was where I should be, when I should be (Woody Allen’s famous quote “80% of being successful is just turning up” sprung to mind).

As it turned out, my stage debut was not to be. The performances I was earmarked for were cancelled, and that was that – but the experience (and fun) of rehearsal and hanging out with the super-talented cast made the exercise worthwhile nonetheless.

During this period, I stumbled into my film acting debut – playing an irate police officer in Jamie McKeller’s award-winning pilot The Book Club. That was a ton of fun, as well, and I’m hoping to be brought back (and killed off) in the full series next year.

Currently, I’m in rehearsals for The Damask Room, by Off The Rock again. It’s an ambitious portmanteau evening of 14 short plays – somehow I’ve snagged three different roles, which involve me getting covered in pie, blood, and simulating sex with an obese woman in a wheelchair.


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