Tell us a bit about yourself. What was it that made you want to be an actor?
I’m a writer and actor and the co-Artistic Director of Ridiculusmus theatre company. I originally trained as an actor in order to gain a means of communicating with actors that I was having trouble directing in university productions. When I started making my own independent shows it was only economically viable to perform in them as well, so I did.
Were you familiar with Sarah Kane’s work before joining this production? Why does Blasted feel like an important story to tell now?
I hadn’t seen anything but was acutely aware of the 'in-yer-face' wave she was part of as we were touring popular comic versions of similar territory at the time that the play debuted. Latterly, I was pestered by students that I was delivering a semester on Non-Shakespearean Renaissance drama to at the University of Wolverhampton to do Blasted instead of The Two Maids of Moreclacke. I was contractually obliged to decline.
How did you get inside your character for Blasted?
I am jigsaw maker when it comes to acting, a bit of life observation—newspaper hacks, smokers, drinkers, lung cancer and eye patients, a bit of BBC Radio Leeds, a bit of trawling through my experiences in Yorkshire, my PTSD research with war veterans for Ridiculusmus’ Give Me Your Love, my experiences of domestic strife, going to football games, the ennui of fancy but dull hotels, interactions with the armed forces and police, nihilism, hope and pain… All this glued together with imagination and playfulness meticulously curated and moderated by director Anne-Louise Sarks.
What has it been like working with director Anne-Louise Sarks? How have you found the process in the rehearsal room as an actor?
Annie-Lou is the sort of person who should be running a major theatre company or space. She is fearless and rigorous yet creates an atmosphere of security and playfulness that nurtures personal and artistic expression with the utmost care for our safety and sanity.
In theatre today, what inspires you?
Bold acts of the imagination fuelled by a thrilling higher purpose and delivered with craft, heart and intelligence.
Don't miss David Woods in Blasted, playing 24 Aug – 16 Sep.