Meet the Cast – David Clayton

David Clayton Headshot (2).jpg

Give us your full name, the character you are playing and where you are from.
My name is David Clayton, I’m originally from Germany and I will be playing the Guard of Herodias.

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
I was one of the Shepard’s in a nativity play way back in school, I was sick on Jesus.

What was your first experience of Oscar Wilde?
Seeing lady Windermere’s Fan at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama while I was training there.

What’s the event in the play that you’re most excited about discovering?
The beheading of Jokanaan  – theatrical death is always fun.

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
Herod – I think we can all sympathise with someone wanting so much we’d be willing to do anything to get it.

Tell us the title of your favourite play.
Journey’s End.

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
Gemma Whelan.

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
Joaquin Phoenix or Mads Mikklesen.

Salome was originally banned apparently due to the depiction of Biblical characters on stage, however, it is widely accepted it was due to the level of sex and violence in the play. What’s the naughtiest thing you have ever done?
I shot a man in Reno.

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Meet the cast – Jamal Renaldo

Photo by Alex Winn Photography | alexwinn.com

Give us your full name, the character you are playing and where you are from.
My name’s Jamal Renaldo and I’m playing the character Jokannan and I’m from west London currently living in Harrow.

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
My first theatrical experience was around 8 years old playing the Artful dodger in our school production of Oliver.

What was your first experience of Oscar Wilde?
During a discussion in GCSE English were we briefly spoke about ‘The picture of Dorian Grey’.

What’s the event in the play that you’re most excited about discovering?
Salome’s seemingly strange obsession with Jokanaan.

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
Herodias.

Salomé has caused much controversy over the years, what play or production has provoked you / made you angry / or caused shock?
Misty shocked me at how raw and unapologetic it was and for those reasons I absolutely loved it!

Tell us the title of your favourite play.
Misty.

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
Arinze Kene.

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
If I had to choose it would probably be Marlon Brando.

Salome was originally banned apparently due to the depiction of Biblical characters on stage, however, it is widely accepted it was due to the level of sex and violence in the play. What’s the naughtiest thing you have ever done?
…..now that would be telling 😉

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Meet the Cast – Jamie O’Neill

Jamie O,Neill

Give us your full name, the character you are playing and where you are from.
Jamie O’Neill, Herod, Buckinghamshire

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
Pantomime when I was very young.

What was your first experience of Oscar Wilde?
The Importance Of Being Ernest at drama school – found it hilarious.

What’s the event in the play that you’re most excited about discovering?
The death of Jokanaan.

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
Jokanaan, he’s a mystery to me.

Salomé has caused much controversy over the years, what play or production has provoked you / made you angry / or caused shock?
I saw Blasted by Sarah Kane when I was 17. I was completely shocked by what I saw and it blew open my perceptions of what theatre was.

Tell us the title of your favourite play.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
Mark Rylance.

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
Very tough this one, but Vanessa Redgrave crushed me in The Inheritance, you could feel the weight of her experience and talent.

Salome was originally banned apparently due to the depiction of Biblical characters on stage, however, it is widely accepted it was due to the level of sex and violence in the play. What’s the naughtiest thing you have ever done?
Ask the Irish priest in the confessional at The Vatican, he forgave me of all my sins in 2017 (true story).

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Meet the Cast – Michael Howlett

Michael Howlett headshot 1

Give us your full name, the character you are playing and where you are from.
My name is Michael Howlett, I’m playing the character of The Young Soldier (AKA Narraboth) and I’m from Sydney, Australia.

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
Playing Luther Billis in a high school production of South Pacific. It was my first time on stage and I got to dance in a coconut bra and grass skirt. Think that’s where my passion started…

What was your first experience of Oscar Wilde?
Watching a brilliant production of The Importance of Being Ernest back in Sydney. I would have been about 16 at the time. I quickly fell in love with the wit and charm of it all. I got to play Algernon in 2017 and I hope to one day play Algy again. I’ll keep holding out for my cucumber sandwiches.

What’s the event in the play that you’re most excited about discovering?
I mean it’s a classical piece so surely we can’t be too worried about spoilers here, so I’d have to say my character spontaneously killing himself on stage should be pretty exciting. That, and seeing what we do with the dance of the seven veils.

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
Probably Herod. He’s just such a multifaceted character. He’s strong and stubborn, yet weak and afraid. Stubborn yet inquisitive. He’s got charm. He’s got wit. He’s vulnerable. He’s got it all. I’m team Herod, till he becomes a bit of a creep…

Salomé has caused much controversy over the years, what play or production has provoked you / made you angry / or caused shock?
That’s tough. Universally I feel like we’ve become quite desensitised by the media. It’s hard for me to think of something I’ve seen that produced a real feeling of ‘shock’. Of recent, closest would be Grief is the Thing with Feathers at the Barbican. There was something so primal, chaotic and animalistic about the piece. Almost had to leave a few times due to a sensory overload.

Tell us the title of your favourite play.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Tom Stoppard.

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
To be honest, a single person doesn’t come to mind. So I’ll say all the actors, teachers and directors   I’ve been fortunate enough to play with and learn from over the years. Particularly those back home who are so incredibly supportive of my life here in London. Couldn’t do it without them. Bit cheesy, but true.

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
Benedict Cumberbatch is the first that came to mind today, so I’ll say him.

Salome was originally banned apparently due to the depiction of Biblical characters on stage, however, it is widely accepted it was due to the level of sex and violence in the play. What’s the naughtiest thing you have ever done?
Took the cookie from the cookie jar. That, and cause roughly $8,000 worth of damage to a football stadium when I was seven.

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Meet the Cast – Cal Chapman

Cal Chapman

Give us your full name, the character you are playing and where you are from.
Callum James Shewring Chapman. My friends call me ‘Cal’ though, and I’ll be playing ‘Second Soldier’. Whooo! Originally, my family’s all from up north in Lancaster and York, but I was raised in Norfolk, beautiful bit of the countryside.

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
I was playing the back end of a cow in a production of Jack and the Beanstalk, and I just thought ‘I’m bloody nailing this.’

What was your first experience of Oscar Wilde?
‘In a handbag!?’. That and cucumber sandwiches. Tastier than they sound.

What’s the event in the play that you’re most excited about discovering?
I don’t what to let loose any secrets, but I will say I can’t wait to approach the movement sections. Physical theatre’s always been a favourite of mine and from what I’ve seen of Lazarus’ work, things get pretty crazy.

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
Probably Jokanaan. The fearsome prophet, terrible to look upon. Is he a babbling lunatic touched by the moon or does he speak more sense than the lofty royals? In a society of God fearing people who place so much importance on symbols and omens, a man who may or not be the mouthpiece of the Lord gives every other character so much to think about.

Salomé has caused much controversy over the years, what play or production has provoked you / made you angry / or caused shock?
I caught Ned Bennet’s production of ‘An Octroon’ at the OrangeTree a while back. I was sat in the front row, like the geek I am, and within the first minute or two of the play, the lead came and sat down in the empty seat next to me. He leaned in close and began telling me, very directly and with eerie detail, how bee swarms don’t sting their victims to death, but suffocate them. I was pretty shook. It was brilliant.

Tell us the title of your favourite play.
‘Mercury Fur’ by Phillip Ridley. Not for the faint of heart but at it’s core it asks how far would you go to protect your family with the apocalypse banging on the door. Honourable mentions to ‘This Is Living’ by Liam Borrett and ‘Growth’ by Luke Norris.

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
Punchdrunk and Frantic Assembly each made a massive impression on me when I was a young drama geek in school. I love stuff that’s so mad it takes your breath away, so walking into the 3 storey set of ‘The Drowned Man’, with a different world on each floor, asking you to go explore it, game-changing. And I remember watching ‘Lovesong’ by Frantic Assembly and just being so moved. The same couple in their infancy and their old age, both sharing the stage. Then when they started doing the movement sequences together, expressing old memories and love and the fear of the future, all without words, I mean it’s stuck with me to this day. And I’ve also got a lot of love for Paines Plough, rocking out new writing and making sure everyone across the country gets to be on the forefront of contemporary theatre.

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
Come on now, you already made me pick just one play. I’m going to go with Olivia Coleman. I loved her early work like ‘Peep Show’, then she started getting looks in dramatic roles like ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘Tyrannosaur’, and now she’s getting the proper recognition she deserves with incredible work like ‘The Favourite’, she’s next level. And as a weird little connection, we both went to the same school. Not at the same time, I hate to say, but we did have the same drama teacher.

Salome was originally banned apparently due to the depiction of Biblical characters on stage, however, it is widely accepted it was due to the level of sex and violence in the play. What’s the naughtiest thing you have ever done?
Oh, I plead the 5th. My mum’s gonna read this, you know. Stay in school, kids.

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Meet the Cast – Annemarie Anang

Annemarie Anang

Give us your full name, the character you are playing and where you are from.
I’m Annemarie Anang from London and I’ll be playing the Queen, Herodias.

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
One of my first was a school trip to see Peter Grimes at the ENO.

What was your first experience of Oscar Wilde?
I read a copy of Lady Windermere’s fan years ago.

What’s the event in the play that you’re most excited about discovering?
The exact moment where Herodias fully understands why her husband Herod has been constantly looking at Salome, her son, and why he has been pressuring him to dance for him.

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
Herod, for his insanity, delusions and childishness but I also love the ravings/truths of Jokanaan.

Salomé has caused much controversy over the years, what play or production has provoked you / made you angry / or caused shock?
Any play which doesn’t have a happy ending shocks me for days.

Tell us the title of your favourite play.
Natasha Gordon’s Nine Night.

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
Currently Celia Noble.

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
I love old classics so Julie Andrews and James Stewart are my favourites from that era and Charlton Heston is extraordinary in Ben Hur. In more recent times: Cecilia Noble, Viola Davis, Michaela Coel, Christoph Waltz and Robin Williams. I’ve recently discovered Rooney Mara. Also love the work of Laura Rose and Keagan Carr Fransch, who trained at Central with me.

Salome was originally banned apparently due to the depiction of Biblical characters on stage, however, it is widely accepted it was due to the level of sex and violence in the play. What’s the naughtiest thing you have ever done?
I’ve just eaten fish and chips, two bars of Kit Kat chunky, and I’m now tempted to munch through a bag of salty and sweet popcorn.

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Meet the Cast – Harriet Wilkinson

Harriet Wilkinson.jpg

Give us your full name, the character you are playing and where you are from.
Hattie Wilkinson I am originally from Essex, and I am playing the role of The Official.

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
I think it was the Lion King. I was very young and went with my family.

What was your first experience of Oscar Wilde?
My first experience was watching the Importance Of Being Ernest on TV. It was the film staring Rupert Everett and Colin Firth and even though I was a lot younger I found the playfulness and immaturity between the two ‘gentleman’ so funny!

What’s the event in the play that you’re most excited about discovering?
From my own characters perspective, and being the only female in the play who is not related to Salome, I am excited to find out how The Official feels towards Salome. Especially because my character is from another country and is visiting Judea I’m intrigued to see if Salome’s beauty and energy has the same effect on me.

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?

Queen Herodias, definitely! She speaks her mind and comes across strong on that sense but I also feel she is such a tragic character and feel incredibly sorry for her when you look at her marriage.

Salomé has caused much controversy over the years, what play or production has provoked you / made you angry / or caused shock?
I studied Classics in Sixth Form and was fascinated by the play Medea written by Eurpides. I went to see Helen McCory play Medea in a production at the National Theatre, and even though I knew the ending it still shocks me that someone can be driven to such a horrific act! I was still hoping during Medea’s debating monologue that she would change her mind, it was heartbreaking to watch and Helen McCory was fantastic!

Tell us the title of your favourite play.
The Ferryman.

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
Emma Rice. I love what she did at the Globe.

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
Either Margo Robbie or Olivia Coleman because of the range of work they have been able to do! They have played characters that are on the opposite ends of the scale and it real shows of their incredible talent.

Salome was originally banned apparently due to the depiction of Biblical characters on stage, however, it is widely accepted it was due to the level of sex and violence in the play. What’s the naughtiest thing you have ever done?
I couldn’t possible tell you that!

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