1) What’s your name and where do you come from?
David Jay Douglas, originally from Ringwood, Hampshire, Nr the South Coast.
2) Who do you play?
3) What were your first impressions of the project?
I knew of some various adaptations of the Beggar’s Opera and about how much of a stir it caused on its release in the 18th century. So initially I saw a piece of theatre which had unending possibilities to play with.
4) What has been the highlight of the project so far?
For me the highlight has been a lot of the explorative work we have undertaken, like for example in our first week a movement call, which more or less involved getting involved with a piece of music, creating movement that felt part of the music and essentially having a mini mid morning rave…It has informed a lot of what we do in the piece and it was great fun.
5) What’s the most challenging part of the process?
I don’t think I’ll be the only one saying this…The text…Of course, the text is 288 years old, it’s not quite Shakespeare not quite Dickens and requires a lot of the work, however like anything that is superbly written there are so many nuances and discoveries to be made on a daily basis which has been a challenge of course, but very satisfying as well.
6) What are you most looking forward to in the remainder of the project?
I look forward to be at the stage during a run where the piece begins to flow organically, when you feel truly in synch with the rest of the cast and you ccan truly enjoy yourself within the machine that is the piece.
7) Who is your biggest inspiration?
I’m a huge Radiohead fan and Thom Yorke (frontman) has pretty much informed my Musical education from the age of about 5 to now…So not quite theatrical related but close enough!
8) What is your favourite musical of all time?
9) If you could play any role in a musical, (other than the one you are playing in The Beggar’s Opera) what would it be and why?
Mrs Peachum…Jokes.I would love to play John Valjean in Les Miserables…Yes I will probably have to wait about 10 yearsGo out and explore, whether that is within your own environment i.e. going to plays, gigs, read weird books, go to workshops or save up some money and go to somewhere in the world that excites you. My mistake was launching straight out of school in to drama school and maybe not chilling out and waiting a year or two. It;s so much harder on the other side of that to get out there!, but I’m a patient man!
10) The Beggar’s Opera is all about chancers and opportunity, a ‘Live-for-today’ kind of attitude, if you could give one piece of advice to your younger self or to anyone else what would it be?
Hmm… I wish I’d met my fiancé when I was younger!! I’d have told myself to keep up guitar lessons / learn an instrument as the big thing now is Actor-Musicians; but I’d advise other young people not to put so much emphasis on their acting career: work hard, obviously, but don’t miss out on life for the sake of a maybe. Take holidays, spend time with your family and friends, because that will make you a much more rounded person.