Give us your full name and the character you are playing.
CJ de Mooi. I’m playing Gremio and the Pedant
Where in the UK are you from?
I’m originally from the north of England but have lived in south Wales for many years.
What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
My first proper theatre experience was as part of the Crucible Youth Theatre in Sheffield. I was in a production of Our Day Out by Willy Russell, actually performed at the Crucible itself.
What was your first experience of Shakespeare?
I remember watching a video of Jonathan Miller’s The Taming of the Shrew at school. I really enjoyed the stellar cast and comedy but found the language and plot impenetrable. My first experience of performing Shakespeare was actually with Lazarus two years ago!
What’s the event in the play that you’re most excited about discovering?
Gremio is such a great character, almost the comic relief in what is already a very funny play. I’m looking forward to seeing his journey from deluded hope to reluctant acceptance over his doomed courtship of Bianca.
Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
This is difficult as Katharina is one of the greatest Shakespearean characters ever. Even though it’s a small role, I really do like Vincentio as he arrives in the middle of a farce with no idea what’s going on.
Tell us the title of your favourite play.
. I think it would be Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein. It takes me on such a rollercoaster of emotions every time I read it and I even have a signed first edition!
Who is your theatrical inspiration?
Harvey Fierstein would certainly be up there but as bizarre as it sounds, I always admired Roger Moore. Not because I thought he was a great actor (with the exception of his left eyebrow) but because he was honest. He stepped back from Aspects of Love admitting he simply wasn’t good enough and played James Bond with a wink to the audience. He realised and embraced the irony that if you can’t laugh at yourself, nobody will take you seriously.
If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
Oh this is impossible! How do you choose? I loved River Phoenix and James Mason but Patrick Stewart and Carey Mulligan stand out for me.
What’s your favourite festival experience?
In 2015 I performed in The International Stud (the first part of Torch Song Trilogy) at the Edinburgh Fringe. That was probably the hardest but most enjoyable time I’ve ever had on stage.