Category Archives: Meet the Cast

Meet the Cast – Jonathon George

JONATHON GEORGE 02

What’s your name, where you come from and who do you play?
Jonathon George. I come from York and I play Demetrius.

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
I used to attend the York Theatre Royal pantomime every year, which is brilliant, but my first experience outside of that was seeing Billy Elliot in the West End.

What was your first experience of A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
I probably read it at some point during my school years, but the first time I remember seeing it performed was at The Young Vic last year.

What’s the main part of the production or process that you’re most excited about discovering?
It’s a cop-out answer, but I’m just really excited to see how some of the things we are talking about come to life in the space. You offer ideas in the rehearsal room and throw down some pretty exciting plans, but actually seeing how it translates in the theatre is really what I’m looking forward to.

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
Probably Puck. She’s just this really powerful magical creature who quite fancies stirring things up when she’s bored. Even though she’s one of the few characters who is literally bound as a servant, she’s practically the most free of us all to do as she pleases.

What is your favourite play?
Depends what day you ask me. Right now, it’s Constellations by Nick Payne.

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
I’m not really sure. Probably someone like Julie Walters – a working class actress who ground away in the industry until she rose to the top.

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
Ian McKellen – he’s just the living, breathing definition of what it means to be an actor. Not just as a performer on stage and on screen, but as a role model, activist and campaigner. There is no actor alive who has achieved as much in both the classical and contemporary arenas (in my opinion).

What’s your favourite colour?
I mean, I don’t really have one. But when I was young I always said red because I thought the red Power Ranger was wicked…so let’s go with that.

What’s the craziest dream you’ve ever had?
I tend to have crazy dreams quite often; my subconscious just seems to let loose as soon as my head hits the pillow! It’s probably not the weirdest, but the other night I dreamt that I was coming home drunk and somehow managed to end up at my former bosses house. I stumbled in, only to be greeted by him (quite unperturbed) before proceeding to have a completely normal conversation about dandelions…I know right? Not even the weirdest one…

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Meet the Cast – Ingvild Lakou

ingvild-9084-web

What’s your name, where you come from and who do you play?
My name is Ingvild, I’m from Norway and I play Titania and Hippolyta.

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
When I was little, my mum would take me and my sisters to go and see the national ballet perform ‘The Nutcracker’ during Christmas. Everything was so beautiful. The set, the music, the dancers and the costumes – I thought it was so magical.

What was your first experience of A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
My mother had gotten my older sisters a cartoon book version of Shakespeare’s plays. This was before I could read properly, so I just looked at the pictures. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was my favourite, because those pictures were the most colourful.

What’s the main part of the production or process that you’re most excited about discovering?
How dark this play is! It’s always come across to me as this colourful fairytale, but everything has a quite sinister side…I love it!

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
I do like Helena. She goes from running after a man she can’t help but love, to actually saying ‘No!’ when it’s gone to far. But throughout this process Egeus has become a very interesting character to me. What drives a parent to wanting to see their child die instead of being with the ‘wrong man’? To keep her safe? Out of pride?

What is your favourite play?
Aaaa, that’s not an easy one. ‘The Cruicible’ is such an amazing read, and I also love Stef Smith’s writing. Although, based on what I’ve seen, ‘Apologia’, that was on at Trafalgar Studios last autumn, is one of my favourite plays.

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
I think most creatives that I either talk to about or see being passionate about their craft. And things and people that make me ‘feel’ something – like Stromae’s music. If you haven’t heard it – give it a go!

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
Emma Thompson and Sophie Okonedo. Two powerful ladies.

What’s your favourite colour?
Purple

What’s the craziest dream you’ve ever had?
I can’t single out one, but the craziest dreams I have is when I dream in a massive, high budget, motion picture style. We’re talking car chases, explosions, time travel, supernatural beings – you name it! The sad thing is that I never remember them, otherwise I might have had a few great screenplays by now!

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Meet the Cast – Lanre Danmola

Lanre Danmola

What’s your name, where you come from and who do you play?
Lanre Danmola from Mitcham in and I play Theseus/Oberon

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
In primary school I was cast as the changeling baby in Midsummer Night Dream, although i really wanted to play King Oberon. I guess I got there in the end 😉

What was your first experience of A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
Same as above, although I recently saw the play in the Hammersmith lyric and that was entertaining.

What’s the main part of the production or process that you’re most excited about discovering?
The puppetry with fairies in the forrest, it will definitely bring a real magical element to the production. We already had a taster workshop and can’t wait for us to develop these more.

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
Bottom. He is just so over the top. Everyone has a friend like Bottom.

What is your favourite play?
Br’er Cotton. Written by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm. It resonated quite a lot talking about the current black lives movement but was also highly funny and entertaining.

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
Arinze Kene. His play ‘Misty’ at The Bush Theatre made me rethink how theatre can be performed on stage to create an experience and bought a lot of truth to growing up in London.

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
Bryan Cranston

What’s your favourite colour?
Blue

What’s the craziest dream you’ve ever had?
Having to save the world against apocalypse, few to many sci-fi’s that night.

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Meet the Cast – Max Kinder

MAx Kinder

What’s your name, where you come from and who do you play?
My name’s Max Kinder, I’m originally from Winchester and I’m playing Lysander.

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
I think my first theatrical experience was playing a cat in a primary school nativity production of Babushka. I don’t remember much except sitting at the edge of the stage and occasionally purring.

What was your first experience of A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
I remember reading a shorter, illustrated version that my parents got me when I was nine. Although I initially didn’t understand the entire plot, I loved all the fantasy elements and magical creatures.

What’s the main part of the production or process that you’re most excited about discovering?
It’s probably the puppetry work that we’ve been working on. I don’t think I can say too much about it for now, but they’re not your typical puppets and the interactions between puppets and actors is both visually awesome and utterly hilarious.

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
I really love Peter Quince. He’s always trying to keep his company together and produce his play to the best he can. Not easy when you’ve got Bottom trying to take control at each turn.

What is your favourite play?
Violence and Son by Gary Owen.

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
Right now, it’s Donald Glover. He’s created in so many different industries – acting, writing, music – and I respect anyone who’s able to tell stories and express themselves in diverse mediums.

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
David Tennant.

What’s your favourite colour?
Yellow.

What’s the craziest dream you’ve ever had?
I once dreamt that I formed a band with Star Wars characters and played Blues Brothers songs. Nothing like Han Solo singing “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love”.

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Meet the Cast – Eli Caldwell

Eli Caldwell headshot

What’s your name, where you come from and who do you play?
Hi I’m Eli Caldwell, I’m from Ireland and I play Francis Flute and a Sprite!

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
I think my first theatrical experience of my whole life was when I acted as part of the ensemble of The King and I at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

What was your first experience of A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
 I first heard it as a fairytale when I was very young and it completely enchanted me.

What’s the main part of the production or process that you’re most excited about discovering?
Because we’ve been doing such detailed text work: I’m exited to discover how our theatrical choices early on will inform the rest of the play.

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
Titania is my favourite character because she is daring, loyal, fierce, and strong.

What is your favourite play?
At the moment it’s a tie between ‘M. Butterfly’ by David Henry Hwang, and ‘A Raisin In The Sun’ by Lorraine Hansberry.

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
My first drama teacher.

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
One of my favourite actors is Ruth Negga.

What’s your favourite colour?
Indigo.

What’s the craziest dream you’ve ever had?
I was effortlessly flying through the Grand Canyon, which was completely submerged in crystal blue water.

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Meet the Cast – John Slade

John Slade

What’s your name, where you come from and who do you play?
John Slade, I’m from Essex and I play Peter Quince.

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
Playing Joseph in the school nativity.

What was your first experience of A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
At secondary school. We did a production in the woods.

What’s the main part of the production or process that you’re most excited about discovering?
I want to know just what effect the love potion has on people and is it the same for everyone and does it behave differently on different people.

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
Puck. Tessa is perfect casting for it too and I can’t wait to see what she does.

What is your favourite play?
I recently saw ‘Things I Know To Be True’ by Andrew Bovell. Some big life lessons in that one.

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
Madonna. She’s the epitome of not worrying about what others think of her. I think we could all do with a good dose of that.

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
Samantha Spiro. She’s such a talent. I missed her in ‘Lady windermere’s Fan’ though.

What’s your favourite colour?
Blue.

What’s the craziest dream you’ve ever had?
This dream still haunts me to this day. When I was a kid, I dreamt bees had built a nest inside my feet. What would Freud say about that?

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Meet the Cast – Tessa Carmody

9840-Tessa-Carmody-©Michael-Wharley-2017-4

What’s your name, where you come from and who do you play?
Tessa Carmody, Perth – Australia, Puck

What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
The Nutcracker when I was about 3 years old – bright and scary and colourful and confusing and magical

What was your first experience of A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
Studying it in English class as a 13 year old, and totally thinking it was just a weird play about fairies who were angry for some reason

What’s the main part of the production or process that you’re most excited about discovering?
Just what this play will be in the hands of this particular group of people – Midsummer is done so often, but you never see two productions that are the same – what will it be with this cast and creative team? What will our collective interpretations look like?

Who’s your favourite character, other than your own?
Bottom. What an idiot.

What is your favourite play?
I can’t choose, there’s too many!

Who is your theatrical inspiration?
Same answer!

If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
Kathryn Hunter

What’s your favourite colour?
Green

What’s the craziest dream you’ve ever had?
A recurring nightmare that I had when I was about 12. I was being chased by a werewolf on the way home from school, but we were just walking? And people – friends and their parents – were cheerfully waving to us like nothing was wrong. I was genuinely terrified.

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