Thursday, 14 May 2015

And That's My Story: Ben Batt, Actor

I have been intrigued to find out more about the creators behind projects that I have been fortunate enough to see and/ or hear for a long time now so I've decided to something about it. And That's My Story is series on this blog that shares with you a bit about the creators I've met along the way and their journey towards fulfilling their dreams; it will run for as long as I can find people who are willing to share their story. Today, let me introduce you to the talented Ben Batt!

*  *  *  *
Within My Locket// And That's My Story: Ben Batt, Actor
Tonight is the opening night for this week's pick for the The Stage Edit series, The Funfair by HOME. And starring as one of the main characters in the play is Ben Batt whom you may recognise from the TV shows Shameless and Scott & Bailey. I was very fortunate to have a short interview with him and would like to take this opportunity to share with you his answers to the questions I asked him. 

*  *  *  *
Within My Locket// And That's My Story: Ben Batt, Actor
Ben Batt in The Funfair // Source: Photo Courtesy of HOME
WHAT WAS IT ABOUT SIMON STEPHEN'S ADAPTATION OF ÖDÖN VON HORVÁTH'S 'KASIMIR AND KAROLINE' THAT DREW YOU TO AUDITION FOR THE ROLE OF CASH?
I had never heard of the play when I got the script, but I had obviously heard of Simon Stephens and have always wanted to work on one of his plays, so I was excited from the off! The play is just so fantastically weird and wonderful and Cash is such a complicated and complex character I just saw it as a massive but exciting challenge. He’s such an angry, passionate, romantic bitter guy, it’s a gift of a role.

WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE WORKING UNDER WALTER MEIERJOHANN'S DIRECTION?
He’s a genius. I have loved every minute of it. He is such an actor’s director, he loves what he does and his enthusiasm is so infectious. He makes you want to push yourself further all the time.

YOU'VE STARRED IN THE BBC FILM ADAPTATION OF THE PERIOD DRAMA THE GO-BETWEEN, THE TV SHOW SHAMELESS, AND MANY MORE FILM & TV PROJECTS. DO YOU FIND ACTING ON STAGE MORE CHALLENGING THAN TV AND FILM?
They are all challenging in their own way. I just like each different form, and I don’t really have a preference one way or the other. The difference with theatre is that there is no escape. You can’t yell ‘cut!’ and you can’t switch off whilst you’re up there, or the audience picks up on it straight away. It’s much more nerve-wracking too! You have to keep doing something interesting all the time which is not easy!
Within My Locket// And That's My Story: Ben Batt, Actor
Ben Batt in The Funfair // Source: Photo Courtesy of HOME
HOW DOES YOUR APPROACH TO EACH MEDIUM DIFFER?
I like to hope I take it seriously no matter what I'm doing and prepare as best I can with research and things like that. I go the gym more when I'm doing theatre because it can be quite tiring so you need to keep relatively fit. It doesn't stop me having a beer in the bar afterwards though!

OPENING NIGHT IS ON THE HORIZON. HAVE YOU GOT ANY INTERESTING PRE-PERFORMANCE RITUALS?
Not really. A cigarette and a coffee usually. I have to admit I do like to stick a song on in the dressing room and have a very energetic boogie to dance the nerves away. Jay-Z is a favourite warm up boogie song. Or Frank Sinatra if I need to be a bit calmer!

You can find Ben Batt here || twitter

*  *  *  *
The Funfair // Source: Photo Courtesy of HOME
And there we have it folks! I hope you all enjoyed getting to know the funny and talented Ben Batt a little better. Looking forward to seeing him and the rest of the cast up on stage soon. The Funfair runs from the 14th of May - 13th of June so if you'd like to see it, you can try and grab a ticket from here.  I know that some of us may be slightly detached from the world of theatre but I am hoping that together we can find a permanent place for it in our collection of favourite things to do.  Expect another The Stage Edit post dedicated to this play sharing my thoughts on The Funfair once I've seen it. 

Mo x

                

Note: Images of Ben Batt and The Funfair poster used in this post are courtesy of HOME. If you would like to use them please contact them here.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Stage Edit: The Funfair

It is that time of year again where I bring to you a stage production that has caught my eye. If you are a regular around these parts then you will have heard that the Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company merged and have risen like a phoenix in the form of HOME - Manchester's new hub for all things art, film and literature - which opened a few weeks ago. HOME's opening theatre production,  The Funfair, is the one I shall be sharing with you today.

*  *  *  *
'The Funfair' // Source: Photo Courtesy of HOME
Adapted from Ödön von Horváth's play 'Kasimir and Karoline' by the Olivier-Award winning playwright Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night; Punk Rock; Harper Regan), The Funfair, which runs from the 14th May - 13th Jun, is a tale of two lovers on the cusp of parting ways in a world riddled with economic despair. I must admit I had not heard about the original play which was written in 1929 and shed light on the political, social and economical issues of that era - that are not too unlike those of today - but a chance to be thrown into a world where there is a promise of funfairs, drama and a touch of realness is one I am more than willing to take. There is a chance to tune into a Google hangout session with Simon Stephens on the 21st of May at 1 pm to find out more about his creative journey and thoughts on this play which I am looking forward to. You know me and my obsession for learning more about and sharing life stories of people whose work I admire (see 'And That's My Story' series).

*  *  *  *
Simon Stephens - Playwright // Source: Photo Courtesy of HOME
There are a few familiar names that make up the list of the crew for this project. Walter Meierjohann, whom you may remember from my post on the staggeringly good unique version of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet that was performed last year, takes on the role of the director for The Funfair. Ti Green, who won the Manchester Theatre Award for Best Design for HOME’s production of Romeo & Juliet due to the beautiful transformation of the Victoria Bath, is the designer for The Funfair.  And Petra-Jane Tauscher is the dramaturg for this project; she also worked on HOME’s Romeo & Juliet. Taking on the role of the modern day Kasimir, who will now be known as Cash, is Ben Batt (The Go-BetweenCaptain America; Shameless) and Karoline a.k.a Caroline will be played by Katie Moore (The Paradise; Doc MartinMisfits). I cannot wait to see how the space to be used to act out this play will be transformed with the help of all those on board this project. And based on the success of HOME's Romeo & Juliet, it seems like we'll be in for a treat.

*  *  *  *
And there you have it folks! If this sounds right up your street then you can grab a ticket here. There are also quite a number of fun events that are related to The Funfair that you can get involved in such as An Introduction Directing: The Funfair, Approaches to Acting: The Funfair, Intro: The Funfair and Post Show Panel: The Funfair. And you can read about what Walter Meierjohann's thoughts are on the play in an interview he did here. Oh and keep your eyes peeled for an And that's My Story post as I had the chance to interview Ben Batt and will be sharing that later on this week.

Until next time!

Mo x
                

Note: All images used in this post are courtesy of HOME. If you would like to use them please contact them here.

Monday, 11 May 2015

The TV Edit: Daredevil

I have been enamoured by colourful and rich stories that TV has brought me  for as long as I can remember as I am sure most of you have. When I first heard about Netflix releasing a new Daredevil series this year, I was not sure what to make of it. It had been way more than a hot minute since I'd thought of that character and I was already knee-deep in the Agents of Shield tv show that I was not sure I could handle any more Marvel related projects. As soon as it was released my brother and sister, being gigantic Marvel fans, latched onto it without any hesitation and spent the following weeks coaxing me to give it a go. I spent the better part of my free time this past weekend watching all 13 episodes and I cannot say I regret that decision.

*  *  *  *
Source: Marvel
I am not one for films or TV shows that are a bit - how do I put this delicately? - pro-gore but it seems this version of Daredevil has somehow struck a balance that I can stomach... whilst I wait for the signal to shut my eyes and block my ears when that balance is tipped. I must admit though that the gritty element of the show only adds to its gravitas. Each one of the 52 minutes long episodes did not fail to seduce my attention span to accommodate the time it would take to finish Season 1 before today. And I am kinda ok with that.

*  *  *  *
Source: Marvel
This Netflix original, produced by Marvel Television and in association with ABC studios, was created by Drew Goddard (World War Z; The Cabin in the WoodsCloverfield) who is no stranger to worlds where the supernatural come out to play quite regularly. It is based on the story of a certain Hell's Kitchen resident, Matt Murdock, who had an unfortunate accident when he was a young lad that left him both vulnerable and acutely aware of his surroundings. We are thrown into a dark and sinister world that has a fair share of shady characters as well as those you come to love almost instantly. For a screen series - I think it is fair to say that this cannot be classed as your typical TV show as Netflix can be accessed on multiple devices - this is pretty darn awesome. The fight sequences are polished. The scenes are intense and seamless. The music and sound in general packs a punch. The costumes are inspirational. The overall quality does not disappoint. I cannot honestly say that I hate it. As most of you know, I am not a die hard Marvel fan and so have little to pretty much zero idea what Daredevil's original story is but what I can tell you is that if you focus solely of the information provided by each episode, you will have a strong chance of being entertained.

*  *  *  *
Source: Marvel
The chemistry between the cast is undeniable and made me seriously want to sit in on a casting session. I mean, Charlie Cox (The Theory of Everything; Boardwalk EmpireStardust) as Matt Murdock? Who would have foreseen this? Not me. He definitely owns this role though. No doubt about it. One of my favourite characters has to be Foggy Nelson who is played by Elden Henson (The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Pt.1; Deja Vu; She's All That). He is such a funny fellow that has the power to disarm you with his great sense of humour and kindness. The smart and driven Karen Page was brought to life by Jessica Hamby from True Blood a.k.a Deborah Ann Woll (Meet me in MontenegroTrue Blood; Ruby Sparks). Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel; Angels & Demons; Munich) is now thankfully back on my radar. She takes on the role of a woman who loves her art and clearly has a very big heart. Law & Order's Detective Rob Goren a.k.a. Vincent  D'Onofrio (The Judge; Escape Plan; Law & Order: Criminal Intent), Bob Guton (Argo; 24;  Fracture) and Chicago Hope's Dr. Dennis Hancock a.k.a, Vondie Curtis-Hall (Experimenter; ERDie Hard 2) also star in this electric show. There are other talented actors and actresses who make an appearance in this lovely show but I shall let you find out when you watch it. And you will watch it... right?

*  *  *  *
So now that I have done my bit it trying to coax those who are yet to give this show a go to watch at least episodes 1 and 2 (DO IT!), let me know if you think I am wrong or right in thinking that this is a good'un.

Mo x

                
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogger & Blogspot Templates from pipdig