Adam Peck talks to us about playing Banquo in Tim Crouch’s FairyMonsterGhost

Adam speaks about his background in acting

I decided I wanted to be an actor when I was about 15. I was asked to be part of a chorus of schoolboys in a production of anAlan Bennett play. I remember going into the theatre and it being absolutely amazing. I’d only ever done theatre on a small school stage. I just thought: ‘Right, this is what I want to do.’

How theatre gave Adam confidence:

Before I started doing Drama I’d been quite shy and under confident and suddenly people were saying to me, ‘When you act you turn into a different person.’ I started getting respect from people who hadn’t shown me respect before and I thought, ‘This is amazing; I’m actually good at something.’

Adam talks about Drama at University

I went to University to study drama. By the time I’d left, I’d been in about 12 or 13 productions. One of those shows was a production of Macbeth in which I played Macduff. My best memory is a fight sequence where he kills Macbeth. It was about 5 minutes long, really physical and quite dangerous.

Life since University for Adam

After University I auditioned for lots of things in London. I started getting quite frustrated with acting. I found that once you did get a job, a lot of the decisions made by the creative team would made you think, ‘Why have you done that?’ So with a view to setting up a theatre company, I went back to University and did a Masters in playwriting. I then moved to Bristol and set up a company called Fairground. I’ve been working as a writer and an actor in Bristol since I moved here in 2006.

Why Adam enjoys acting

I enjoy acting mainly because at the end, you stand in front of a bunch of people and they applaud you and you feel good about yourself. But I also enjoy it because it makes you think about the world in a different way. You have to try and be somebody else. You have to take on as much of the character as possible and see the world through their eyes. If you’re playing it truthfully, it’s far more likely that the audience are going to believe you are a real person; you are in this case Banquo rather than Adam-Peck-playing-Banquo.

Adam’s favourite role:

For sheer enjoyment, it’s Seymour in A Little Shop of Horrors. It’s just such a great part, you get to play a nerd. The songs are really in my vocal register. As a professional my favourite rolel I have played is in a play I wrote called Where you can’t follow which is about a man called Jack who travels in time. In the show, I run about 2/3 miles because the way the director chose to show time travel was by having him running.

Adam explains why he wanted to play Banquo

I always wanted to do one of Tim Crouch’s plays, and I always wanted to work with John. The piece is so complicated and there are so many layers to it. There are two things that make it really interesting for me as an actor: there is a lot to get my teeth into, it’s a 45 minute monologue which is a huge chunk of work for one person. But also it’s for children, and I like the idea that Tim Crouch isn’t patronising them – he’s saying;: you can deal with this. They can read into it as much as they want and I think it works as a piece of storytelling theatre.

Adam talks about the 30 litres of blood on stage

I am a bit daunted by it, in that it’s very technical. The real challenge is staying in character, telling the story, being dramatic, whilst also having this element of tipping 30 litres of blood on the stage. It’s also really exciting, and makes you feel like a kid, just dipping your hand in blood and spraying it all over the walls. I think it will look amazing. I’ve seen pictures of Tim doing the original and he looks like a mad man. When I looked at the pictures I thought he looked how I’d always imagined Macbeth to look after killing Duncan.

Adam’s opinion on Banquo

I think Banquo is essentially a good person. I don’t think Tim Crouch has written what Banquo really thinks about it. He doesn’t write ‘If I’d have done it, I’d have done it differently to you,’ but you do get the sense that he doesn’t agree with what Macbeth has done. He doesn’t like that he ended up dead but I think that there is doubt as to whether he would have done the same. I don’t think he would have. I’m going to be playing him like he’s a better person than Macbeth. But I think that’s what is interesting about the play, that it hangs on the idea that Banquo might have done the same, had the tables been turned.

Adam speaks about asking the audience to ‘Imagine’.

It’s asking the audience to become active in the reimagining of the story. It’s imploring the audience, to go on a journey with this character, to listen to what he’s got to say, to imagine that the audience is Macbeth. The dynamic of that is really interesting because he’s asking Banquo to turn up and then Banquo is asking the audience to believe that they are Macbeth. So he has kind of removed the actor from the whole equation. It’s assumed that the person who walks on stage is Banquo, which is an incredible and real challenge for an actor.

Adam’s speaks about Banquo’s feelings towards Macbeth

I think Banquo in I Banquo, has turned up to try and resolve some issues that he has. I think he is stuck in some sort of purgatory. He’s not allowed himself to rest, or let go of what’s happened.

Adam talks about I, Banquo, compared with Shakespeare’s Macbeth

The great thing about Tim’s work is that he speaks to the audience; he doesn’t pretend that they are not there. I think I, Banquo is very much about the psychology of the character. Nothing really happens in the play, there is no progression as such. I suppose the progression that there is, is from wearing some non blood stained clothes to clothes that are covered in blood; from ‘This is what’s happened to me’, to, ‘This is what’s happens every time I tell this story’. It’s like he repeats the same story again and again. No matter how much he tries to re-imagine it, his friend is always going to have done that to him.

Adam’s first memory of Shakespeare

My first real girlfriend played Miranda in The Tempest, opposite me as Ferdinand when we were at school. It’s a terrible part, very two dimensional. He’s on his own, lost, on an island and his main funtion as a character is to fall in love with Miranda. But it was the first time I ever spoke verse and I’ll always remember it.

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