With the company now in rehearsals, we interview the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School actors cast to play alongside theatre professionals, Timothy West, Stephanie Cole and David Hargreaves in King Lear.
Here we get to know Daniel, one of the Theatre School’s talented rising stars.
Partyman / Albany / Understudy Gloucester
BOVTS: Antonio in The Tempest (Redgrave Theatre); Rabe in Madame MacAdam’s Travelling Theatre (Bristol Old Vic Studio); Orlando in As You Like It, Jack in Shoot, Horner in The Country Wife, Arkasha in Ladybird, John in Separate Tables, Ralph in Our Country’s Good, Hermes in Metamorphoses. Pre BOVTS: Leo Bloom in The Producers (Bridewell Theatre and Minack); Macbeth in Macbeth (Bridewell Theatre); Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew (Theatro Technis and Jardin du Shakespeare, Paris); Tobias in Sweeney Todd (Alban Arena); Julian in The Drowned World, Sandy in Hay Fever (both Nottingham Arts Theatre).
Where are you from and how did you get into acting?
I was raised in Nottingham, though we moved around a fair bit when I was young – I was a five-year old expat in Hong Kong when I got my first acting job. It was a department store’s Christmas ad and I got paid in ‘MASK’ action figures.
Who are you playing in King Lear and what challenges have you faced in that role?
I’m playing the Duke of Albany, Goneril’s husband. He is conspicuously absent from the stage for a long time after the start and when he does return two acts later, he’s a markedly different man. I’d say the biggest challenge therefore has been in finding what it is that effects this transformation from the ‘milky’ Albany of those first few scenes into the strong leader that appears in acts four and five, without having it all there in the text.
What’s your favourite thing about training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School?
Working alongside talented people every day has to rank pretty highly. Having said that, it’s not so much the skill that’s remarkable as the sense of fun and invention that is brought with it. BOVTS is seemingly teeming with people – actors, directors, stage managers, designers and tutors – who really, really enjoy both what they do and exploring new ways of doing it.
How does it feel to be taking the Bristol Old Vic stage in your graduating show?
Really quite good. The Theatre Royal itself is such a wonderful old space. Moreover, it’s great to be able to work with a company like BOV that continually seeks to reflect the artistic values of the city it serves by taking risks on emerging talent while still managing to keep in touch with its unique history and traditions. Also, having worked here as an usher over the past few years to help make rent, it feels doubly good to finally make the transition from the pit to the main stage!