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 George, one of the Theatre School’s talented rising stars.
BOVTS: Adrian/ Francisco in The Tempest, Toad in The Wind in the Willows (both Redgrave Theatre); Ralph in Our Country’s Good, Jaques in As You Like It, Stratton in Separate Tables, Dima in Ladybird, Sparkish in The Country Wife. Pre BOVTS: Scullery in Road (Holbeck Underground Ballroom); Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, Zygmunt in Our Class, Soldier in Shoot/ Get Treasure/ Repeat, Tom/ Writer in Lapse (Stage@Leeds); Cast/ Writer in Cambridge Footlights and Friends (ADC Theatre); Cast/ Writer in Oxford Revue and Friends (Oxford Playhouse); Cast/ Writer in The Leeds Tealights, Sketch Comedy Tour (Various).
Where are you from and how did you get into acting?
I’m originally from North London but grew up in Hertfordshire, which in hindsight is a lot greener but probably significantly less exciting than the former. I first got into acting aged 3, when I played the grey squirrel in the nativity. He was, contrary to both Matthew and Luke’s supposed versions of events, right at the centre of the whole charade. I later cut my teeth at university, at the fringe, and touring sketch comedy.
Who are you playing in King Lear and what challenges have you faced in that role?
I am playing the King of France. In his capacity as (one of) the most royal of royals, he holds a significant amount of status, however Lear is certainly more experienced than him and perhaps better respected (prior to the start of our play) as a result. It’s been a rewarding challenge to step toe to toe with the King in his court without treading on them – honouring Lear by defying his expectations.
What’s your favourite thing about training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School?
The school has a very unique charm to it. It’s been an incredibly intimate training experience which really allows you not only get to know yourself incredibly well, but others too. This tends to prove pretty useful in a craft that absolutely demands team playing and empathy.
How does it feel to be taking the Bristol Old Vic stage in your graduating show?
I was first inspired to take my love for acting into the professional arena aged 16 when my drama teacher took us for a backstage tour of the Olivier Theatre. The play at that time was War Horse. It absolutely blew me away. To be finally embarking on my career under the direction of Tom Morris is both remarkably fitting and utterly extraordinary. And to be doing it in this theatre at this time is very special.