With previews for King Lear well under way, we interview the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School actors cast to play alongside theatre professionals, Timothy West, Stephanie Cole and David Hargreaves.
Here we get to know Brad, one of the Theatre School’s talented rising stars.
Partyman / Albany / Understudy Gloucester
BOVTS: Sebastian in The Tempest (Redgrave Theatre); The Sergeant in The Madame Macadam Travelling Theatre (Bristol Old Vic Studio); Orlando in As You Like It, Horner in The Country Wife, John Malcolm in Separate Tables, Arkasha in Ladybird, Sideway in Our Country’s Good. Pre BOVTS: Jesus Christ in The Passion (AECC); Katurian in The Pillowman (Aberdeen Performing Arts); Merlock in Jack and The Magic Beans (Scottish Youth Theatre); Macbeth in Macbeth (Centre Stage Theatre Company); Boxer in Animal Farm (Acorn Youth Theatre); Ensemble in S’WARM (National Youth Theatre).
Where are you from and how did you get into acting?
I’m from a town called Peterhead about 40 miles north of Aberdeen. In my final year of school I started really enjoying acting and taking it a bit more seriously. My future wife was in that class as well which I think may have also been part of the attraction! I then went and studied acting at college for a year and for the first time saw it as a potential career option.
Who are you playing in King Lear and what challenges have you faced in that role?
I’m playing Albany. The challenge lies in the fact that he is absent for most of the play and undergoes this radical change from passive and naive at the start to determined and strong at the end. So figuring out what kind of man he is and what he’s been doing offstage has proved interesting! He’s not the coward he’s sometimes assumed to be, he just gets stuck in the duty of the old world that is crumbling before his eyes and realises too late what is happening.
What’s your favourite thing about training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School?
The first year of training is incredible and really sets you up with a technique and toolbox to help you as an actor. The staff are fantastic and you get the opportunity to really find out what interests you as an actor and discover your range and capabilities.
How does it feel to be taking the Bristol Old Vic stage in your graduating show?
Bristol Old Vic’s Theatre stage is stunning and so many iconic performances have happened here. Getting that opportunity to tell a story like King Lear on such a great stage is a welcome climax to a fantastic experience at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.