We sat down with some of our brilliant cast and crew prior to our production of "Reading Gaol" which starts next week! Next Up is Actor Jonathon Cooper who takes on the role of "Innocent" in the production, but not before he's tackled 10 of our very tough questions first!
1) How would your friends introduce you?
2) Tell us a bit about your character and what you like most about them?
Innocent is a leaf caught up in a storm. As his name would suggest, he's not guilty of the crime he was accused of committing. But what's most heartbreaking about him is that he isn't sure whether he is ultimately responsible. It's a great depiction of how we can blame ourselves out of confusion or biased learned behaviour; Innocent is used to being trodden on.
3) What is it that you like most about Reading Gaol and why do you think people should buy a ticket?
It's taken aspects, characters and nuances from a fantastic poem and magnified them. They are all built to exist at opposite ends of the spectrum, socially and morally. But they all exist with one thing in common, and that is where the poem bridges the gaps between them.
4) If you could play any role yet that you haven’t what would it be and why?
That's a tough one...I'm not sure I have a straight answer. I think what I say will probably be different month to month. I read Jack Thorne's rendition of Woyzeck recently, so right now that's my answer. Last month it was Judge Brack from Hedda Gabler. When I'm in the right age bracket, my ultimate role would be Iago. He's the villain that everyone gets behind - to succeed in winning over the audience...even when you're plotting against the title character...
5) What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
"Good acting is being confident enough to be private in public - so don't hide onstage."
6) If you could swap lives with someone for the day who would it be and why?
If it can be anyone: John Barton; 24 hours inside his head and Shakespeare would probably be a whole lot less intimidating. If they have to be alive: Sir Ian McKellen; self-explanatory really. Not for Magneto or Gandalf...they were great; but he is a titan of classical stage acting.
7) What scares you and excites you most about acting?
In acting I get most scared about boring the audience, or losing my focus and becoming sloppy. I get excited about the exact opposite frankly; having an audience hooked and feeling absorbed in what you're telling them. Sorry, that sounds really fluffy, but it's true. For a few hours I can get lost in my imagination, and taking the audience with you is an incredible feeling.
8) What's the most challenging thing you've done on stage that you're most proud of?
Portraying the Creature in Nick Dear's Frankenstein. I've never done something so physically or emotionally demanding.
9) What would the title of your autobiography be?
I dunno...'The Adventures of a Chocoholic on Stage'..?
10) Tell us a random fact we may not know about you...
I was a world bronze medallist in the BUCS World Karate Championships in Slovakia when I was 20.
Jonathon is an actor from London and plays the role of "Innocent" in "Reading Gaol" which starts this week. This is his first performance for Proforca Theatre Company. Don't ask him what's in the box because he doesn't know, honest. You can find out more about Jonathon from his Mandy Actors profile which you can find here.
"Reading Gaol" is being performed on November 2nd - 4th 2017 at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre. Tickets are available now and can be found at our website at www.proforca.co.uk/boxoffice or via www.lionandunicorntheatre.co.uk