In the run up to the launch of Feel and Feel More we’re spending some quality time with our brilliant cast and creative team. Next up we have the brilliant John Slade who tackles “10 Questions” so you can get to find out more about him and his character “Mark” in Feel More written by the fantastic Hannah Bates. Here’s what John had to say!
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you
I’m John. I was born in East London, grew up in Essex, lived in Australia and am now based in London.
What’s the best piece of direction you’ve ever been given?
Every line you say could be the last line of the scene. It’s just so happens that someone else says something else.
What actor do you most admire and why?
I think Cate Blanchett is fantastic. She’s amazingly versatile and every interview I have seen her in she speaks with so much sense. I saw her play Blanche in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ at Sydney Theatre Company and she was electric. Such an incredibly low, resonant voice as well.
What’s the best thing you’ve seen at the theatre and why?
Cheek by Jowl’s ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore’. I saw it in Sydney years ago and it was the first time I had seen a piece of classical theatre where the company had made the text so accessible. It was exhilarating to watch and I surprised myself by understanding every word spoken thanks to the great direction and acting.
Do you have any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
I have to brush my teeth before a show. Taking that fresh energy on to the stage is so important. On the rare occasion I haven’t managed to brush my teeth pre-show, I really regret the last coffee I had. I fear I’ll have festy coffee breath, like an old science teacher at school and that’s not very appealing, especially for those on stage with you.
What’s been the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on stage?
This wasn’t embarrassing for me as such but I had the job of undressing and redressing, on stage as part of an opening movement sequence, the actor who was playing King Edward II in Marlowe’s Edward II. One night, as I quickly yanked his trousers down, I looked up and suddenly noticed that I had also pulled his boxers down too. He was starkers, centre stage and standing on a chair, for the whole audience! He carried on like nothing had happened (obviously!), got into his new costume and thankfully thought it was hilarious. The audience certainly got some bang for their buck that night! Especially towards the end of the show when he had to be stripped down to his boxers again. Of course, he wasn’t wearing any so he had to do the last 15 minutes in his birthday suit. We had a school group in that night too! What a sport he was!
If you could swap lives with anyone for the day who would it be and why?
I’d love to experience life as a tribesman from an uncontacted tribe, deep in the rainforest or jungle. I think it would be life changing to experience life at such a pure level, with no technology or modern appliances etc. I wonder what level of connection these people have with the earth and nature and what us westerners could learn from that.
Who would play you in the film / play of your life?
Evan Peters. He’s great in American Horror Story. Like Cate Blanchett, versatile.
If you could change one thing about living in London, what would it be and why?
Not just in London but UK wide, I would make it illegal for banks not to accept an ability to make your monthly rental payments as evidence that you can afford to pay a mortgage every month. Home ownership should be for everyone, not a lucky few.
What do you like most about the world of Feel / Feel More and why do think people should buy a ticket?
I’m not much of a crier, but when I read ‘Feel’ for the first time, I was really moved. The play constantly moves in an unexpected direction too. It’s both riveting and relevant.
BONUS BALL: Tell us something surprising about you that people might not know.
When I was a kid, I went windsurfing with my cousins and got stuck in a bay with no wind. Lying on my board, trying to paddle back to the sport’s centre, a small boat pulled up alongside me and asked me if I needed any help. It was Griff Rhys Jones.
“Feel” is performed from Feb 5-16 and “Feel More is performed Feb 9&10, 16&17 at The Space, London E14.
Proforca Theatre Company are a theatre company based in London Tickets are on sale for “Feel” and “Feel More” now from www.proforca.co.uk/boxoffice. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ProforcaTheatre #TeamFeel