In the run up to our February 2019 productions of #ProforcaFeel and #FeelMore we threw open the doors of the Proforca Blog to our new collaborators, writers and Production Team. Taking over the blog for a look at crafting a “Feel More” monologue is the brilliant Ben Fensome who takes us behind the scenes of his piece “Luke” written by the very brilliant Jack Albert Cook.
We’re waist deep in the middle of rehearsals for “Feel More”. With just over two weeks to go I have to say that I’m having an incredible experience working on my character “Luke” with Jess Barton our director, and I’m really excited to get to perform and share my character’s “Tolkein-esque” roller-coaster quest from his duvet, to Charing Cross, Alexandra Palace and back again, all in the hope of remembering someone’s name…
Luke is such a tonic of a character to play. Someone racked with self-doubt, self-conscious inhibitions and insecurities, with a whole host of experience in rejection, and yet, he still has an infectious optimism and bouncy energy that things just might- just might- work out this time. In such a disposable dating culture, an opportunity for a real connection feels like it’s more and more of an elusive goal and it’s no surprise that generally there is a huge amount of cynicism towards this tricky subject of “finding love”. This monologue, written by the very talented Jack Albert Cook, invites the audience to be hopeful that such a thing still exists as meeting someone “IRL” that you immediately and profoundly click with (even if you struggle to remember their name the day after…)
It’s rewarding to play someone who despite knowing his glass is half, or maybe even two thirds, empty, they invest a lot of energy in what is actually full. Whilst the piece is very funny and a wild journey into this character’s weird eventful night, there is a sadness and a vulnerability to him that I can’t help but get a bit moved by. What I love, and what I hope audiences will respond to most about the piece, is the chance this character is given, how hard he works to seize that chance, and… well I won’t spoil anything…
It’s worth mentioning too, there’s something refreshing about playing this kind of character in the context of a wider LGBTQ canon at this present time. Sometimes, we do just need to be reminded that it’s not all doom and gloom, and whilst it’s important to delve deep into the shadow side of our experience and psyche, it’s equally important to share the moments of joy, of liberation and (this word again) hopefulness.
I cannot wait to see what the other actors and writers of "Feel More" have been cooking up, and also intrigued to see how all these characters fit into the expanded universe of Proforca’s main production “Feel”, a play itself that also involves both laughter and melancholy in exploration of modern love-finding.
It’s going to be emotional!
Ben is an actor and writer based in London and plays “Luke” in “Feel More” written by Jack Albert Cook. Find out more about Luke and a night to remember by buying tickets for Feel More on sale now from www.proforca.co.uk/boxoffice. You can follow Ben on Twitter "@BenFensome
Proforca Theatre Company are a theatre company based in London. You can find out more about the world of Feel by James Lewis by visiting our website or following us on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram @ProforcaTheatre