Darvill Interview

The Big Issue had a nice interview with Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams) on his new project:

“It’s a bit of a monster,” claims Arthur Darvill. “The whole thing is very ambitious and something I am very proud of.”

Speaking from the picturesque balcony of his New York apartment (“I can see the Empire State Building from my balcony, which I still find ridiculous”), the 31-year-old Doctor Who alumnus isn’t referring to his lead in Tony award-winning musical, Once. Although thanks to its current stellar Broadway run, Darvill’s star has never been brighter Stateside.

The Brummie actor is musing on his new project back in London. Wearing his composer’s hat, the self-confessed “soul man” is making history at Shakespeare’s Globe, having penned the score for the first musical ever to be staged at the venerable venue.

The Lightning Child – a ‘remix’ of Euripides’ Greek tragedy The Bacchae – is his biggest composition to date. It reunites Darvill with writer Ché Walker and director Matthew Dunster five years after the trio brought The Frontline to the Globe in what was the first contemporary play ever to be staged within the renowned wooden ‘O’.

“I’m really surprised that there hasn’t been a musical at the Globe before,” Darvill says. “It’s a space that is crying out for big soul tunes. We will get people moving.”

Darvill’s buoyant personality has lit up the stage and screen in the last couple of years: appearing alongside Matt Smith in Doctor Who bagged him a primetime following, and led directly to his role as vicar Paul Coates in sinister whodunnit drama Broadchurch.

The Lightning Child struck a chord with his first love: music. “Music has always played a big role in my life,” he reflects. “My dad’s a keyboard player, mainly Hammond organ, who played for Ruby Turner and Steel Pulse, and toured with Fine Young Cannibals.

“Growing up in Birmingham there was a big reggae scene, with UB40, that kind of thing. It was all around me and it’s in my bones. Then meeting Ché opened my eyes to writing for theatre.”

This doesn’t mean composing the sexed-up, riotous modern remix of a Dionysian epic was easy, however. “When Ché first sent me a copy of the script it was three times as long as it is now and sat on my desk for a year,” Darvill explains.

“I just didn’t know where to start. This has been a real stretch for me. There was no restriction and I had to research so many different styles of music going back generations. It’s been a real learning curve.”

If it’s not quite Doctor Who meets Shakespeare jamming over a 2 Tone Records back catalogue, The Lightning Child does transcend generations in a way that the Time Lord himself would be proud of.

Classical and contemporary, its cast of real and imagined characters – including Billie Holiday, Neil Armstrong, Caster Semenya, a couple of heroin addicts and a pitbull terrier named Cleopatra – explores the musical roots of Ancient Greece and the squats of contemporary London. And this is before a group of intoxicated worshippers gather in pre-Christian Africa to honour the god Dionysus with orgiastic rites, to the disgust of prudish king Pentheus.

Ché Walker explains: “People need to expect the unexpected. You won’t have seen anything like this before. My dream is that people will still be thinking about this play long after they have left.”

Walker’s dream of bringing the 2,400-year-old Athenian tragedy to life began in the 1990s. “It’s probably been 20 years in the making, since I was first involved in a student production of The Bacchae at drama school,” he says. “It was electrifying and from the very first moment it gripped me.

“It was my first exposure to Greek drama and I’ll never forget it. With Euripides, he put regular folk at the centre of his work – a fisherman, a servant and so on – and this was a really radical thing to do in his day. That stuck with me.”

This ethos also resonates in his teaching experiences. Walker is one of Britain’s most respected contemporary playwrights and finds time to work with Camden’s Wac Arts, which offers affordable training to young people, as well as at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). “Teaching is something that I am most proud of,” he says. “It’s my espresso and it keeps my feet firmly on the ground.”

But, he points out, it is at grassroots level that the continuing erosion of Britain’s arts budgets is having the most devastating effects. Just weeks ago councils in England were told their cultural spending will be cut by another £124m by March.

“We are witnessing tremendous funding cuts,” he says regretfully. “It’s very difficult to see and is just coming from all angles. We don’t want the industry to become inaccessible to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

The Globe is in many ways a perfect home for Walker, with his egalitarian worldview and passion for entertaining the masses with riotous, mould-breaking and thought-provoking productions.

“It was only when I finished writing The Lightning Child that I realised how suited it was to the scale and noisiness that the Globe is known for,” he says. “It felt like a natural fit.”

The Lightning Child is at Shakespeare’s Globe from September 14 to October 12



Matt Smith interviewed by IGN at San Diego ComicCon.  Is there a stint on Broadway in his future?  If so, I’m there!

Kill Amy And Rory


Too Much Who

Found this on Thought Catalog.  It’s all from New Who, has some issues, and is missing a TON of things (feel free to add them in the comments section) but it hits a lot of points dead on:

35 Signs You’ve Been Watching Too Much ‘Doctor Who’

1. You always think about eating fish fingers and custard, but never get around to actually doing it.

2. You’ll always know Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow and not as the actress from The Great Gatsby or An Education.

3. You’ve searched Etsy or eBay for a cute and inexpensive fez.

4. And Stetsons.

5. You try to incorporate “Allons-y!” and “Geronimo!” into conversations as best as you can.

6. You prefer men in bowties than actual ties.

7. Being around ANY type of statue makes you nervous.

8. You’ve told your significant other to dress up as a Roman soldier for role-playing activities.

9. You mourned the day Stephen Moffat left Twitter.

10. John Barrowman gives you so many conflicting sexual feelings.

11. You get an unexpected eerie feeling when you’re in a quiet and/or empty library.

12. You also get an unexpected eerie feeling when you see cracks on a wall or ceiling.

13. You have the opening theme song on your iPod or Spotify playlist and sometimes engage in interpretive dances to it.

14. “TARDIS Blue” is perfectly acceptable color description to you.

15. You know leather jackets or long overcoats are acceptable dress for any occasion.

16. You get giddy when you encounter a blue porta-potty.

17. You’re getting increasingly suspicious that iPhones are the real world parallel to ATMOS. WAS STEVE JOBS A SONTARAN?

18. You genuinely wonder why people would stay in modern-day London on Christmas Day.

19. You have a newfound interest in physics. Physics, eh? Physics. Phhhyyyysssicsss. Physics!

20. You try to buddy up to anyone you meet named John Smith. Hey, you never know.

21. The greatest pick-up line you know is: “Hello, sweetie.” Works like a charm.

22. You refuse to walk in shadows.

23. You admit that Love & Monsters was a really shitty episode and pretend it doesn’t exist.

24. You think Stormageddon Dark Lord Of All is a charming name for a baby.

25. The sound of tapping four times in a row is your worst nightmare.

26. You were PISSED when Tennant didn’t make an appearance at the 2012 Olympics. IT WAS SET UP SO PERFECTLY!!!

27. You now question the motives and intentions of all Prime Ministers.

28. You know never to turn left.

29. You wish Mark Gatiss was your sassy gay best friend.

30. You want to go to New New York on your next vacation (or, more realistically, the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff).

31. The entire sixth season nearly made you go to therapy.

32. You feel you have advanced knowledge of every historical figure that has appeared on the show (Madame de Pompadour, Vincent van Gogh, Agatha Christie, etc.).

33. You’ve gotten into EXTREMELY heated conversations with others about whom the “best” Doctor and companion are and will defend your opinions to the death.

34. You legitimately cried when you heard Tennant and Piper would be returning for the 50th Anniversary special. Tears. Of. Joy. Everywhere.

35. You Gallifrey. All day, every day.

License Plate

I’m on my way to NYC in just over a week.  I really hope I see this!


Darvill Interview

Arthur Darvill talks about his Broadway debut (I’d LOVE to be able to go see this) and about Matt Smith’s departure from Doctor Who