Our latest production of Alan Bennett’s ‘The Habit of Art’ is a play within a play. We watch a cast, writer and stage management team rehearsing a production of, ‘Caliban’s Day’, a new play exploring W.H Auden and Benjamin Britten. We wanted to give you a sneak peek at our own brilliant cast as they prepare for a night at York Theatre Royal (photos by Sam Taylor) and a few facts about how they prepare for the show…
We spoke to Benjamin Chandler who plays Tim.
1) Do you have any backstage rituals or superstitions?
No real superstitions backstage, but I do get into ritualistic habits; what I do on the opening night tends to become something I do before every show. In this particular show I’ve ended up doing some kind of wriggly dance before we start, and before the 2nd half I play the drums on chest and belly… Odd, I’m sure, but it’s become habit.
2) How do you warm up before a show?
It changes day to day. Some days I need to get my energy levels up, other days I need to calm myself down… I always need to do some articulation work though, as that’s an ongoing development for me.
3) Do you have any funny stories or anecdotes from behind the scenes of The Habit of Art?
As others have said we don’t really get much backstage time, so not much to add… Just one thing, be careful what you eat when doing a show where you don’t leave the stage. I’m saying nothing more.
4) How do you make yourself feel at home in a theatre for the week?
I cook, that helps a lot. This week a brought my guitar along too, which is lovely to have.
5) What is your favourite theatre to work in or are you most excited to visit?
I’d never been to Liverpool, so it’s been great coming here! Awesome city. I’ve never toured before either, so just visiting different parts of the country has been nice. I grew up near York, so it was really special starting the tour there.
Catch us on tour this Autumn – find out more.