James Benfield is playing the main man Phileas Fogg in Around The World In Eighty Days. He had a few words with Susan Morris.
How long have you been coming to Blue Apple?
Since 2010. I’ve been in Captain Miserable, The Government Inspector, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Arabian Nights, The Happy Prince, The Snow Queen, The Selfish Giant and Grimm Tales.
Which was your favourite?
Difficult to say. The Government Inspector, Captain Miserable and Much Ado were pretty funny. It’s nice to have a variety of different authors and productions.
Does it make a lot of difference when you have a main part?
Being the main character doesn’t matter too much to me. There are quite a fair few roles which are pretty important in Around the World in 80 Days.
Are you enjoying playing Phileas Fogg? What are the challenges with this show?
I am enjoying it very much. The challenges at the moment are trying to do a speed run to see if anyone needs to work on any parts and make it sound clearer. There are a lot of lines which are descriptive and informative.
What sort of a person is Phileas Fogg?
He is rather strict and fussy, but kind. I’m not sure how old he is, older than me.
Do you get nervous on stage?
I do get nervous, yes, but not as much as some people. If I know a person is nervous, or has a problem with confidence, concentration or whatever, it’s easy to play along – to make it better for them.
What productions would you like Blue Apple to do in the future?
Shakespeare - Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, A Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor - and something with more of a mix between dance and acting. [James is also a singer and has sung in several Blue Apple performances.] It would be good if other people get a chance singing; we could have a duet, or a Blue Apple band.
What would you say to someone who wants to join Blue Apple?
I would say, that is great; put your name on the waiting list, come and have a taster session.
What would you say to someone thinking of coming to see the show?
I would say – here are some flyers! It is very funny but there are a few serious bits. We will look at their feedback and comments, good or bad. If they’re bad, we feel a bit rubbish but we say, oh well…