This interview was carried out in conjunction with the wonderful Minnie Mélange!
We talked to Brendan and Brian Gleeson ahead of the opening of the Walworth Farce. You can the fascinating results below.
You both have huge experience in theatre and film but what is different or special about being on stage?
Brian: When you go to see a play, the performance will never be the exact same again and I love that. It makes each night special!
Brendan: Yeah, I kind of feel that it’s a different craft. Film is a very inward art form; the camera follows you and you hide from it or give to it sparingly but theatre is different particularly in the Olympia. It’s such a big theatre and I remember playing here and the gods being full. You have to be conscious that you interact with those people too – not just the stalls. The actuality and reality of it is a different experience for both the actor and the audience.
And does that create a fear now, not having worked on stage recently?
Brendan: You sound as if you wish it did! No it doesn’t really, because I was six years out prior to the last play I did. The last play I did was a Billy Roche play in 2000, which is almost 15 years ago. I had all that trepidation before it, I was really scared. I already had that experience and then I went out and I remember hearing the first laugh, and being completely invigorated by it. And I had totally forgotten, that actually they help you, the audience helps you. I’m trusting that at the moment. I mean, I’m nervous about the technical aspects of it, I’m nervous about getting to the pitch of stage work and making sure my voice patterns aren’t too low and all that sort of thing.
Brian: But if you’re surrounded by good people…
Brendan: Yeah, I’m safe with the lads, in a way. I kind of feel that this place, because I spent so much time in this particular theatre in the 80’s, it’s a very safe place. I just need to get to the work.
So your sons are providing a kind of caring role for you?
Brendan: Well they are, yeah, as they say ‘Once a man, twice a child’ (laughs). They’re starting to take care of me! It’s more as actors, not so much that they’re family. It’s that I have two actors that are committed, and that I know that are generous of spirit and are going to bring all sorts of things to the table. And I don’t feel there is any other agenda out there, other than to work with it. I know the only agenda out there is trying to make the work as good as possible.
What do you want people to feel when they leave the theatre?
Brian: Absolutely, well, introspection as well, but that you come out feeling flushed from the experience.
Interview by Frank L. and Minnie Mélange,
Find out more about Landmark Productions here.
Visit the Walworth Farce official Website here.