Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 3:47 pm | 0 Comments |
The interviews are rolling in thanks to Matthew’s upcoming role as Peter in Unfaithful which opens later this month. Both The Reviews Hub and BroadwayBaby had a chance to talk to Matt about the play and his other roles. The interview with The Reviews Hub was a bit more expansive with Matthew talking about his career trajectory, his brother Anthony and Unfaithful. When speaking about the themes of the play he says:
“I suppose it’s about people, human beings, and relationships and interactions between people and communication within relationships and how that differs between genders,” Lewis explains. “How men and women communicate with each other, generational differences, how younger couples may approach relationships compared to older couples, the effect that time plays on a relationship, so a younger couple who have been together for a few months compared to an older couple who have been together for 30 years.
“And then, I guess it’s about honesty as well. It’s about are we every truly ourselves? Or do we always constantly play characters? And do we always keep some things back to ourselves and never share everything with our partner of 30 years. How truthful are we when we communicate on a daily basis? Is it possible to have completely meaningless sex? Or does it always have to be intimate? Does it always have to be a sharing of something?”
Next up is the interview with BroadwayBaby, some highlights may be read below:
Niamh told me that Ruta propositions Sean’s character. Do you meet Niamh and Sean’s characters?
Basically, what happens is Tara, who is my partner, for whatever reasons, initiates a conversation with Tom and whatever happens between those two happens and so Joan’s way of dealing with this is… she ends up hiring Peter, my character. That’s how our relationship comes about. Through that, you explore her side of the coin – how the relationship between her husband and my girlfriend has affected her, and it’s also her taking a look at who she is. Also, you start to see, what do I put into this job? Is she just another woman? Does the conversation become more than that? Do the lines get blurred between what is a client and something more? And I guess, what does infidelity and unfaithfulness actually mean when it comes to sex? Is it possible that sex and companionship and talking can be detached from all that, with no emotion and therefore it’s not being unfaithful, or does it always have some degree of… can it just be business or does there always have to be some degree of intimacy to it? And that’s what gets explored between both couples and how they interact.
How are you thinking about how you are going to interact with the audience in such a small space? Niamh said that you and Ruta seemed very confident and that it won’t be a problem. But the first time I came here, because obviously you can sit this far away [I gesture at the space between us across the table] you feel like if you blink you are going to ruin the scene!
Yeah, yeah I know what you mean. I’m very acutely aware of that. If Niamh has taken that as some kind of confidence from me then that’s amazing because I’m not sure how much I feel it now after one week. I guess at the minute I’m trying not to think about it too much [he says conspiratorially, half under his breath]. I’ve only just got in the space for the first time this morning, Ruta and I, I’d seen it before, but we only got it up on its feet this morning, so that’s already made me feel a little bit more comfortable with it.
It’s one of those plays where because it’s so real and the characters are so layered, (it’s something Adam, our director has been talking about) on the surface it seems very simple. Oh, this is the story, this is what he is trying to say and this is where the characters are going. And actually when you’ve unpacked it, there are a whole lot of things that are going on with everyone. There are a whole lot of beats and notes and it’s a bit like fuuuck. But I think once we get there it’s going to be so intense in terms of what’s going on, and because there’s only four of us, and only ever two people onstage at any one time, it’s like a series of two-handers. I think I’m just going to be completely engrossed with it to be honest that I think everyone else will sort of melt away.
It’s also one of those things where there’s humour in it and it is darkly comic, but the humour comes from the reality of it. If the audience laughs at something, fine, but I’m not interested in that, it’s more just playing the truth of it and seeing what people do and don’t relate to.
In terms of that I will be interested absolutely in how people receive it and as with any play I’m sure there will be things that are funny that I haven’t picked up on and vice versa. I’m going to try not to be too influenced by it, which may be difficult!
Unfaithful runs from August 25th-October 8th at Found111 theatre.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 8:15 am | 0 Comments |
Matthew was a guest on ITV’s This Morning on August 15th to talk about his new play Unfaithful and Ripper Street Season 4 which will begin airing on BBC Two on August 22nd. It is also airing on Thursdays in the United States on BBC America.
Sunday, August 14, 2016 at 1:07 pm | 0 Comments |
The official site for Matthew’s new play, Unfaithful, has shared some behind the scenes photos by photographer Marc Brenner. Some additional photos were posted by Broadway World. The photos can be viewed in our gallery!
Matthew also spoke about the play with Broadway World. He discusses his character, the themes of the play and his decision to return to the theater world.
Had you been thinking about a return to the stage for a while?
I’m always open to offers from all across the spectrum. But I was talking to Matthew Macfadyen, when we worked on Ripper Street, and he said he tends to get a craving to do theatre every three years – it helps him focus and go back to basics, getting that rehearsal time. It really reminds you what it means to be an actor.
I thought that was really interesting, and realised it had been about three years since I did a play. I then went into a meeting for a TV comedy and was offered that, but the show was put back, so I suddenly had this gap in my diary. I read this play and thought it was absolutely superb – I fell in love with it immediately and read it cover to cover, just racing through it. It’s funny and real, and I could picture it being a cracking piece on stage.
Tell us about your character
The play’s about two couples. I’m Peter, one half of the younger couple, and he’s actually a male escort. The way he can cope with that while being in a relationship is to treat it as business – just a job that makes money. But the question is, how much can he just ignore what’s he doing, and what does it mean for his girlfriend. He plays characters when he’s being an escort, so does he reveal everything of himself or keep something back? Can you have sex or be intimate without giving yourself?
The psychology of it is really interesting. The play’s so layered – I keep picking up on new things in rehearsal. It’s been fun to get into Peter’s head and figure out what’s it like to be him. Dark, but fun!
How do you think people will respond to it?
It’s a very honest play that I think people will find quite uncomfortable, in the sense that it will challenge them – they’ll relate to some of these characters and the situations they’re in. The responses will be very interesting – definitely one to pick over and discuss afterwards.
Have you ever performed in an intimate space like Found111 before?
No! When I first saw it a month ago, I was immediately very intimated. I thought “There won’t be that many people, so nothing to worry about… Oh, wait. They’ll be right in front of me.” So it adds a whole new dynamic, but that suits the play so well. It’s very dirty and grimy and visceral, and people won’t feel safely removed, in a big theatre with a programme and a glass of wine, but a fly on the wall, right amongst the action, feeling those feelings.
It’s like when you glimpse a domestic argument unfolding on the Tube platform and you don’t want to, but you have to look. This intimate space will give it a real, raw energy. I’ve been told once it’s full of people it takes on a life of its own, so I imagine it’ll end up changing the performance each night as well.
How does this compare to your other theatre experiences?
I did a six-month tour about five years ago, and then Our Boys at the Duchess in 2012 – all three have been very different. Because of the humble nature of the venue and the rehearsal area, this one feels like a group of friends putting on a show in someone’s living room.
It’s been very enjoyable, working in that relaxed environment, and it’s useful because my theatre credits aren’t extensive. This is definitely pushing me, and I feel quite a lot of pressure, so to have these people around me, the brilliant cast and our director Adam Penford, the environment they’ve created is brilliant – it feels very safe and supportive, all for one and one for all. We watch everyone’s scenes and offer up ideas together, really unpicking the psychology of the show. None of us realised quite many interpretations there are going into it.
As an actor, that’s something you don’t get the opportunity to do enough in telly and film. So it resonates with what Matthew said – that theatre is acting in its purest form, poring over all the characters and their motivations and reasoning.
Do you relate to the themes of the play?
The language of relationships and sex, generationally, is very different – we’re more open about stuff than maybe the older generation. With Peter in particular a lot of his story is about the face we put on when we step out the front door, and the characters we play in different social situations – whether at work, in the pub or at the football.
It’s interesting to think about do we ever show our true selves to anyone, and do we even know who we are after playing characters for so long? As an actor, I definitely relate to that, but everyone does it, whether you work in a shop or an office.
And it happens now more than ever, with the faceless, anonymous internet meaning we create whole new personas online. That’s similar to what Peter does, as a way to cope with his job, saying “It’s not really me”, but can that really work long-term? How long can you keep up those barriers?
Would you like to do more theatre after this or return to TV and film?
Whatever comes up really. I’m very fortunate to be in the position where I can choose roles – I know, as an actor, that’s hugely lucky. So the way I approach it is, rather than think “What is this going to do to my career?”, I think about whether I’ll enjoy doing it over several months, if it’s going to challenge me, will I get bored, or will I get a real kick out of it. This play I knew would tick all the boxes.
Unfaithful runs from 31 August to 8 October at Found111, with previews starting 25 August.
Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 12:21 pm | 0 Comments |
In a new interview with London News Online Matthew talks about his role in the upcoming play Unfaithful. When asked what the play is about Matthew said:
I guess if I were to try to sum it up, I’d say it’s about relationships; some in their infancy and some that have been going on for decades and it’s how people communicate in these relationships. It’s about the characters that we play in life and the facades that we put on. It’s about trying to have a connection with somebody, where we can be allowed to be ourselves, if only for a moment and what that requires.
He also discusses his character, Peter, who is a male escort:
“I have an illusion of freedom over my life, that allows me to do what I want. Being an escort is the kind of thing that maybe other people may frown on, or scoff at, but it allows me a level of freedom that they don’t have and it makes me special. I guess what we look at with Peter, is how much of that is a front? How much of that is a character that he must wear? Is there a piece of him he has to keep hidden or else he gets lost and that’s what we’re exploring? Can you be an escort while still maintaining a personal, private relationship? There are lots of things that come with that.”
Matt expressed his excitement at returning to the West End after 2012’s Our Boys:
“I’m very excited to put this one on. I’m intrigued to see what people will make of it. Because of its honesty they may find it uncomfortable and not because they hate it, but because it will just resonate with people.” Matthew said “Its nice to be rehearsing in the West End and feel that buzz and that energy again. It’s really a club and once you’re in you’re in. It feels very family like.”
FOUND111 is a 100 seat venue and while talking about it’s small size Matthew says:
“Its very intimate. When I came here about month ago for the press photos it was my first time and I thought it was literally just a run down, almost derelict building, but there’s actually a warmth to it. I think it, sort of, takes on the life of the people who are in here. Since we’ve been here for the last week, it doesn’t feel derelict at all. It doesn’t feel abandoned. It feels full of life and I’ve been led to believe that on a theatre night there’s an electricity and a buzz that you get in here that you don’t normally get. It’s like we’re all in this weird building experiencing something unique and special and I think each night will feel like it’s one little thing that’s been shared amongst us hundred people and no one else.”
“I think it suits this play because of its rawness and its reality. I think it feels very much like you’re a fly on the wall.”
Mathew said “It’s like you’re a part of this, like that uncomfortable bystander on a tube platform, while someone’s arguing next to you. We get a real window into these people’s lives, which I think is perfect for this venue.”
Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 12:15 pm | 0 Comments |
Theater website What’s On Stage recently went behind the scenes during rehearsals for Matthew Lewis’ new play Unfaithful which opens at FOUND111 later this month. Watch the clip below to learn more about the play and it’s actors.
Unfaithful runs from 31 August to 8 October at Found111, with previews starting 25 August.