INTERVIEW: Richard Curnow
Today we're delighted to bring you an interview with actor and writer, Richard Curnow. Richard will be starring in three of six.
Was there a moment that you knew you wanted to be an actor, or has it always been a part of who you are?
"Ooh, this is a bit revealing. My family never, ever went to the theatre. Not even Panto! In the 1960/70s, as far as mum and dad were concerned, it was something only “posh” people did not ordinary working-class people. In my early 20s good friends introduced me to the magic of the Bristol Old Vic. No going back. Eventually, I joined an Am-Dram group and slowly… very slowly my confidence grew. Regardless of how good or bad I am at it… acting that is, it’s an extraordinarily privileged way to earn a living. I was 30 before I had courage enough to audition for Drama School. It hasn’t been easy, the money has been awful, but with hand on heart I can honestly say, I’d do it all again."
You’ve played an incredible range of parts on stage; everything from Pantomime Dame through to serious Shakespearean roles. Have you got a favourite genre or style of performance to work in?
"Difficult. It’s between, the Wicked Queen in Snow White and Malvolio. Malvolio is set up to provide some laughs and then becomes a figure of pity. The audience should feel sorry for him, even embarrassed, by colluding with the bullies. It’s either got to make you laugh or cry."
Is there a role that you’ve never played before, but would love to if you got the chance?
"The Emcee in Cabaret. Only a few problems: I’m no great singer and I can’t dance. Also, I’m 40 years too old. Other than that, I’d be brilliant."
Who’s your favourite actor (living or dead)?
"Dead: Paul Schofield. Bette Davis
Living: Andrew Scott. Emma Thompson."
Knowing what you know now what piece of advice would you give yourself at the age of 16?
"Not to worry too much about what others think about you. Just be yourself."
Why do you think people will enjoy watching the Bard Heads series?
"Hopefully they’ll laugh and reflect on the human condition that Shakespeare imbues in all his characters. Also, that they either re-access their understanding of the parent play or if unfamiliar with the play then they might be tempted to read or watch the original."
Richard will be appearing in Call Me Oz, The Whirligig of Time and Happy as Larry as part of the BARD HEADS series from Finding the Will and Tortive Theatre in January and February 2021.
Find out more about the productions by visiting www.tortivetheatre.com/bardheads