LLLC’s Emma Clarendon chatted to the actor about his latest role in  Gently Down the Stream at the Park Theatre. 

Jonathan Hyde and Harry Lawtey.

What can audiences expect from Gently Down the Stream? I think audiences can expect to laugh, maybe to cry, and hopefully to think a little also. Everything that a great play should make you do.

What struck you most about the story when you first read it? What struck me most about the story was its charm, and its detail. All of Martin’s characters speak with so much sincerity – they just talk to one another. But underneath that they have a lot of depth. Martin has a really rich history for these three people, and we can see glimpses of those different pasts as their lives get muddled up with one another. 

Could you tell me a bit more about your character Harry? Harry is a young, gay, former drug addict Performance Artist. That all sounds pretty complicated, but in actual fact he is the most simple character in the play. He meets the other two at a very complex time, but in a way is able to bring the best out of both of them. 

How has it been working with Sean Mathias? It’s been great. Sean is brilliant fun to work with, and there’s has been a lot of laughs in the rehearsal room! He understands the play completely, and has guided us through it. But he also has a really gentle process – he wants you to discover the character for yourself. 

Are you looking forward to returning to the stage? Of course! It’s the best job there is. 

How does it feel to be a part of this UK premiere production? It’s really exciting. It’s where the play is set, and Martin has often talked about how this is a play that should be performed in London. We’re chuffed to be the ones bringing it here. 

If people are thinking about coming along – why should they? Everyone should come! It’s historic and poignant, but also just a brilliantly funny and moving story. It’s about three very different men, with very different pasts coming together – and trying to navigate the struggles of love and life. I think those are things we can all get on board with.

By Emma Clarendon

Gently Down the Stream will play at the Park Theatre from the 13th  February until the 16th March.

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