Interview With…Joseph Potter

The actor chatted to us about starring in Candida at the Orange Tree Theatre.

Credit: Johan Persson

Hi, for those not familiar with Bernard Shaw’s play – what is Candida about? I won’t give too much away, so I will try and give a rounded, ‘non-spoilery’ answer! For me Candida is a play about love – what it means to love and what love is to different people. The play centres on
the love of two men towards Candida, and we see them evolve and discover things about themselves as they confront the woman they desire.

How are you feeling about making your stage debut at the Orange Tree Theatre? Well, I’m really excited! Firstly to be making my stage debut and secondly for it to be at the Orange tree, which is a venue that I love and does such an array of brilliant work. I only recently graduated
from Guildhall School of Music and Drama so to get the chance to speak this text at such a prestigious venue is really an honour!

Could you tell me more about the character you’re playing? I play a young poet called Eugene Marchbanks, who has abandoned his privileged past of Eton and Oxford to pursue truth and find out what life really is. He’s a complex individual to be honest! The best way I could sum him up would be to say he’s a tormented, innocent, unearthly little boy – he’s
full of contradictions which is always fun to play with.

What was it that made you want to be involved with this production? I originally had a view of what Bernard Shaw was to me. I had read a few of his other plays and thought I figured out that I thought his work was very ‘heady’ and heavily based in argument and reason; his earlier works, which Paul (Miller) has showcased so brilliantly, such as Candida are so raw! You
see people at their most vulnerable and they are confronting these huge hurdles in life, and it makes for great theatre! That’s a long winded way of saying, it’s a really good play and that’s what drew me
to the project!

How has it been working on the production so far? It’s been a pleasure, everyone is so great and I’m learning a lot every day – Paul has such a brilliant understanding of the play and he is helping us to mould something that is really exciting for a modern audience.

What can audiences expect from this production of Candida? They can expect plenty of laughs, poetry, heart and hopefully leave the theatre feeling changed in some small way.

By Emma Clarendon

Candida will play at the Orange Tree Theatre from the 22nd November until the 11th January.

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