Interview With….Oliver Cotton

The actor chatted to us about being part of SHAKE Festival’s streamed reading of The Winter’s Tale.

Hi Oliver, how are you feeling about being part of this live rehearsed reading of The Winter’s Tale? It’s been a really interesting experience working on this production of The Winter’s Tale. It’s challenging trying to find ways of bringing the text and action to life through a Zoom reading, with no movement or physical staging, which differs from a radio production, mainly because our faces are always in vision. Lockdowns have undoubtedly prompted actors, directors and writers to find as many interesting ways of doing theatre on screen as possible – and it’s amazing that the present advances in digital technology enable us to do things that only a few years ago would have been impossible. I’m very excited to share this production with a digital audience on the 31st July.

What was it that made you want to be part of this production? I have always wanted to perform in The Winter’s Tale, and the role of Old Shepherd is very enjoyable, if challenging too!

How has it been working alongside Jenny Caron Hall? It’s been a great experience. Jenny has such a wonderful grasp of the verse and I’m very much enjoying working with her on this project, and the rest of our wonderful cast.

What have you enjoyed the most about on working on The Winter’s Tale? I’m crazy about Shakespeare and this is the first time I’ve ever done The Winter’s Tale, so it’s been a wonderful opportunity to really get to know the script under the direction of Jenny.

Do you think that digital theatre is now here to stay? Zoom theatre has blossomed almost exclusively because of the Covid crisis so it’ll be interesting to see what elements of it persist once things are back to ‘normal’ – whatever that means! It means we can share our messages further afield and allows a wider audience to access a range of brilliant digital productions! I hope that we can get back to working in theatres again as soon as possible. But, until that happens this is a fascinating and creative alternative. 

By Emma Clarendon

The Winter’s Tale will be performed live via Zoom and available to watch live via Youtube on the 31st July at 7.30pm.

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