We chatted to Jordan about starring in Accidental Death of an Anarchist, which runs at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre from the 13th March until the 8th April.
Could you give us an insight into what Accidental Death of an Anarchist is About? I’d say, essentially it is about Police corruption, using the form of farce. So, it is topical, but also very funny and silly and very witty, and clever. Essentially a suspect has been killed in police custody and when the play begins, we don’t know if this is an accident or something a bit more sinister. At the same time, a man called the maniac is arrested and brought into the police station. And this guy then pretends to be lots of different characters and gets them to recreate, farcically, the actual incident. Which then exposes the idiocy and the corruption at the heart of policing. Certainly, in this police station that we find ourselves in.
How does it feel to be revisiting the play? It is really exciting to be back. Especially because all the original cast have come back as well. I have never done this before, gone back to a play, and it feels like having another chance at it, another swing. For this time to be even more rigorous and more detailed. Because sometimes when you do plays, certainly regional plays, you don’t get much time to perform, sometimes you don’t even get as long to perform as you do to rehearse. We loved our time in Sheffield and it feels great that we have got an extension to that, if you like. To bring it to London is brilliant. It feels really great, I feel really lucky to be doing this again.
What was it about the story that stood out to you when you first read the script? I know of the play, but I had never read the play before. So, I guess it was how funny it was, and how witty Tom’s adaptation of Dario Fo’s play was. And the absurdity of it, I loved Tom’s writing and his references. And I don’t think you have to get all the references to enjoy it, it works on so many levels. I think what was revealing was how ridiculous these policemen were. That this was based on an actual manuscript of the actual report that Dario Fo initially based his play on. So, it was based on truth. And the more I researched and the more I read about it [I thought] ‘wow’ these really corrupt, horrible, sometimes stupid idiotic things can, and have happened to policemen and in policing in England. So yes, I would say the thing that stood out was how funny and absurd it was. But also finding out how accurate some of these conversations and situations were. And Tom’s brilliant writing.
How has it been working on the production so far? It has been fantastic. Especially because I have always wanted to work in Sheffield. I am a Yorkshire lad, and I don’t get to work up North very much (weirdly) and Sheffield has always been somewhere I have wanted to work so I was so thrilled when I got the part. It was really intimate because it was in the playhouse, which is the studio theatre. And it was a fantastic company, we were quite a small company. There’s me and five others, so there is six of us. It was brilliant, and it felt like we were creating it together. Certainly, my part. I think he was called Hurst in the original and then maybe he was called Lance and then it was Detective Dan Daisy. So, it felt like a real collaborative experience with Tom Basdon and with Dan, and with the rest of the cast. And yeah, watching everyone work, everyone is so funny and in so many different ways. It has been a real joy. A real joy!
By Emma Clarendon
To book tickets for Accidental Death of an Anarchist visit: https://lyric.co.uk/shows/accidental-death-of-an-anarchist/