We chatted to Joseph about staring in Nadia Fall’s production of Samson Hawkins’s play at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

(c)Marc Brenner

Hi Joseph, could you explain what Village Idiot is about? Well the bassline of the play, so to speak, is, the HS2 railway line is making its way through the town of Syresham, destroying homes and wildlife. Whilst on top of that; themes of love, family, identity and protest are present… With a drag show, rap, magic and a meat raffle on show for good measure..

What made you want to be part of the production? Because of how funny it is. I thought the style of the play and the humour isn’t one you come across often, and that was exciting to me. And I really wanted to work with Nadia, who is an incredible director and person.

How does it feel to be bringing the play to the Theatre Royal Stratford East? It’s a joy. The community the Theatre has built is amazing, so to be a part of that and amongst it is a dream. The space feels magical.

Could you tell me a little bit more about your character Liam? Liam feels stuck in the town of Syresham, where he was born and raised. He’s a fencer (not rapier and daggers) and has not been able to do what he wants, or even had much choice to discover what he wants. Decisions have often been made for him in his life and he goes with the flow. But he takes a chance on a change in his life when his childhood best friend returns. He is caring to his family and is loyal to those he cares about. Liam loves and cares
for nature by running his own nature club called Pocket Park Pals, named after the real Pocket Park in Syresham. And he likes to rap.

Given it is a story set in a rural village, do you think Village Idiot will make a similar impact on audiences seeing it in London? I think so. Every character in this play is relatable to some degree and we can connect with them and the themes of the play. So I think it would resonate anywhere.

What have you enjoyed the most about being part of the production? I have laughed so much. Everyone in the company has been incredibly supportive and it’s one of the most important things; the energy of the company. So I’m glad it has been so open, fun and we’ve for anything. Giving it our all, and doing it together.

By Emma Clarendon

Village Idiot continues to play at the Theatre Royal Stratford East until the 6th May 2023.


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