Monday, March 7, 2011

ON THE SPOT with Neal Foster

David Almond adapted his Whitbread Award winning YA book Skellig for the stage...and that is where it fell into the capable hands of Neal Foster. The title role in Skellig, Neal chats with us about his path in the theater.

Neal Foster
New Victory: Where did you grow up?
Neal Foster: Birmingham in England, not Alabama!

NV: Favorite hometown tradition?
NF: Long walks in the countryside

NV: Favorite hometown food?
NF: Fish and chips

NV: Favorite hometown haunt?
NF: My treehouse which my Dad made for me from a huge packing crate

NV: Favorite NYC haunt?
NF: The Frick Collection is my favourite place in NY.

NV: When you travel, what do you miss most about home?
NF: BBC Radio 4

NV: Favorite family activity?
NF: Arguing

NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a director/performer?
NF: I love American drama more than most British plays and loved playing Charlie Fox in Speed-the-Plow, Tom in The Glass Menagerie and Deputy Governor Danforth in The Crucible.

Paul Scofield in John Gabriel Borkman
Photo: Robbie Jack/CORBIS

NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a spectator?
NF: I have a few: seeing Anthony Hopkins commit suicide in M Butterfly, Dame Wendy Hiller turn to Vanessa Redgrave in The Aspern Papers, Irene Worth grabbing the hand of Ian McKellen in Coriolanus, Paul Scofield in the snow in John Gabriel Borkman.

NV: If you weren't in theater, what would you want to do with your life?
NF: I would probably have been a journalist

NV: Something interesting/unique others may not know about you?
NF: I visit a 100 year old woman each week to keep her company.

NV: Do you do anything else to earn a living?
NF: Thankfully no!

NV: What is your educational background? Training background?
NF: 7 weeks at Warwick University (that was enough!) and 3 years at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

NV: Which 3 people have influenced you the most?
NF: My acting teacher the great Rudi Shelly, my friend and patron Paul Scofield and my last girlfriend Amy Maynard!

NV: Why do you like performing at the New Vic?
NF: Will tell you when I have!

Enter our SKELLIG ILLUMINATION CONTEST for a chance to win David Almond's complete YA collection and tickets to the sold-out Tragical Life of Cheeseboy. David Almond himself will pick the winner!

 Skellig runs at The New Victory from March 4-13. Watch the trailer here.

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