I became a drama teacher and practitioner because I had a great drama teacher or two myself. I was an avid member on my local Youth theatre, The New Stagers at the Bob Hope Theatre in Eltham. Still going strong.
But sometimes the joy of performing gets left behind when you become the teacher, the workshop leader or the director. I don’t get to perform as much as I would like but when I do I like to make sure it’s a good role… (I suppose I should pretend to be humble!) And playing at being God is a good role and a half!
I have a deep fascination with the mediaeval mystery plays. This began in my own sixth form days when I was shown a VHS of the National Theatres version of Tony Harrison‘s mystery play cycle. That year the school play was a mystery play and genuinely one of the influencing factors of going to Chester for my degree was its connection with this ancient cycle of plays, by ordinary people for ordinary people.
They are amazing pieces of writing. Funny, scary, passionate, thoughtful, rude & flippant. They are the archetypal starting point often of our images of these great Bible stories. In the year I graduated from my degree the once every five years cycle landed and I was able to be involved in the street theatre and get to spit on one of my tutors Allan Owens. I played Pharisee, he Jesus. It was an interpretation from a different time as you can see from the costume that I wore. I don’t think this interpretation would be chosen today…
I have been a drunk Shepherd, Noah, twice…
The last time I got involved was for a mini summer performance of Creation. This time I pre-recorded the work and the excellent Andy Davis, then with the University of Chester and his team, cut edited and animated the work.
Created my the superb Theatre in the Quarter we performed in the Roman Amphitheatre, where I sat at the end. In a deckchair, reading The God Delusion.
Here I am. Kneel before Gav.
“Chester Mystery Plays in Miniature
17 – 19 June 2011
Proud to be part of MBNA CHESTIVAL 2011
Director and Composer: Matthew Baker
Design Consultant: Tony Lewery
Multimedia Designers: Andy Davies and Gareth Rainsforth, The Harlequin Project, Computer Science and Information Systems, University of Chester
Video / Audio Production: Andy Davies and Dave Carter”
If you would like to chat about how you could make me a better actor – say hello!