Amelia Robertson-Cuninghame: How can today’s society relate to the text and its characters?
George Banders: The wonderful thing about this play is that it’s still so relevant. The themes of alcohol addiction, jealousy, betrayed, unrequited love are all highly relatable to modern audiences. The characters aren’t archetypes, they feel so real with their own little quirks, which makes them a joy to play.
Your character David has a few vices, do you have any?
Way too many to mention so publicly. I do however secretly enjoy big game hunting, I know it’s probably not PC these days but there’s nothing like the feeling of bagging a majestic 6 tonne male elephant. What a rush…
What is it like working with Giles Gartrell-Mills?
Terrible, the man’s a hack! He couldn’t direct traffic! But if he asks, tell him I’m really enjoying it. He has a wonderful sense of the world, and gives you the room and support you need to see what these characters are capable of, and how far we can push this play to make it thrilling. He dialogues with actors so well, and it’s always such a fun, energetic room to play in. Would work with him any day.
If you could be one character from After The Dance in real life, who would it be?
I’d be the doctor, George, just for that sweet sweet pay check, also I feel practising medicine in the 30’s was so much easier; “splitting pain in your side and jaundice? Have a Coca Cola!”
Describe the play in a Haiku.
Bottomless drinks served
Swinging naked from chandelier
Mind the balcony-
George Banders: What is the most rewarding project you’ve ever worked on and why?
Amelia Robertson-Cuninghame: Well this one time, I mâchéd the entire solar system out of found chewing gum wrappers just to top Melissa Fuller from 7B’s volcano. That’s not entirely, or at all, true. I don’t think I can pinpoint one project that is more fulfilling than the other. I think everything we take on, we do so because it’s the right fit for us at the time. Each time we walk away with more wisdom and knowledge then before. Hopefully.
What do you find is the most moving moment in After The Dance?
For a play that is all airs and graces, there are so many moving moments! But, without giving too much away, probably the ending. Although that may be for my own selfish reasons!
If the main characters in the show were cocktails what would they be?
David is a Side Car, a classic, but still a bit old and musty. Joan, a dirty Gin Martini, refined with just the right amount of salt. John doesn’t make it to cocktail stage, he’s slugged straight from the bottle. Helen is a Mimosa, equal parts sensible and fun. Peter is a Tom Collins, trying to play with the big boys, but still topped up with soda. And Julia is a Mint Julep, a harsh spirit almost too much to bear, cut often with saccharine.
Who was the first actor you saw that blew you away?
Joan Cusack in Addams Family Values, yaaass feisty husband slayer from the 90’s! Also, still know every word!
What song do you listen to, if you’re going into an intense scene, to pump you up?
Die Antwoord would be my go to a lot of the time, although if I’m after melancholy, probably some Jeff Buckley.
George Banders and Amelia Robertson-Cuninghame are appearing in After The Dance, by Terence Rattigan.
Dates: 9 August – 9 September, 2017
Venue: New Theatre