Have been eagerly awaiting more responses from cast members, but only Jason Thompson has sent in his answers, and I don’t want to keep you in suspense. So here goes:
Q #1: Who do you play in A Woman of No Importance? Tell us a little about your character.
JASON THOMPSON: I play the Rev Archdeacon Daubeny. The Reverend is a well meaning soul, but years of self-medication, due to a stomach ailment, (and a rapidly deteriorating wife) have left him a little like a man permanently in search of his wallet.
Q #2: Director Paul Hardy has changed the setting of the play from the 1890’s (which is when Oscar Wilde wrote it) to the 1980’s. What surprised you about making the time switch? Did you discover issues or social mores that were surprisingly similar (or not) almost 100 years apart?
JASON THOMPSON: I guess the obvious answer would be, the clothes in the 1980’s are definitely more hideous, and the working classes, a blight on the landscape in the 1890’s, were encouragingly (thanks largely to ‘Thatcher, Thatcher, the milk snatcher’) starting to disappear by the 1980’s.
Q #3: Can you relate any anecdotes from rehearsal (e.g: : another actor – in character or out – doing something unexpected)?
JASON THOMPSON: Don’t ever use diminutive nouns backstage, without first conferring with Gillian English [who plays the snooty Lady Caroline Pontefract].
Q #4: Do you have a favourite line or moment from the play – yours or anyone else’s?
JASON THOMPSON: When Kelvil [the social-climbing M.P. played by James Graham] answers “Eight” when asked how many children he has, and when Lady Hunstanton [the party’s hostess, played by Andy Fraser] announces that she is “… quite out of my depth” during her interaction with Lord Illingworth [the misunderstood “hero of the piece” played by Andrew Batten].
By the way, I hear that Andrew was missing after a break in Sunday’s rehearsal. He was eventually discovered trapped in a bathroom with a malfunctioning lock. Mike Vitorovich (Sir John Pontefract) had to break the doorframe to free him! Gillian English (Lady Caroline Pontefract) has promised more details and a photo…