“In our town we like to know the facts about everybody,” says the Stage Manager in Thornton Wilder’s iconic American play. Now that you know the facts about Our Town, Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Hill has had a go at finding some facts about the cast for David Cromer’s upcoming production:
We have an incredible cast for Our Town. Among them they have been in 57 feature films and countless musicals, television programmes and plays–but their talents aren’t limited to acting.
1. They’re seriously left-brained.
Many of our cast are also writers. Richard Lumsden (Mr Webb) has written for television and radio, and Rhashan Stone* (Dr Gibbs) has written for stage. Joe Bunker (Professor Willard) and Christopher Staines (Simon Stimson) are also Musical Directors. Among them, the cast play more than 30 instruments (the piano is the most popular, followed closely by the ukulele–we didn’t see that coming, either).
2. Their physical abilities could rival a circus troupe.
Laura Elsworthy (Emily Webb) can do the splits, Simon Lennon (Sam Craig) can walk on stilts and Arthur Byrne (Wally Webb) has performed back flips and somersaults in the rehearsal room. Michael Ajao (Si Crowell) has skills in African Azonto and Makosa dancing, and David Walmsley (George Gibbs) has spent more than one tea break demonstrating the Dirty Dancing lift with Laura Elsworthy (Emily Webb) in the rehearsal room (see above). Daniel Kendrick (Howie Newsome) can make a squeaking noise with his ear, Paul Bigley (Joe Stoddard) can wrap his arm completely around his head and Jessica Lester (Rebecca Gibbs) can twist her hand round 360 degrees at the wrist (it’s hard to explain, but it’s even harder to watch).
3. They are multi-lingual.
Anna Francolini (Mrs Gibbs) can speak French and Matthew Jacobs-Morgan (Joe Crowell, Jr) can speak British Sign Language (you might recognise him from Ed Sheeran’s music video for “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You”).
4. There are other Important Facts we didn’t know about them …
Kate Dickie (Mrs Webb) is arachnaphobic, Matthew Jacobs-Morgan once shook Jack Black’s elbow, Annette McLaughlin is really good at football keepy-ups, and Joe Bunker’s birth was reported in his local papers for being the biggest baby ever born in that hospital. He weighed in at an impressive 13 pounds and 11 ounces – the same as the combined weight of triplets born on the same ward.
5. …and things they didn’t know themselves!
Sidney Cole (Constable Warren) and Rhashan Stone* (Dr Gibbs) not only grew up in the same town of Basingstoke, they had the same Drama Tutor and went to the same Sixth Form College (Our Town may be about a small community, but we hadn’t realised it was such a small world!).
*On an unrelated note, Rhashan was also his wife’s doula and helped deliver both of their children. (Direct quote: “Best front row seats ever!”)
Our Town plays at the Almeida Theatre from 10 October – 29 November 2014. For more information or to book tickets, click here.