After watching Theatrum Veritatus’s version of Lanford Wilson’s ‘Home Free’, we caught up with actors Rob Peacock and Lindsey Huebner to talk to them about the work.
Ginger Wig: Hello Rob and Lindsey thanks for joining us.
Rob & Lindsey: Thanks for having us Ginger Wig!
GW: How did you get involved in this project Rob?
Rob: The director went to the same drama school as me, so she saw a lot of the work I’d done at East 15. She was on the directing course and I was on the acting course…
GW: Hold on a minute you’re not American are you?
Rob: No, no, I’m Welsh.
GW: Bloody hell! (Rob did a fantastic American accent throughout)
Rob: Ye I’m from South Wales. So part of the year we crossed over courses and they directed us so she got to see my work. Apparently she’s wanted to do this script for quite a while. It’s an American play, that first came out in the 60′s, surprisingly enough with the tone. It came out exactly the same time as Tennessee Williams, but this one was performed in Cafés.
GW: So do you two have siblings?
Lindsey: I have a brother and numerous step siblings now.
Rob: I’ve got a younger brother and a younger sister.
GW: How does it feel playing these characters?
Rob: It was fun. First we had a lot of talks about the play, we talked about how old they are, so we made them 24 and 25, around that age, so then we thought, where are their mental states, what age are they really and that was really fun to try and experiment with and see how old mentally they are and it came out like that in the end. They are on two different wavelengths, games are used for different things, a lot of games are just there to block out the actual world, the grown-up world and then some are to get around arguments – I don’t want to talk about horrible things! – let’s play and block it out.
Lindsey: As far as that compares to having your own siblings, I think its just so far from our experiences of having siblings and growing up that it doesn’t even feel like the same thing, because as you said, we did a lot of talking at the beginning to be like what could make someone like this.
GW: What were your thoughts then on your character’s backstories? And also the story going forward. Because the first thing we said when it ended was what happened next?
Lindsey: That’s really cool. A couple of people have said that to us.
Rob: Ye what does happen? Is she dead, does a doctor come? I think we didn’t really talk about that. If you start planning what happened further on, it could affect whats happening now.
Lindsey: I think he just stays there with the rotting body of his sister.
Rob: Until he eventually dies as well.
Lindsey: They have some really dark allusions in the play. Like you should have brought that dead cat here. They have a really weird treatment of these things, like dead bodies and corpses. It isn’t actually one of fear, which you would assume of people with childlike brains. They seem to be ok with some really messed up things, and not others.
Rob: We put a history together, like where they grew up and where their parents are now. There are only one sentence clues in the play. One about the mother being in Hoboken, they say she can’t hear you. So there’s a cemetery in Hoboken…
Lindsey: It’s a really big cemetery.
Rob: Ye it’s a massive cemetery, so people would have got that reference. So mothers dead, let’s just say fathers in prison hinting at why we are having the sort of relationship we are having, I think he was a..
Lindsey: …Destructive force in their lives.
Rob: Ye forcing them to do things that they didn’t necessarily understand from quite a young age.
GW: What drew you to this project Lindsey?
Lindsey: Courtney was the initial impetus behind it and handed over the script. I just like it because I think its such an interesting challenge and just reading it on paper you have no idea whats going on, you can’t even detect the games that they are playing with these lines that repeat themselves. You’re just looking at it thinking what is this? But she had this excitement about this project that really drew me in – there’s something here, there’s something worth exploring – I wanted to find out what it was.
Rob: I saw the opening monologue and was like this is a challenge, a nice chunk of something to play with, the stages that he goes through, that was something I really wanted to do.
GW: It must be tough when you have co-actors who don’t exist? What was his name, Copam?
Rob: Oh, Claypone, ye, which isn’t a word in any language!
GW: It must be tough trying to track an imaginary character?
Rob: We did that in rehearsals, we just talked to them. Let’s have them there, but we also discussed that with kids you wouldn’t necessarily know where they had walked to unless that’s part of the game, you can follow them walking, so we had some versions where they would just disappear there and then reappear there, because its better for that character to have them next to them. The ‘poof’ is what we called it.
We all laugh.
GW: It’s weird to think that two people can share an imaginary friend. I guess that’s a testament to the relationship that this brother and sister have which is very… messed up?
Lindsey: There’s one line at the begging where Joanna gets offended, about something that Edna has said over there. The game is usually something that can catch the other person out, without really making to much of a thing out of it. So then there will be some exposition like – you really can’t say those things – and Lawrence will be like – ye, you really can’t say those things – but we bring the other person in on it. As soon as you’re playing by yourself it’s no fun anymore right?
Rob: It’s all games. What’s really nice about the play is its dark topic, with the incest but then its all covered in games and playing.
Lindsey: So it’s not like being down in the dumps doing Hamlet every night because we just get to run around the stage and be kids for a while and the effect is a dark one but not necessarily what we’re doing.
GW: Ye don’t go method with it!
Lindsey: (Through laughter) Oooooo, (suddenly serious but in jest) hopefully not!
GW: So finally, have you guys got any upcoming projects?
Lindsey: Well I am working with Courtney again for the Voila Festival, which is a French works festival in London at the Cockpit Theatre. We are doing it on November 5th and November 12th. It’s a brand new Canadian piece and its just been translated from its original French version to an English version. Our connection is we went to school together and university together back in Montreal, so this is all Montreal community coming over to London, because as you may have seen, the mantra for this company is having a cultural exchange between North America, specifically Canada, and the UK, so its kind of the epitome of that.
GW: Awesome we haven’t seen nearly enough Canadian work!
Lindsey: They are all somewhat dark it seems.
Rob: Myself, I’ve got a few ideas up in the air. There’s a few films I’ve done earlier in the year that are waiting to be finished and come out later this year. There’s one called ‘Peacock Feathers’.
Lindsey: That’s so apropos your last name.
Rob: I know, Rob Peacock in ‘Peacock Feathers’. It’s about a set of twins, of which I play both of them, so there’s some Tom Hardy stuff.
Lindsey: He got the idea from you!
We all laugh.
Rob: Ye exactly! So that’s what I’m waiting to come out and then still auditioning and trying to get some more stuff for the end of the year.
GW: Wicked. Well thank you both for your time and well done again with tonights performance.
Rob: Thank you Ginger Wig!
Lindsey: Thank you so much for coming out to see it.
GW: All the best to both of you with your careers!
Catch Lindsey and Courtney at the Voila Festival with ‘I’m Not Here’ at the Cockpit Theatre at 7:30pm on the 5th November or 9pm on Thursday 12th November.