Over the recent months, Tom Chapman was part of the Globe Touring Ensemble playing a number of different characters in The Tempest, As You Like It and A Midsummer Night’s Dream after the shows had been delayed due to COVID. Tom has previously performed Shakespeare projects at places including The Globe and Chichester Festival Theatre, and he was in the cast of Mischief Theatre’s Lights! Camera! Improvise!. Catching up with Tom, he talks about his time with the Globe Touring Ensemble, performing Shakespeare plays and working on Lights! Camera! Improvise! with Mischief Theatre.
How was it being in the cast of the Globe Touring Ensemble and can you tell us about the shows you’ve performed – The Tempest, As You Like It and A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
It’s a group of brilliant creatives, and nutbag actors bringing their own quirks, eccentricities and talents to these brilliant plays. I’ve felt very lucky to be a part of it.
Which characters did you play and what were they like to perform as?
I played Oliver, Amiens, and Oliver Martext in As You Like It; Ferdinand in The Tempest; and Demetrius, Quince, and Moth in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
What did you enjoy most about being in the productions?
That, with the right facilitation, a room full of creative brains is better than one auteur. Even with the daunting prospect of mounting three socially-distanced shows in six weeks, the process was super playful, and it led to productions that we all feel proud of and ownership over.
Was there anything that drew you to Globe on Tour and what was it like performing at the Globe Theatre over summer?
I saw a Globe on Tour Audience Choice performance in 2017, and the feeling in the audience was like being at a gig or a football match. Irreverent and juicy. I loved that.
Do you have any stand-out highlights from your time in the shows?
Arriving early for the first day back into the rehearsal room after our pandemic hiatus, and dancing onto the Globe stage with our brilliant movement director Sîan Williams.
You’ve previously worked on other Shakespeare projects including at Shakespeare’s Globe and Chichester Festival Theatre, what were they like to do?
I never thought I’d do so much Shakespeare, but I’m very happy that I have. When it’s good it’s magic, and I’ve been really fortunate to be in some great productions.
One of the most exciting things about the Globe on Tour schedule this Autumn has been taking the shows to community spaces around London, and to groups that wouldn’t normally access the Globe. I hope theatres do more of that as we open up.
Can you tell us about your time in Lights! Camera! Improvise! with Mischief Theatre?
At the heart of it is a group of mates who love making each other laugh. I came into the show for a few months just as The Play That Goes Wrong was getting it’s first outing, and it was infectious. When performers understand each other like that, and have the skill and freedom to play like they do – that’s priceless.
How did you get into acting and what inspired you to have a performing career?
Going to panto every Christmas.
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