Currently, Terique Jarrett is rehearsing for the UK premiere of Daddy at the Almeida Theatre, in which he will be playing Franklin, when the show opens on 26th March and is due to run until 30th April in London. Last year, Terique returned to live theatre for the first time since the start of the pandemic when he was part of the world premiere of The Mirror and the Light at Gielgud Theatre and he’s previously appeared in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, Our Town and Motown the Musical, which also marked his professional theatre debut. Terique has screen experience, having joined Series 2 of Find Me In Paris as series regular Isaac Portier, and continued his role through the final series the following year. Recently, Terique answered our questions about his upcoming role of Franklin in the UK premiere of Daddy at the Almeida Theatre, returning to live theatre last year for The Mirror and the Light and playing Isaac Portier in Find Me In Paris.
It has been announced that you will be playing the role of Franklin in the UK premiere of Daddy at the Almeida Theatre, what are you looking forward to most for performing in the show?
As this piece is so explorative and intense, I’m most looking forward to finding out what people will take away from the show. While rehearsing, we’re naturally exploring different choices and forming our own opinions but it’s intriguing to see what audiences will resonate with.
Was there anything that drew you to the character and how have rehearsals been going?
A lot of actors seek to connect with their characters in some way because acting is about finding truth. When I first read the play, I resonated with the character of Franklin in immeasurable ways. This was therapeutic for me as he (like any of us) is flawed; it forced me to be introspective and question things about myself, and how I navigate through this world.
Why would you recommend booking tickets and who do you think the show will appeal to?
The show eloquently explores Blackness, queerness, identity, one’s proximity to whiteness and ownership among other themes; the play isn’t one thing and can make you laugh as well as cry (sometimes, simultaneously). I think that every character in this play is so human, it will encourage everyone to be introspective.
Also, there are some incredible vocal moments provided by some incredible singers! Book to see this cast do their thing on stage!
Last year, you were in the cast of the world premiere of The Mirror and the Light at the Gielgud Theatre, how did you find your time in the show and what did you enjoy most about working with the rest of the cast?
The Mirror and the Light was the first time I worked with the writer in the room. Sometimes it is great not having the writer because it compels you to solely use the evidence in the text to form your own opinions. However, having Hilary Mantel in the room was incredibly useful – she seems to be a fountain of knowledge!
I went into this job knowing that I wanted to be porous and learn from incredible actors. This is what I enjoyed most about working with a talented group.
How was it returning to live theatre for the first time since the pandemic started?
Surprisingly, the substantiality of returning to theatre did not hit me until after rehearsals, when we started performing for live audiences. Hearing audiences react to the play reminded me why theatre is so magical.
Audience members respond to the work in different ways than what you have in the rehearsal room, allowing us as actors to continuously find new things to explore in the text.
Can you tell us about performing at the National Theatre with The Winter’s Tale?
Justin Audibert adapted Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale for primary school-aged children. This was a Theatre in Education project and so, as well as getting to perform at the National Theatre, we were able to tour schools. The most enjoyable part of this job was opening the floor to questions at the end. It was so pure hearing our audiences’ responses to the play and see them engaging with Shakespeare (which can initially be daunting).
What was Our Town like to perform in and how was the experience performing at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre?
Our Town was the first show of Regent’s Park’s 2019 season, which meant we had to prepare for all weathers! This was the first time I had been in a production that was not a remount and so it was fun to dissect and discuss the play, making our very own interpretation of the work.
You were in the West End cast of Motown the Musical at Shaftesbury Theatre, what are some of your stand-out highlights from being part of the show?
I still pinch myself knowing that I was a part of Motown’s long history! This is the greatest highlight of this job.
Motown the Musical marked your professional theatre debut, how was this?
This was my first job out of college and so I had that characteristic wide-eyed desperation for knowledge. What I learned the most from the cast and crew on this show is how to know one’s worth; I worked with some really talented, admirable people who were particular about their craft and how they balanced work/life.
On screen, you played the series regular role of Isaac Portier in Find Me In Paris, what was Isaac like to play and how was it having him as your first series regular role?
Isaac was fun to play; throughout the season we see his hard exterior soften, as he gels more with the rest of the group. This was my first experience playing a character with such a big story arc, and this was exciting to me.
What was the series like to film and how was it joining the cast in Series 2?
The team on Find Me In Paris gave the warmest welcome. What was most interesting for me is that when I started filming Season 2, the first season was just beginning to air; so I could see the reaction to the programme before the viewers had even met Isaac. The FMIP team and I are still really close – I really cherish the friendships I made on that job!
What are some of your favourite memories from working on Find Me In Paris?
The show was shot in Paris and Brussels – two beautiful cities with vast histories. The two years that I filmed the show felt like I was in a dream, with Paris/Brussels as a backdrop! Every night out, cast meal or cinema trip felt more significant because it was time spent with fun people in charming cities.
Had you always wanted to get into acting and how did you start?
In primary school, we sometimes had role play time in class; I knew that I liked imitating and being different people. My parents saw my enjoyment of acting and sent me to a performing arts school on weekends. I studied there for seven years and eventually decided to train professionally. While in training, I went to an open audition for The Lion King and I was cut after the final round. However, the casting director for that show suggested me for Motown, which landed me my first role. Since then, I found agent representation and the rest has been a dream!
What are some of your favourite films, TV and theatre shows to watch?
The TV show that affirmed that I could be an actor was BBC’s Hustle. Adrian Lester’s Mickey Bricks was the first time I had seen an un-stereotyped portrayal of a Black man on TV.
I go through phases of watching loads of TV and then suddenly I have no time, so end up rewatching favourites such as Modern Family, Community and My Wife and Kids! My current favourite programme is This Is Us – it’s really heartwarming and (I think) a good representation of the beauty in life.
How do you like to spend your time away from acting?
One of my friends introduced me to rock climbing – this has been a nice addition to my regular schedule of watching TV/films and cooking! I also enjoy dancing – this is my favourite form of working out.
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