In last month’s UK release of new CBBC/HBO Max series Theodosia, Nana Agyeman-Bediako plays street magician Will Morgan, who, alongside his friend Theodosia (played by Eloise Little), fights a powerful secret society with Egyptian magic. Nana played Nibs in the 2020 feature film release of Come Away, and previously, he played Isaac in mini-series The State, Young Tull in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and has recently worked on upcoming short film Tuesday as Nathaniel. Starting his career on stage, Nana made his West End debut as Young Simba in The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, and he has since gone on to play Young Lola in Kinky Boots and, most recently, was in the cast of Motown the Musical, multi-roling as Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Answering our questions, Nana told us about playing Will Morgan in Theodosia, his role of Nibs in Come Away and performing in Motown the Musical.
Can you tell us about the new CBBC and HBO Max series Theodosia and your character Will Morgan?
Theodosia is about a girl (Theodosia) who unlocks her magical abilities after finding a powerful artefact (the Eye of Horus) with her brother. With this, her world turns upside-down with the need to take down villains using dark Egyptian magic to destroy the world, with the help of her friends Safiya, Henry (her brother) and my character Will.
Will is your charming street magician who bumps into Theodosia at a train station. From this chance encounter, he eventually finds himself wrapped up in a world full of magic in which he fights dark Egyptian magic with his friends.
What is Will like to play and was there anything that drew you to the role?
Will is so fun to play due to his charismatic nature especially when he is in his element performing magic tricks. However, despite his fun and upbeat nature, he also displays more heartfelt and grounded aspects to him. The many aspects of Will as a character were what made me excited to bring his character to life after reading his character description with the script.
How is it working with the rest of the cast and what is it like on set of the show?
What makes this cast really cool is that the people I worked with the most were the same age as me. With this, working on set truly was so much fun as it was essentially just hanging out with my friends.
What do you enjoy most about being involved with the show and seeing the response to the series?
What I love about Theodosia is that it is exactly the type of show I would have watched when I was younger, so when people express their love for the show and fan over certain aspects of it, it brings me so much joy because there are times that I find the fans and I expressing love for the same thing (with the added bonus of me being in the show meaning I know what happens next, haha!).
You played Nibs in the feature film Come Away, what was it like to work on?
It was so much fun! I just find that filming adventurous-magical scenes (in which Come Away was filled with) was so exhilarating. There was a lot of running and fun use of our imagination, with cool legendary stories behind it (a creative integration of both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Peter Pan). It couldn’t get more fun than that.
In 2017, you appeared in the TV mini-series The State as Isaac, how was this?
Isaac has to be the coolest role I have ever had. Not many people can say they have played the dark role of a child fighter for ISIS. Even to this day, that role holds so much pride in my heart. Even my off-set experience has to be one of the best I have ever had. The whole experience was so exciting!
How did you find the experience on set of The Huntsman: Winter’s War as Young Tull?
You can’t go wrong with a fantasy project! I got to experience amazing costumes, cool prosthetics, and got to witness a stunt scene. Everything felt so grand and big, and the experience was definitely certified when I got to watch the movie in the cinema. Great fun!
Is there anything you can tell us about the short film Tuesday, in which you play Nathaniel?
This short is very touching. It gives insight into the circumstance that leads one young man (Nathaniel) astray. It’s definitely a short that could get you ‘in your feels’.
On stage, you were most recently in the cast of Motown the Musical, can you tell us about your time in the show and how was it performing the music?
The coolest thing about being in Motown the Musical was actually the historical insight into Motown I got to learn from being in the show. I didn’t know of Motown before being in the show, and being in the show made me realise I was missing out on so much! And there were definitely the added perks of not only multi-roling as a young Berry Gordy (the founder of Motown) but also a young Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.
What was Young Lola like to play in Kinky Boots and was there anything you enjoyed most about being part of the cast?
So exciting and liberating. I think anybody playing a budding iconic drag queen who rocked high heels when they were younger, would feel the same – such a cool role. And there was also a lot of fun to be had backstage when I got to hang out with my castmates (who were either playing Young Lola as well or Young Charlie).
What are some of your favourite memories from playing Young Simba in The Lion King?
For me, it probably had to be everything – the dance and singing warm-ups we did before performances, getting takeaways from our favourite restaurants after matinees, to playing games in our dressing room. Honestly, there was so much to look forward to as a young seven/eight year old with his first big acting experience.
How was it making your West End debut in the musical at the Lyceum Theatre and do you remember how you felt booking your role?
It was so exciting especially because it was my first big job. After being in the training camp for many months, my hard work finally paid off!
How did you get into acting and is it something you always wanted to do?
I got into acting from the age of five when my mum enrolled me into an agency, after watching me imitate performers on television. And from there, I grew up to increasingly love it more and more!
Do you have any favourite films, TV or theatre shows to watch?
My favourite TV show for ages was Killing Eve but now that it’s finished, I think I’ve got my eyes set on Alex Rider to bring me great joy.
How do you like to spend your free time and what are you hoping 2022 brings for your career?
I love to dance and sing in my bedroom. Even with me not doing theatre for ages, I’m definitely glad it brought out my love for performing. I hope 2022 brings great fun and opportunities for my career.
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