Thursday, 14 January 2016

David Neilson and Chris Gascoyne as you've never seen them before

As we revaled here on the Coronation Street Blog some months ago, David Neilson is taking a break from Coronation Street and his role as Roy Cropper.  He's acting in a Beckett play with Chris Gascoyne, who played Peter Barlow.


There's a preview interview in today's Guardian with these wonderful picture of David and Chris dressed as the characters they'll play in the stage show, Samuel Beckett’s Endgame.

Davd plays Hamm, tyrannical master of the servant Clov, played by Chris.  Endgame, first performed in 1957, has been acclaimed as a tragicomic masterpiece, but is sometimes seen as a “difficult” and alienating play.  We'll be bringing you blogger reviews of the show from both our bloggers Emma and Stevie.



Chris Gascoyne tells the Guardian: “Hopefully me and David, having been in Coronation Street, will bring in an audience who have maybe never been to the theatre. They may run out screaming and want their money back. But we shouldn’t underestimate people. Beckett is for everybody. He isn’t middle-class, highbrow theatre. He’s just not.”

Gascoyne, 47, first encountered Beckett while he was a drama student. But it was the death of his elder brother, Ray, from cancer 21 years ago that deepened his understanding – and love – of the writer’s work. During his brother’s final illness, Gascoyne returned home to Nottingham to help his parents look after him. He remembers the long nights, the pain, and how his mother, when Ray died, cradled and rocked him back and forth; when the undertaker came, Gascoyne had to remove her arms from around his brother’s body.

“When you see things like that, you never forget them,” he says. “Endgame, afterwards, had a resonance of all that for me. I found it deeply funny, uplifting and, at the same time, tragic. I didn’t know this until recently, but Beckett wrote the play after he had looked after his own brother, who passed away from cancer.”

There’s a famous line from Endgame: “Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.” Does Gascoyne agree? “Yes. When my brother was ill, we never laughed so much in our lives than at the most dreadful points, because laughter was all we had.”

Given that the material is so personal to him, will he feel the emotion on stage intensely? “I already do. I feel very close to Ray when rehearsing. I can feel that little room we were in for a year. Death is very close in Endgame. It clings to all the characters. You can smell it.”

David Neilson discovered Beckett as a teenager. “I left school at 15 and worked as a gas fitter,” the 66-year-old recalls. “One day, I went into Loughborough library, saw Waiting for Godot on the shelf and stood there and read it all the way through. I didn’t even know how to pronounce Godot, but I was so interested.”

It was one of the texts Neilson discovered en route to a new life as an actor. He has taken three months’ off from Coronation Street to perform in Endgame. His last stage appearance was eight years ago as Lucky in Godot, a character who bears more than a passing resemblance to his TV alter ego . “Lucky is Roy,” Neilson says, laughing. “He’s got his bags, and the cares of the world on his shoulders.”

So how does he feel about those who snigger at the idea of soap actors taking on such a serious writer? “That’s just snobbery, isn’t it? It’s all about keeping you in your place. If I’d have listened to all that stuff, I’d still be a gasman.”

The suggestion that they appear alongside each other in Endgame came from Gascoyne. The idea, initially, was simply to read the play together as a way of recharging actorly batteries running low after years on the Street. For one backstage reading, during downtime between shooting Corrie scenes, they were joined by fellow cast members Stephanie Cole and Malcolm Hebden, raising the delicious fan-fiction prospect of an Endgame featuring not only Peter and Roy, but Sylvia and Norris, too.

Make no mistake, however: there is no dilletante-ism about this production, no whiff of soap. “We’re not f***ing about,” Gascoyne insists. “This is an important thing. It’s life!”

The play will run from 4 Feb 2016 to 20 Feb 2016 at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow and then from Thu 25 Feb 2016 – Sat 12 Mar 2016 at HOME in Manchester.

See who else from Corrie is taking a break, leaving, returning or joining.


Vote for us in the UK Blog Awards #UKBA16Please vote for the Coronation Street Blog in the UK Blog Awards 2016

Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter
Download our free App | Visit Corrie.net





Creative Commons Licence All original work on the Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

My favourite line from Beckett: "I can't go on. I'll go on."

Anonymous said...

I called it in 2013!

http://cascandi.blogspot.ca/2013/05/green-room-gossip.html

(even if I picked a different casting)

- ELK

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Our Top 10 Blog Posts in last 7 days (automatically updated)

Click on a name to find out more about your Corrie favourites!

adam barlow aidan connor alan halsall alex bain alexander bain alison king alison sinclair all about soap awards alma baldwin amy barlow amy kelly andrea beckett andy whyment anna windass antony cotton audrey roberts awards baby Oliver barbara knox barlows battleaxes becky mcdonald behind the scenes ben price ben tagoe bet gilroy bet lynch beth tinker bethany platt betty driver betty turpin betty williams betty's hotpot bev callard beverley callard bill roache billy mayhew billy the vicar blanche hunt brian packham brooke vincent bruno langley can i visit the coronation street set Canada canadian coronation street fans carla connor Cath Tyldesley catherine tyldesley cathy matthews celebrities on coronation street characters joining coronation street characters leaving coronation street cherylee houston chesney brown chris gascoyne chris harper claire king classic corrie clothes worn on coronation street colson smith competition connor mcintyre conversation street coronation street coronation street art coronation street babies Coronation Street Blog - the book coronation street cartoons coronation street fan events coronation street fan of the week coronation street fans coronation street funerals coronation street history coronation street in canada coronation street look-a-like coronation street map coronation street men coronation street merchandise coronation street news coronation street preview coronation street spoilers coronation street weekly update coronation street weekly updates coronation street writers craig tinker damon alexis-rochefort damon rochefort daniel brocklebank daran little david neilson david platt debbie oates debbie rush debbie webster deirdre barlow deirdre hunt denise osbourne derek griffiths dev alahan eileen derbyshire eileen grimshaw Elle Mulvaney ellie leach ellie-louise leach elsie tanner emily bishop emily nugent ena sharples erica stewart exclusive interview exercise dvds famous people who have been in corrie fat brenda favourite females favourite males faye windass feckless fellas in coronation street filming locations filming mistakes fiz brown fiz stape florizel street flying ducks gail rodwell gary windass gary's army diaries gay and lesbians gay men in coronation street gay men in soaps gay women in soaps granada manchester coronation street set granada studios gurn of the week helen flanagan helen worth hilda ogden hilda ogden's curlers Hope Stape hot pot how to contact coronation street inside soap inside soap magazine izzy armstrong jack p shepherd Jack P. Shepherd jane danson jean alexander jennie mcalpine jigsaw jimmi harkishin job vacancies at coronation street joe duttine johnny connor jonathan harvey julie goodyear julie hesmondhalgh kabin kate fitzgerald kate ford katherine kelly kathy jones katie mcglynn ken barlow kev webster kevin webster kieran roberts kirk sutherland kylie platt kylie turner kym marsh leanne barlow leanne battersby leanne tilsley liam bairstow lily platt lisa george liz mcdonald lloyd mullaney Lucy Fallon luke britton maggie jones malcolm hebden manchester tart marc baylis maria connor mark llewellin martin sterling mary taylor matriachs maxine's bench michael le vell michelle connor mikey north mikey north miley windass minnie caldwell mothers on the cobbles music in the rovers nathan curtis new set new zealand newton and ridley nick tilsley nick's bistro nigel pivaro no.1 Coronation Street no.11 coronation street no.13 coronation street no.3 coronation street no.5 coronation street no.6 coronation street no.7 coronation street no.9 coronation street norris cole norris cole's brother nuttalls brewery odd side of the street official coronation street website oldham coliseum oliver battersby on location opening titles original cast our blog is the best blog in the world outside broadcast paper boys paper girls pat phelan pat phoenix patti claire patti clare paula lane peter barlow peter gunn pets on coronation street pictures of the coronation street set pigeons pillars of the community platt family plot holes props qasim akhtar quay street returning characters rita fairclough rita littlewood rita sullivan rita tanner road to coronation street rob donovan rob mallard romanian holiday rosamund street rosie webster rovers bosses rovers fire rovers return rovers return barmaids rovers return fire rovers return landlady roy and hayley roy cropper roy's rolls roys rolls ryan thomas sair khan sally webster sally and tim sally dynevor sally dyvenor Sally Metcalfe sally webster sally whittaker sam aston samia ghadie samia longchambon sarah platt Sarah-Louise Platt schmeichel sean tully shayne ward shelley king simon barlow simon crowther simon gregson sinead tinker six episodes per week sophie webster special effects speculation spin-off spoilers state of the street steve mcdonald storyline speculation storylines streetcars sue cleaver sue johnston sue nicholls susan barlow susan oudot sylvia cropper sylvia goodwin terry duckworth the corrie years the kabin the Nazirs the newspaper boy the road to coronation street through the years tim metcalfe tina o'bren tina o'brien Tina O’Brien tiricia hopkins todd grimshaw tony warren Tony Warren inspiration tours of coronation street toyah battersby tracy barlow trafford set tram crash tricia hopkins tyrone dobbs underworld underworld sign unofficial book unofficial merchandise unseen characters viaduct street victoria court fire vip bloggers walking tours watch coronation street online weatherfield weatherfield arms weatherfield council weatherfield county weatherfield county football club weatherfield fire station weatherfield gazette weatherfield haulage Weatherfield high Weatherfield Open Days weatherfield style weatherfield wayfarer websters' autos wedding wedding dress weddings weekly awards weekly update where have you seen william roache William Roache Interview window cleaners writers for soaps Yasmeen nazir zeedan nazir