Action To The Word’s recent production of A Clockwork Orange at the Park Theatre in London was a huge success, with plenty of praise for the production in general and Jonno Davies in particular.
The official website has this exclusive post-Clockwork interview with Jonno.
Webmaster: You had previously played Alex DeLarge in tours to Norway and Singapore. How was it different performing the role in London?
Jonno: The biggest change was probably the performance space itself. We played to a 2,000 seater theatre (proscenium arch) in Singapore where as London was just over 200 and more importantly in the round. The audience felt very far away in Singapore, where as in London we were quite literally on top of them. It brought a great deal of intimacy to the piece, which I loved, almost giving the sense of being in the Colosseum. The actors as gladiators; blood and a whole lot of sweat (ask the front row) included!
Webmaster: What is it about the role you enjoy so much?
Jonno: He’s a boy that wants to make the world a better place and unlike a lot of us, he actually goes out to do something about it. Of course his methods are rather questionable but it’s this ‘White Knight meets Monster’ conflict that makes him so compelling. His use of language is a lot of fun to play with, as is controlling his inner beast. It’s like a simmering pot that could go off any minute, and that’s very exciting to work with.
Webmaster: Quite a number of people saw the production several times, including one person who watched it on eight occasions. Why do you think they kept coming back?
Jonno: The story is timeless and extremely relevant with current global politics in mind. The show is constantly in sixth gear, pushing and driving, bringing the audience to the front of their seats as they find themselves tapping their feet and nodding their heads to an old woman being murdered. Not many shows can boast that intensity and sort of bizarre question of morality, it’s very different to most other theatrical productions and I think that’s why many people return.
Webmaster: At least a couple of the reviewers commented about the show being part-ballet. Do you agree with that and if so have you had any formal ballet or any other form of dance training?
Jonno: There’s an elegance to the show that can easily be perceived as balletic, plus there was a couple of ballet trained actors in the show who got to flourish their skills in a couple of transitions. I used to do a lot of street dance as a kid, which is where my passion for movement began, that and my obsession with Justin Timberlake.
Webmaster: What type of warm up did you and the cast do before each show?
Jonno: Warm ups were a vital part of our rehearsal process. We dedicated an hour each morning to total-body circuits and conditioning. It not only developed the stamina needed to do the show seven times a week, but also helped build the rapport and camaraderie needed for such an ensemble based piece of theatre. We would undergo a shorter and slightly less intense version for the show; enough to energise the body and voice, but not too much to impede the energy of the upcoming performance.
Webmaster: Is your fitness regime the same throughout the year or did you have to change it for A Clockwork Orange?
Jonno: Since joining the show and Action To The Word back in 2014, fitness has become a real passion of mine. I love pushing my body and learning new things, whether that’s at the gym or through sport, such as rock climbing or American football. I try to make the most of the time created by the whole ‘unemployed actor’ cliche, by remaining active and this keeps me in pretty good shape throughout the year. The main thing I change for the show is my food, basically cutting out all the crap!
Webmaster: When can we next expect to see A Clockwork Orange in the UK and will you be playing Alex again?
Jonno: As long as I remain a young and healthy malchick, and as long as the director will have me, I’ll be having a few more merry outings with Mr DeLarge for sure. Where and when is a mystery.
Webmaster: Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
Jonno: I do, not all are confirmed as of yet though so I’ll keep you in suspense for the time being. However I can tell you that I will be co-producing my first feature film later this year. It’s very early stages at the moment, with pre-production starting in October, but I’ve learnt so much already from budgeting to where to hire porter-loos!
Webmaster: Will we be seeing you back on screen anytime soon?
Jonno: Yes, I play Andrew King in a new British feature film called ‘Milk & Honey’. It’s a sort of classic gangster film mixed with new school cyber-crime, plenty of twists and plot turns! It’s looking likely that it’ll be released later this year so keep a look out!
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