Emilio Iannucci stars in Fifteen and a half productions’ Delivery at Chiswick Playhouse, written by Andy Walker and inspired by the life of paratrooper Stuart Cardy who served in the Falklands War.
Lesley Manning directs the production, which opens on 12 March, with previews from 10 March and runs until 4 April.
You’re appearing in Delivery at Chiswick Playhouse, what can you tell us about it?
A play about starting a family when your mind’s still at war. There’s blood, there’s a sea lion and there’s an order for a couple of very hot Vindaloos. What’s not to like?
What first attracted you to the role?
There are too many to be attracted to all of them, if I tried I’d explode.
The audition was as the Sheep, and they have remained a firm favourite of mine throughout the process. I just think it really compliments my farmyard skillset. I do love a role that wanders into a serious space and refuses to join in.
This is Andy Walker’s stage writing debut, what has impressed you the most about his writing?
Andy has managed to birth something bonkers, yet has carefully let a beautiful love story surface alongside the whirl of grief and blood. Something about its alchemy allows you to accept the ridiculousness and fall in love with its honesty. For all the animals, it’s very human.
Why do you think the themes of this play will resonate so strongly with audiences today?
There’s a line that always hits me hard:
Joe – “We’ve lost more men since we got back than we did in the war.”
I think that in itself says it better than I can. This is an important play. Don’t let the clowning fool you, real people are dying every day as a result of how we deal with our mental health. There are other huge themes that are equally important too but that one always resonates, with me at least.
What are you looking forward to most about working at Chiswick Playhouse?
I’ve never previously performed at the Playhouse before but I’m very excited to be a newbie.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Delivery?
Come for a laugh, come for a cry, and come chat to us afterwards, see you there.
Main Image: Emilio Iannucci