Jordan Waller will be known as series regular Lord Alfred Paget in Victoria and he also starred in the film Flesh and Blood, which he also wrote. Jordan is about to make his stage debut with The D Word at VAULT Festival, directed by Max Gill.
The D Word is at VAULT Festival 13th to 17th February 2019.
You’re bringing The D Word to VAULT Festival, what can you tell us about it?
The D Word is a deeply autobiographical one man show about losing a lesbian mother and trying to find a sperm donor father. It asks what it is to be a man through the lens of the holy D’s: Daddies, Dykes, Dicks and Death.
What made you want to tell your story on stage?
I crave the attention of others to fill in the gaping hole that is the absence of my biological father.
I also think that gay and lesbian narratives are so often sidelined in drama – we don’t see enough alternative family set ups explored properly and placed centre stage. So I wanted to share mine so that people can recognise just how abnormal we all are. The stage gives a direct and intimate dialogue with the audience that allows the characters’ inner worlds to open up in a way that no other medium really could.
What challenges did you face writing about such a personal subject?
It’s very difficult to create a compelling narrative out of the messy events of life. I had to try very hard to mine the truth of my experience and to let go of the specifics. So characters had to be grouped together and events had to appear in a different order to what actually happened. It was painful to write, and even more daunting a prospect to perform – but it was surprisingly cathartic as it helped me to shape something akin to a coherent story out of the mess that is real life.
Why did you want to perform it yourself?
Because I’m a narcissist.
This is your stage debut, how have you been preparing for the transition from screen to stage?
I’ve been rehearsing with the brilliant Max Gill who’s worked with big dogs like Kenneth Branagh. He’s amazing at disciplining me. There’s a lot that stage and screen share in common. The principles are the same – truth, truth, truth. Whatever that is. But the audience makes such a big difference. There’s nowhere to hide and you get to self-edit – it’s a pure form of story telling, which is exactly why I wanted to do this all in the first place.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see The D Word?
Come. Lord knows there’s a lot of cum in it. It’s very rude. And extremely vulgar. But its heart is in a good place and I promise I’ll show you a good time.