From Alex Knott and Zöe Grain, Loop returned to London in March, earning itself a host of four and five star reviews. Now the production makes its way to Manchester for a run at 53Two. We spoke to cast members Aaron Price and Lucy Annable to find out more.
See Loop at 53Two 8th – 12th May 2018.
You’re appearing in Loop at Manchester’s 53Two, how would you describe the play?
Aaron: The Play is about three separate musical generations and how each of those generations affect the different generations of one family. Starting from the 60’s we follow one woman’s journey from London to the north of England and how she stumbles across the northern soul movement. Jump forward to the 80’s you see how music helps bring together the girl and the boy and how it affects their journeys together. Jump forward again to the naughties, you follow one young man and his strained relationship with his father as he tries to make it as a DJ in the music scene which accumulates with him travelling to London from the north of England, climaxing in one big Loop
Lucy: I think it’s also a story about the struggle between hope and striving for something better, and being content with what you have and the people who are close to you in your life.
It’s just finished a London run, how did that go?
Lucy: It went really well! It was great fun to perform Loop at Gerry’s studio; it’s such an exciting and atmospheric space. It really suited the intimate and fast-paced nature of Loop, and being close to the audience really helped with engaging them in the story. We had some cracking reviews as well, which was just the cherry on top of the cake!
Aaron: I thought it went really well, even stronger than the previous time that we did it. Revisiting the piece after last time proved a lot more interesting than I thought. Even though the show was the same script we still managed to add new things in to this run, which made it feel like I was doing the play again for the first time, which is something really special to find as a performer.
Tell us a little bit about your characters?
Lucy: I play ‘The Woman’. She’s 19 years old at the start of the play and she moves away from her life in London and everything that she knows to start a new life in Manchester. She has a new job waiting for her, and leaves her mum and fiancé behind without so much as a proper goodbye. It’s 1962, and when she arrives in Manchester she meets a man who introduces her to the thriving Northern Soul scene happening in the city, and he changes her life forever.
Aaron: My character starts off as a music loving, living in his own world teen that meets the girl of his dreams. This girl keeps him so on edge in the sense of, in one second she tells him she loves him and the next is hitting him on the arm for reasons unbeknownst to him. Now normally this could turn a guy off but the real attraction for him is that she almost adds that much-needed spark to his normal, boring life. And so they end up getting married and having a child. As he grows older that fun loving side seems to dissipate when his dream of owning his own record store hits a snag and the relationship between him and his family become strained, in particular between him and his son.
What do you like most about the character you play?
Aaron: The thing I like the most about the character is that he is incredibly sweet and friendly but definitely the life of the party. He would get along with most people and I think that’s why people are attracted to him, he’s just a life loving soul.
Lucy: I think I love her bravery the most. To completely uphaul your life at such a young age at a time when there wasn’t the security of the internet and modern technology to help you plan every detail of your life is a huge risk, and to leave behind the safe and trusted life that you know in the small hope that you might find something better is true courage. I also loved finding the contrast between the confidence and bravado that she has as a London girl in a small social circle, and her innocence/naivety that comes from her age and her true lack of real life experience. I think that she’s a fascinating character, and it was great fun to discover all of the reasons why she makes that journey in the first place.
What’s been the hardest thing you’ve had to accomplish for this role?
Lucy: Well the 15 minute monologue at the start of the play that I deliver was no walk in the park (thanks Alex!), but actually the hardest thing about playing The Woman was playing her at 3 different stages of her life, because the events in our lives change who we are dramatically, and it was difficult to decide which elements of her personality would stay with her throughout her life, and what qualities she would outgrow.
What are you looking forward to most about taking Loop to Manchester?
Aaron: It will be nice to do the show in a completely new venue away from London and I’ve heard such wonderful things about 53two so I really can’t wait until I get to go up there and perform in their wonderful space.
What’s your favourite piece of music from the Loop?
Aaron: My favourite piece of music from Loop is Marvin Gaye – Heard It through the Grapevine, It is in the show only for a snippet but Marvin Gaye has to be one of my favourite vocalists so I have to choose that song, He’s just such a good singer.
Lucy: There are so many great tunes, including an a really cool remix of ‘Tainted Love’, but I think for me it’s got to be ‘I want to know what love is’ by Foreigner – I love a good 80s power ballad anyway, and there’s a moment at the start of the show where we get to rock out to that song and I think it makes all of my dreams come true at once!