Hear Me Out is a brand-new podcast from actor and producer Lucy Eaton, most recently seen on TV screens starring alongside David Tennant, Michael Sheen and her brother Simon Evans in BBC1’s Staged.
The first four episodes are now available to listen to with guests Mark Bonnar, Denise Gough, Adrian Lester and Claire Skinner. A new episode will then be released each Tuesday from 30 March onwards with future guests including Brendan Coyle, Freddie Fox, Patricia Hodge, Maddy Hill and Giles Terera.
Hear Me Out is available to listen to on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor.com and all major streaming platforms. Full details here
You’re launching your brand-new theatre podcast, Hear Me Out, what can you tell us about it?
It’s a podcast for anybody who loves theatre or has an interest in the backstage workings of an actor’s life. My awesome guests (almost all of them have some kind of OBE, CBE or Olivier Award under their belt!) have to answer the question “what is your favourite speech” and then we use that as a jumping off point to discuss their experiences both as an actor and an audience member.
What inspired you to create a podcast where guests discuss their favourite speech?
The idea was born out of my realisation last autumn that, more than missing watching theatre, I was missing the process of making it. I longed for that early stage of rehearsals when you’re all trying to figure out the play, discussing it passionately in immense detail and then taking a break and bonding over tea and biccies. Suddenly I thought “Hang on! That’s an experience that most theatre-lovers never get to have, but maybe I can replicate something similar.” I wanted to capture an actor’s enthusiasm for great writing and the privilege of getting to perform it, and then stream that out to the world.
You’ve recorded a few episodes already; have you been surprised by some of the anecdotes that have emerged from that initial question?
Absolutely! This may seem silly of me, but I really didn’t expect Denise Gough to pick People, Places and Things, so when she did, I was over the moon and she gives a real insight into her very personal experience of doing it (there’s a great story about her crying in her audition.) Also, later in the series, Patricia Hodge talks about a play that she’s never been in and a character she couldn’t even play, but it was something she saw as a young woman that changed her view on acting. It was amazing to have that conversation with her because it almost felt as though she was realising its importance in her life as she discussed it with me. Freddie Fox has a funny anecdote about auditioning for drama school too. There are so many great moments!
Tell us about some of the guests you’ve got lined up, and how did you convince them to take part?
They’re amazing. As well as the three already mentioned, we’ve got people like Claire Skinner, Mark Bonnar, Adrian Lester, Maddy Hill, Brendan Coyle and Giles Terera. Many of them are actors I’ve worked with in the past, so there was a personal connection there already. But they honestly didn’t take much convincing! I think it’s a lovely question to put to an actor and luckily my guests seemed to think the same.
This isn’t your first time hosting a podcast, what have you learned from last time that’s helped with Hear Me Out?
The Thing About That (my first podcast) wasn’t theatre related at all – it was talk-show podcast with me and 2 other co-hosts, in which we discussed the emotional ups and downs of wedding planning. We’re all engaged, strong, independent women and we were finding the wedding circus and all its antiquated traditions really emotionally challenging, so the podcast was sort of like therapy! It was as much for our own mental wellbeing as it was about creating a show for people to enjoy. But with Hear Me Out I had my audience in mind from the get-go. It’s been a lovely exercise in getting the perfect guests on and making sure there’s a lovely variety in material and experiences being discussed.
How do you think this new podcast will help audiences reconnect with the artform we’re all missing so much?
My listeners will see behind the curtains in a way they haven’t before. You get to hear Mark Bonnar explaining iambic pentameter to you; Brendan Coyle talking about rushing from Downton shoots to perform at the Donmar in the evening; Maddy Hill explaining what happens to your voice at the Globe when the temperature turns. It really does help you understand what our lives are like as actors, the ups and the downs. And then when the actors read their speeches out loud at the end, it’s hugely moving (perhaps more so because we’ve all been absent from theatres for so long). I remember listening to Adrian Lester’s speech and grinning from ear to ear, and getting goosebumps during Claire Skinner’s one.
What would you say to anyone trying to decide which theatre podcast to listen to next, to convince them Hear Me Out is the one to choose?
My episodes are bitesize, my guests are exquisite and we have a genuine, open conversation that leads to all kinds of lovely, unexplored places. You’ll learn things about plays you thought you already knew and you’ll be introduced to incredible writing you’ve never heard of. The conversations I’ve been lucky enough to have with my guests have exceeded my highest expectations and I hope my listeners get the same kick out hearing them as I did recording them.