The Royal Shakespeare Company releases two new episodes of its in-house podcast, Interval Drinks with a further two to be available for download from Thursday 6 January 2022. The series launched last Spring, bringing together members of the RSC’s 2020/21 acting company with inspirational personalities from the Company’s history.
The four new episodes include an interview with RSC Associate Artist Lucian Msamati (Othello, Pericles), children’s author Kate DiCamillo, who wrote the novel The Magician’s Elephant which inspired the stage adaptation by Nancy Harris and Marc Teitler, currently playing at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, RSC Associate Artist and star of Channel 4’s Shameless David Threlfall (The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby, Julius Caesar) and Artistic Director of Augmented Productions, Sophie Woolley.
Interval Drinks is an opportunity to learn more about the life of the RSC from those at the heart of the Company. The Podcast offers audiences a rare insight into the professional journeys of these RSC artists, as well as a chance to explore the craft of modern theatre and discuss some of the biggest issues facing the theatre industry today.
In episode one, actor Alfred Clay, who features in the company of The Comedy of Errors at the Barbican, speaks to RSC Associate Artist Lucian Msamati as he describes how it felt to see live theatre for the first time, growing up in Zimbabwe and founding the first professional multi-racial theatre company in the country. He talks about playing Iago at the RSC, and the hardships of forging an acting career. And he explains his irrational fear of camels.
Episode two features playwright Nancy Harris speaking to children’s author Kate DiCamillo about her inspiration – the “divine spark” that grew into The Magician’s Elephant and how gifting a notebook to a friend led her to create the unique cast of characters. The two writers talk about their writing processes, and Kate shares exactly how many rejection letters she received.
In the third episode, RSC Associate Artist David Threlfall speaks to Zoe Lambert, who can also currently be seen in The Comedy of Errors at the Barbican. They talk about David’s theatre career, from starting out at the RSC, to playing Tommy Cooper and Frank Gallagher in Shameless. Zoe asks David where the character of Frank came from, and David explains why he loves working, how he approaches the characters he plays and the art of creating believable characters for comedy. He also tells us who he would most like to share an interval drink with, in what would be the busiest interval we’ve had so far in the series.
Episode four features Renu Arora, who plays Madame LeVaughn in The Magician’s Elephant, in conversation with Deaf writer and performer Sophie Woolley. Both Renu and Sophie are artists who have needed to adapt their practices following acquiring disabilities. Within the discussion, the pair touch on Sophie’s past work, their experiences of the theatre industry, how their work has changed over time and what advice they would give to other disabled artists wanting to advance their career in the arts. This episode will also be available to download as a BSL interpreted Vodcast via the RSC website.
Previous episodes include conversations with Tim Minchin, John Kani, Paul Chahidi, Justin Audibert, Juliet Gilkes Romero and Adjoa Andoh. Each episode of the series is available to download for free via the RSC website, as well as multiple podcast platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes). There is also a vodcast episode with Charlotte Arrowsmith available via the RSC YouTube channel.
New episodes of Interval Drinks will be announced in the new year.