herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Mumbling while I jog is how I learn all my lines, says Don

Film, TV and stage actor Don Wycherley stars in Michael Hilliard Mulcahy's After Sarah Miles, a one-man show in which a fisherman from Dingle named Bobeen recounts his "rollercoaster ride of a life". Don talks remembering lines and holding down jobs.

We've heard you have a very interesting way of rehearsing for a show.

"I'm gonna go for a run now in the next half-hour, and that'll be my rehearsal today. I find that a good way to not only get a bit of exercise, but try and remember my lines at the same time. I've rehearsed and performed After Sarah Miles before, so it's a matter of reacquainting myself with lines."

So you essentially mumble as you jog?

"Yes, I'm running along mumbling to myself. That's exactly what I'll be doing. I'm renowned for it on the Bull Wall, where I go for a run - 'Don is learning something off!' The latter stages of development, you'll see me stop-starting, getting frustrated and throwing my arms in the air, going 'I can't remember what the next line is!'

"Then I have to run back to the house and look at the script again. So at this stage it's just a matter of running and mumbling to myself along the sea front."

You've just finished a lengthy run at the Abbey Theatre in Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House. Compared with that hectic ensemble piece, this one-man show must be quite stressful to perform.

"Well, yeah, but there's also a huge buzz in it. I mean, obviously, it's fantastic working with an ensemble, and if you drop the ball someone can pick it up, whereas if I drop the ball here there's no one to pick it up and give it back to me.

"So, yeah, it's a lonely place to be. You tend to compensate for that by being hugely focused. The reward is when people come along with you on the journey."

You've also starred in various TV and film productions, from Father Ted and Bachelors Walk to Perrier's Bounty and Moone Boy. Do you have a preference when it comes to working in telly and theatre?

"To me, they're one and the same. To me, it's just acting, and it doesn't matter which medium you're involved in - you're required to act. Obviously there are different approaches, but you're still telling a story.

"I suppose there's something very organic about the theatrical side of things - there's an instant response and the actor ultimately has more control. I'm kind of in control, to a certain extent, when I'm on stage. Now, within reason."

You've been fortunate enough to keep busy, then, but does the fear of wondering where the next pay cheque is coming from ever go away?

"Never. We're playing a game of snakes and ladders, and sometimes you get a lovely ladder up and you've got this lovely television series and you think, 'This is definitely gonna lead on to something else, surely', but then you hit the head of the snake and you're all the way down and you're two months out of work and you're going, 'How did that happen?'

"I could say that I'm fortunate enough, I've been working away for a while now, but I'm looking at a gap coming up and I need that to be filled.

"People say to me, 'You never stop working', and you're going, 'Well, would you say that to anyone else?' An actor wants to stay working, but it's hard because you don't want to be doing everything - you have to have some sort of a barometer of personal standards"

After Sarah Miles runs at various venues across Dublin from September 26 to October 11. See www.dublintheatrefestival.com

Film and stage actor Don Wycherley stars in Michael Hilliard Mulcahy's After Sarah Miles, a one-man show in which a fisherman from Dingle named Bobeen recounts his "rollercoaster ride of a life". Don talks remembering lines and holding down jobs…

We've heard you have a very interesting way of rehearsing for a show…

"I'm gonna go for a run now in the next half an hour, and that'll be my rehearsal today. I find that a good way to not only get a bit of exercise, but try and remember my lines at the same time.

I've rehearsed and performed After Sarah Miles before, so it's a matter of reacquainting myself with lines…"

So you essentially mumble as you jog, yes?

"Yes, I'm running along, mumbling to myself. That's exactly what I'll be doing. I'm renowned for it on the Bull Wall, where I go for a run - 'Don is learning something off!' The latter stages of development, you'll see me stop-starting, getting frustrated and throwing my arms in the air, going 'I can't remember what the next line is!'

Then I have to run back to the house and look at the script again. So at this stage it's just a matter of running and mumbling to myself along the sea front…"

You've just finished a lengthy run at the Abbey Theatre in Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House. Compared to that hectic ensemble piece, this one-man show must be quite stressful to perform…

"Well yeah, but there's also a huge buzz in it. I mean, obviously, it's fantastic working with an ensemble, and if you drop the ball someone can pick it up, whereas if I drop the ball here there's no one to pick it up and give it back to me.

So, yeah, it's a lonely place to be. You tend to compensate for that by being hugely focused. The reward is when people come along with you on the journey."

You've also starred in various TV and film productions, from Father Ted and Bachelors Walk to Perrier's Bounty and Moone Boy. Do you have a preference when it comes to working in telly and theatre?

"To me, they're one and the same. To me, it's just acting, and it doesn't matter which medium you're involved in - you're required to act. Obviously there are different approaches, but you're still telling a story.

I suppose there's something very organic about the theatrical side of things…there's an instant response and the actor ultimately has more control. I'm kind of in control, to a certain extent, when I'm on stage. Now, within reason..."

You've been fortunate enough to keep busy, then, but does the fear of wondering where the next pay cheque is coming from ever go away?

"Never. We're playing a game of snakes and ladders, and sometimes, you get a lovely ladder up and you've got this lovely television series and you think, 'This is definitely gonna lead on to something else, surely', but then you hit the head of the snake and you're all the way down and you're two months out of work and you're going, 'How did that happen?'

I could say that I'm fortunate enough, I've been working away for a while now, but I'm looking at a gap coming up and I need that to be filled. People say to me, 'You never stop working,' and you're going, 'Well, would you say that to anyone else?'

An actor wants to stay working, but it's hard because you don't want to be doing everything - you have to have some sort of a barometer of standards…"

After Sarah Miles runs at various venues across Dublin from September 26 - October 11. For more, visit www.dublintheatrefestival.com.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News