Spotlight On… Blast From The Past Star, Richard Rhodes

Blast From The Past is written  and directed by Anna-Lisa Maree. It is part of Camden Fringe and will be staged at Upstairs At The Gatehouse 16th – 19th August 2016.

Book tickets here: http://camdenfringe.com/show.php?acts_id=569

Richard Rhodes stars as one of the central characters, Nathan (90s Pop star, Kavana playing his brother!). Richard is a popular Drag Artiste whose aliases include Sheila Simmonds and Cookie MonStar. I caught up with the him to talk about what Blast From The Past means to him.  

Hi Richard, thank you so much for chatting to Break A Leg. Tell me about Blast From The Past and what the show means to you.
Blast from the Past is a roller coaster ride about a northern family and how they are affected by the horrific nail bomb attack at The Admiral Duncan in the 90’s.  It’s an important piece of theatre.  What happened on that day was a horrific homophobic attack – and all over the world these attacks still happen.  This play shows how it doesn’t just affect the people that were actually there, but their families and communities…..it has a knock on effect……..  it affects me as I am a gay man but also I’m a human being…..any attack on a person regardless of their sexuality, race, etc is an attack on humanity.
What did you think of the script when you first saw it?
First and foremost the script is fantastic, I loved it as soon as I read it.  I’m a big fan of the northern humour and it delivers this big time, what is also great and what i love about the north is the way that even in tragedy there is still some light and humour to be found and it also delivers that.
Richard
What are the key elements of Nathan’s character?
Nathans journey is one of figuring out who he is and where his place in society is – what his self-worth is, he’s discovering himself as a person, he has taken on various drag personas to give him confidence and a voice but is now also discovering himself as a person away from all these personas. He has his own internal battles going on…….and being a drag queen i can totally relate to all that.
How are rehearsals going so far?
Rehearsals are going really well, it’s all coming together nicely and we’re remembering our words which is always a bonus!  It’s a great cast and we’re all very open to throwing in ideas as we go along the rehearsal process.  The show is feeling great already so I’m really excited to see how it’ll be when we open.
What do you think the audience will take away from the show?
I hope they will have enjoyed a great piece of theatre – to me seeing a good piece of theatre should evoke something inside of you, hopefully you’ll laugh, cry and learn.  As I said in my answer to the first question these attacks are still happening, hopefully it’ll make people wake up, which I think we are doing and say enough is enough, all this violence has to stop.
What would you say to encourage potential audience members to come along?
Just come!  It really is a piece of great theatre, and you get to see Kav!
A pleasure to chat to Richard, Break A Leg and Snap A Lash!
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