BWW Interview: David Langham, New Thenardier in LES MISERABLES!
Hi David! Congratulations on the role - are you looking forward to it?
It's very exciting. It's come round very quickly. They're so experienced at getting the show on and teaching us what we've got to do.
It must be like a well-oiled machine, slotting in to Les Mis...
I think it is, although they've been very helpful with me particularly to make the part my own. They've not imposed a lot of things - they've been really open to whatever I can offer up in the room, which has made it a joy, a really lovely experience.
How do you go about making a character like that your own?
When I got the materials to audition for this I spent a long time preparing, making sure I knew it all really well, and that's the basis of where you start off from. It's such a well-known part, it seems to be the kind of role that encompasses so many different interpretations, and you won't find two more dissimilar artists than me and Phil Daniels, who I'm taking over from. We're completely different people - but that part can accommodate it.
So how will you be playing it?
You have to be brave as an actor - you have to try things and be prepared for them to not work! We've got such a great resident director, we've really hit it off, so it's been a very smooth and comfortable environment. Katy Secombe who plays Madame Thenardier is staying on, and she's been so wonderfully welcoming to me and she's changed bits to accommodate what I want to do with it. Katy and Phil are quite similar sort of heights; I'm much, much taller than Katy, so we're playing a lot of that contrast - we really are the odd couple!
The Thenardiers are comedy and villainy all in one...
They are pretty amoral, hideous people. They're the characters the audience love to hate - they get away with all sorts of things that I think people would like to get away with. We get to break the fourth wall and look out into the audience. I've never been frightened about working in front of a live audience or interacting with them.
Do you get nerves before you start a new show, though?
Yes! I've been acting for so long now, you learn to cope with it better than you did when you were young. In a couple of weeks it will feel like we've been doing it forever. I can't wait to see how it's all going to go!
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From This Author Carrie Dunn