What propels you to go on the stage? Couldn't you take it easy, since you are a popular character in River City?
It's the opposite of taking it easy really; I've played Robbie for nearly 8 years and it's been brilliant. At this stage of my career River City has now become the longest job I've ever had in life, so I want to keep myself sharp and on the ball. Nothing gives you that bolt of adrenaline and fear quite like being on the stage. I just seem to be upping the ante a few more notches by taking on a one man show!
What attracts you to this particular script?I met with Stuart Thomas way back in the summer and he spoke to me about the script, we both shared ideas of who the character was and some of the experiences he goes through. It's very funny and I instantly could imagine myself delivering the punchlines. I was drawn into finding out why he says a certain thing that might be a little crass, or what is he covering up by being so bold and bawdy. It's easy to be camp and silly, but I'm interested in finding who's underneath all of that.
Do you identify much with the character in 69 Shades?
I do and I don't. Personally, I'm a bit more private when it comes to
matters of the heart and have a close group of friends who I seek counsel from. Aiden strikes me as the sort who'd spill his guts to the person next to him on the bus if they'd listen. I kind of admire that. No filter. There's also the aspect of him being gay and that being the thing that utterly defines his life, that's not me. I'm not defined by being gay.
What are you hoping that the audience will get from the show?I hope they get a really fun night out, the script is hilarious and some of the escapades will have people in stitches. There are also a few poignant moments in there too and it would be lovely if it resonated with folk. Love is universal and we can all relate to a good heartbreak story!
How do you approach developing a character like this, and does that process change much from how you approach Robbie off the TV?
Robbie is 100% in me now, so in a lot of ways I don't even have to think about how he'd react or how to pitch him in a situation or scene, it's pretty instinctual. Approaching a new character is always daunting, I don't want to be a one trick pony and play the big camp character for laughs. It's got to be authentic. Aiden is way bolder than Robbie, so I'm excited to be more out there and wild. Robbie is a pre-watershed character and Aiden is definitely after hours. I'm excited for that.