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Ellis J. Wells





Interviews - Reece Putinas

Reece Putinas
Role: Lucullus

What's the best Shakespeare performance you've seen?

I rather enjoyed Baz Lurhman's "Romeo and Juliet" with Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio. I felt the performances were so strong and captivating; it made the film easy to follow, even with the Shakespearean language.

How do you feel about your role?  Do you like your character?  Was it easy to relate to your character's motives and intentions?

Read more: Interviews - Reece Putinas

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Interviews - James Reynard

James Reynard
Role: Timon

Do you recall what your first ever Shakespeare role was and can you tell us your thoughts on your first performance?

Hmm... have to cast the mind back for this one! I recall a workshop on “Macbeth” at school, but I think my first professional performance was as Mercutio in “Romeo and Juliet”. I remember doing what I thought might work, but without much actual knowledge about acting! I think it was very exterior – someone in the cast said “Like a Christmas Tree, lots on the outside, but not much inside!” Anyway, I guess there was something inside as I got some very nice critiques and I learned a lot from the production (I played the same character twice more during subsequent years).

You have been incredibly prolific with Shakespeare in your career, more so than any other cast member. What draws you to Shakespeare again and again?

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Interviews - Ellis Wells

Ellis Wells
Role: Lucilius

Firstly, hello Ellis.  Thank-you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to yourself today; it's not weird at all.  The first question is simple: what is the best Shakespeare performance you've seen?

Sir Mark Rylance as Olivia in "Twelfth Night."  100%  It was HILARIOUS!  He floated.  FLOATED! in that dress.  On blades?  Or a skateboard?  I have no idea how he did it, but it was genius.  The little nuggets he added; his ridiculous haughty pauses, the 'non-verbal' cries he made to express moments.  And there's this one bit he was trying to seduce Sebastian and kept trying to flick off his slipper like a lady, so Sebastian would have to retrieve it like a gallant knight, but it was all done with so, SO LITTLE grace... I laughed harder at his performance in Shakespeare than any other.  That said: special shout out to Roger Allam as Falstaff in "Henry IV" at the Globe.  He was perfection, the "older man's Hamlet" (as they say) and with a look, a simple look at the audience he made us smile.  I don't think I'll ever see a better Falstaff; he won the Olivier for a reason.

I feel... a little odd asking this (even if it's simple arithmetic, it still seems d*ckish): You're one of the most prolific cast members in terms of experience in Shakespeare; of the roles you've done which one would have like to do again?

Read more: Interviews - Ellis Wells

Interviews - David Sayers

David Sayers
Role: Apemantus

What is the best Shakespeare performance you've seen?

Oh, that's a good question. The best- I don't know, I can't think of 'the best' I've seen. I can think of the ones that made the impression on me. I remember when I was at school we had a trip to the Barbican and there was a production of "the Tempest". I don't know who directed it, I don't actually know who was Prospero. But I do remember Simon Russell Beale was Ariel. A very thin Simon Russell Beale actually, so a long time ago. And Greg Hicks as Caliban. And I remember the very beginning of the play, with Simon Russell Beale standing on a chair, or some sort of platform in the middle of the stage. And there was a light-bulb hanging down. And he just knocked the light-bulb to start creating the storm. So that made an impression on me. In terms of other Shakespeare, I suppose it's been more film. I admire the (Kenneth) Branagh films, especially "Hamlet" because most Shakespeare is cut and Branagh decided not to cut it, and it looks gorgeous. And I've always quite liked Mel Gibson's "Hamlet" (directed by Franco Zeffirelli), and the fact Zeffierelli cast him AFTER watching "Lethal Weapon" (1987) is even better.

Did you have any experience with "Timon of Athens" before this production?

Read more: Interviews - David Sayers

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