Anna of the Five Towns

In 2017, after an absence of more than two years from theatre, I found myself in Conrad’s production of Anna of the Five Towns, an adaptation by Deborah McAndrew of the 1902 novel by Arnold Bennett, which ran at the New Vic in Newcastle-under-Lyme from 26th May to 17th June. It’s a coming-of-age story, set in the heart of the Staffordshire Potteries, against the backdrop of the struggle for profit on the one hand and the pressures to conform to the rigours of Methodist teaching on the other. I played three roles – an impoverished potter, a hellfire Methodist preacher and a wealthy patrician – and firmed up my lip to play cornet and euphonium.

The cornet-playing, Methodist preacher

It was a challenging and thrilling welcome back to the medium where my career started.

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