An Actor's Life: Christopher Brandon

An Actor's Life: Christopher Brandon

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Christopher Brandon on playing Regeneration's Robert Graves, being on tour and his love of one cast member in particular... 

Tell us about your character Graves in Regeneration.
He's a tricky individual. Humorous, charming, spiky and caught halfway between duty and rebellion.

What were the challenges in playing Robert Graves who was a real-life war poet?
The main one is trying to make him as vivid a character as possible in a short space of time, because Graves wasn't a patient at Craiglockhart, so his appearances are few.

How do you prepare for a role before you start rehearsals?
Apart from reading the relevant scripts or books, the most useful preparation for me is done in the rehearsal room, when there are other people to listen and react to.

Who is your inspiration in terms of acting?
The late great Jack Monaghan.
Which tour stop has been your favourite so far and which one are you most looking forward to?
York, because I found a brilliant front door at Period Pine Doors. I'm most looking forward to Blackpool in the last week of November, and the company swim in the sea.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Building boats on the beach in Zihuatenejo, Mexico, waiting for Jack Monaghan to arrive.

Which of your past acting roles have you most enjoyed and why?
I liked The Curse of the Starving Class, at the Luceum in Edinburgh. And not just because I got to spend a lot of time with a domesticated sheep called Sam.

Are you a fan of poetry? Do you have any favourite poets?
I've always loved the works of Sassoon and Owen. I've added Graves to that list recently. Louis Macniece will always be a favourite. Brendan Kennelly's an all round brilliant man.

The War Poetry for Today competition has been hugely successful, reaching over 400 submissions to date. What have you thought of the shortlisted poems so far and any words of encouragement for future poets?
We've all been commenting on just how high the standard is. I don't know what encouragement I can offer, but I'm sure like most things, the key lies in persistence.

How did you enjoy your time in Edinburgh? How was the climb up Arthur’s Seat?
It's a fantastic city. And Arthur's Seat is a perfect way to see it. The climb is also an ideal way to sweat out the night before's whiskey.

In two sentences, tell us why we should see Regeneration.
Jack. Monaghan.


Regeneration premiered on 2 September 2014 (previews from 29 August) at Royal & Derngate, Northampton, where it continues until 20 September 2014. It then tours to York, Edinburgh, Bradford, Nottingham, Cheltenham, Richmond, Wolverhampton, Darlington and Blackpool where it concludes on 29 November.