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The Birthday Party’s Declan Rodgers

Actor Declan Rodgers speaks about appearing in London Classic Theatre’s The Birthday Party which comes to An Grianán this May.

A native of Dundrum, Co Down, Declan trained at LAMDA. His TV and film appearances include Holby City, In Cold Blood, Ashes to Ashes and Six Degrees. Theatre includes: I’m With The Band (Traverse Theatre & UK Tour), Can’t Forget About You (Lyric Theatre), Shoot The Crow (Trafalgar Studios), Carousel (Bush), Service (Nilon Productions/Theatre 503), Hope Dies Last (Arcola Theatre) and City (Encounter Productions).

Can you tell us what The Birthday Party is all about and how your character fits in?

The play is set in the living room of a seaside boardinghouse during the 1950s. The play centres around Stanley Webber, a 30 something retired piano player who is living at the boardinghouse with its elderly owners. One day, two mysterious men with unclear but certainly harmful intentions arrive and insist upon a birthday party for Stanley. His life is destroyed in the process.

I play McCann – One of the “mysterious men” that arrive at the boardinghouse.

Declan Rodgers in The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett.
Declan Rodgers in The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett.

The production is touring to thirty seven venues around the UK and Ireland – what’s it like doing such a long run? How do productions tend to change over that amount of time?

I find long runs very fulfilling, as I am always discovering new things about my character with each performance. Longer runs allow me to enrich the character further and build upon relationships that my character has within the world of the play.

How important is touring theatre?

I believe that touring theatre is very important, especially at the moment. With funding cuts being widespread across the regions, local theatres have come to rely on touring companies, such as London Classic Theatre, to produce quality shows, both in new writing and classics such as The Birthday Party by Pinter.

Do you have any advice for young people thinking about pursuing acting as a career?

I would say that you really have to go to drama school. Your graduating shows are a shop window for you to display your talent to the prospective agents in the market for new graduates. The best school in my opinion is LAMDA, but then I’m biased!

The Birthday Party
Thursday 26 May 2016 at 8pm
Tickets: €20/€18 Book now

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