Q&A: Bill Buckhurst
Bill Buckhurst is an actor, director and self-proclaimed Tooting-ite.
Last year he directed Barbarians in Tooting. It went on to scoop an Offie Award, which celebrates the work of independent theatres across London.
He has brought Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream to Tooting.
Alexandra Rucki caught up with him.
Alexandra Rucki: What can audiences expect to see in A Midsummer Night's Dream?
Bill Buckhurst: Well I think the first thing is this is the first time a professional Shakespeare production had been done in Tooting. It is a play that is always popular in summer time and it's a comedy, so there will lots of laughter. There will be something of Tooting in it, responding as much as possible the local environment in Tooting.
AR: What is it like working with Tooting Arts Club?
BB: It is my third production with them. They put on plays in buildings which are not developed for plays. We have got this wonderful empty space called Tooting Broadway Studios. It used to be a place where artists and people could come and train. It has a history of the arts and has been empty for a long time. We have took over the building and make it into a theatre space.
AR: Who is starring in the cast?
BB: We have got a brilliant cast of eight actors only, for a play for 15 to 16 people. All of the actors playing all of the parts. Chris and Kat are returning from previous play Tinderbox. We have young actors straight out of drama school. You can come and see young talent before they get really famous.
AR: Why Tooting for this production?
BB: I love it. I call myself an honorary Tooting-ite. I used to live in Derrington Road and moved half a mile away. It is such a vibrant, exciting part of London. I just love to be here and spending my days here. It is great to be in a bustling, exciting part of town - it always draws me back.
AR: You won an Offie award for Barbarians (Tooting Arts Club production last year), why do you think it was so successful?
BB: Barrie Keeffe wrote a brilliant play there. I think it hit a note, just at the right time. We are lucky to have a cast that are just fantastic. It works well in the space that was not designed for a theatre - you don't expect to be walking into a theatre off Tooting High Street. A lot of elements went into making a great production.
AR: What else have you got lined up your sleeve?
BB: I'm going back to the Globe directing actors from around the would who come here for shows.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Broadway Studios, Tooting High Street, Tooting; August 13 to September 7, doors open 7.45pm; £14; tootingartsclub.co.uk, 08456 801926.
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