Caro Meets Theatre Interview

Joshua Price: Land Of Our Fathers

By | Published on Thursday 3 March 2016

landofourfathers

I feel sure you will have heard of Chris Urch’s ‘Land Of Our Fathers’, given its acclaimed debut in London a few years ago. Since those initial performances it’s been on a national tour, and now the production returns to the capital for an all-too-short two week run.
Ahead of the upcoming dates, and as he nears the end of his involvement with the show, I put some questions to cast member Joshua Price.

CM: For anyone who has managed miss hearing about the play, can you tell us what it’s about? What’s the central narrative?
JP: The play opens following an explosion trapping six miners a thousand feet under ground in a coal mine. Audiences are initially invited to gain insight into the camaraderie and banter of the community of men, but it is soon revealed that all is not what it seems.

CM: What themes does it explore? Does it have political points to make?
JP: Politics were a big part of the 1970s, of course, with the rise of Thatcher; therefore it is touched upon. I think playwright Chris Urch was keen to ensure that this piece was not preaching about the bitterness and resentment felt by some miners, but was more of a celebration of an industry and community.

CM: Did you do any research for your role in it?
JP: Collectively the cast and creatives were given the opportunity to visit The Big Pit in Blaenafon which was a working mine between 1960 and 1980 before reopening as a museum in 1983. This gave us a true feeling of the claustrophobia felt while being under ground. My father was also a miner so I was lucky enough to be able to listen to some of the stories first hand.

CM: Can you tell us a bit about the playwright?
JP: Chris was selected as part of a scheme run by Theatre503, for which five writers are chosen every year to work in residence at the theatre. At the end of the year each writer submits a piece and one is chosen to go into full production. In 2013 ‘Land of our Fathers’ was the chosen piece, and I believe that this was the beginning of his well-deserved continued success.

CM: You’ve been with the show from the very start, haven’t you? Has it changed at all? How has your performance developed with time?
JP: No matter how many times you perform a piece there are always new things to be found, not necessarily major differences but slight discoveries. This has of course been helped by the introduction of new actors to the piece, because naturally, with new actors come new decisions. I think it’s important to continue playing with new ideas to ensure it never gets stale. That’s the exciting thing about live theatre, no two nights are ever the same.

CM: You’ve performed it all over the UK, as well as in London – how has it been received in different places? Has the response differed?
JP: This is a play about friends, family and a community therefore no matter where we play the piece has resonance, the themes are universal, and the effect of the show has been relatively consistent no matter where we’ve been.

CM: This is the final run for this particular production, isn’t it? What have you enjoyed about being involved in it?
JP: One of the best things is having the chance to work with some stellar actors who have also become great friends. It has also been great to visit so many different places along the way.

CM: What’s next for you, once this is over?
JP: Who knows? That’s part of the excitement…

‘Land Of Our Fathers’ is on at Found111 from 8-19 Mar. See this page here for more info and to book.

LINKS: sohotheatre.com | www.chrisurch.co.uk | twitter.com/joshjprice



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