Caro Meets Theatre Interview

Tom York: Corpse!

By | Published on Sunday 1 March 2020

Headed to the Park Theatre this week is a production of Gerald Moon’s play ‘Corpse!’, a comedy thriller set in London in the thirties, which won much critical acclaim when it was first staged back in the mid-eighties.

Starring in the production is actor Tom York, whose work you may have witnessed on screen in recent years, in particular in his role as Sam Carne in BBC series ‘Poldark’. I arranged a quick chat to find out more.

CM: For those not familiar with the play, can you explain what it’s all about? What story does it tell?
TY: Simply put. It’s great fun! A thriller/comedy in the same vein as ‘Deathtrap’ and ‘Sleuth’. Set in 1936 against the back drop of king Edward’s abdication. It charts the lives of two twins, one planning out the murder of the other. And an unwitting major who finds himself unhappily caught in the middle of all the madness.

CM: Can you tell us about the roles you play in it?
TY: I play the twins. Evelyn – a great actor, blacklisted from every theatre in London. Planning his brother’s murder. And Rupert – a successful businessman on the rise, who wants nothing to do with his brother at all.

CM: How challenging is it to switch between the roles? How different are the twins, character wise?
TY: It is quite the challenge. Just keeping track of who I am at any given moment. Evelyn, Rupert or Evelyn pretending to be Rupert!

The twins themselves are as different as twins can be. One is the theatrical lovey, who craves an audience and loves the sound of his own voice. Whilst the other is rather more blunt, direct and stands no nonsense.

CM: What attracted you to the role?
TY: The challenge is such a big one. It’s a great opportunity to push myself and test my mettle on stage in London for the first time. Wish me luck! Or broken legs… whichever you prefer.

CM: What do you like about the play?
TY: The play is really well written. It’s funny. Full of action. And very clever with its twists and turns working wonderfully. It’s just so much fun to work on.

CM: Can you tell us a bit about the rest of the cast?
TY: Paul Kemp, Felicity Duncan and John Hastings make up the rest of the cast, and they are genuinely wonderful. They made me say that by the way!

CM: You’re more known for your TV work: what made you want to work on stage at this point?
TY: Being on stage was where I fell in love with acting. I’ve been so fortunate to work on screen since I graduated from drama school. But I’ve always had one eye on coming back to the stage. I’m very excited to finally be doing just that!

CM: How did your career begin? What steps did you take towards a career in the arts?
TY: I was very fortunate to work straight after graduating from drama school at LAMDA, and from there I’ve just been trying to build a career one job at a time.

The biggest tip in my opinion for a career in the arts is to fill your time when not working, with creative projects of your own. Classes, writing… whatever you fancy. It keeps you sharp and creatively satisfied.

CM: What have been the highlights of your career thus far?
TY: My first big job was a show called ‘Olympus’. It was an amazing opportunity for me to learn on my feet! I had the time of my life. Then ‘Poldark’ obviously opened up a whole new world for me, and I met the most incredible people. And now this play!

CM: What’s coming up next? Do you have any new projects lined up?
TY: There are a few things in the ether… but we shall have to wait and see what materialises first.

Tom York performs in ‘Corpse!’ at The Park Theatre from 4-28 Mar. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.

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