2 October 2019

Jamie Chapman Interview.

Actor Jamie Chapman returns to Nativity the Musical as local newspaper reviewer Patrick Burns. Ahead of this years run he answered a few questions for us.
Jamie Chapman.
Q: With Nativity the Musical returning for a third year. You're also returning for a third run as Patrick Burns. How excited are you to return to the role?
A: Yes, third time! It's a Patrick hatrick (Apologies - I'll get my coat). I love playing him in all his bitter and twisted glory. Although, I never feel FULLY in character until I get his ghastly snakeskin jacket on - always two sizes too small. Patrick insists he still has a 32" waist. He doesn't...

Q: You're again working with Debbie Isitt (the original creator of the Nativity franchise). What is it like working with her?
A: Cards on the table. I love Debbie Isitt. Her work has this magical mixture of humour and heart. And you really get the opportunity to contribute in rehearsals - the way Debbie works is very collaborative. If you want a better exit line - think of one. And I will never, ever forget a pep talk she gave the cast in our first year just as we were about to start technical rehearsals. She just talked about an average family coming to the show, and how much they might have had to save to get the tickets, and how special the evening needed to be for them, and implored us never to give way to the temptation of simply coasting through the show but always give 100% in each and every moment. That stuck with me. That's absolutely Debbie Isitt.

Q: What is your favourite thing about being in Nativity?
A: The response from the audience can be really overwhelming. Audiences respond to it in the most extraordinary way. There have been nights when the finale has almost turned in to a party in the stalls. Seeing a family (mum, dad, kids, grandparents) all dancing together on the front row is very special.




Q: Playing Patrick, who isn't afraid to give his opinion, do you relish as being somewhat bad in the piece?
A: Oh, playing baddies is fun. I've always tended to play comedy roles - and it's the flaws in a character that make them funny. Flaws are funny - perfection isn't. Who was it who once said 'virtue is its own reward, but the wages of sin are exceedingly high'?

Q: What's it like working alongside different groups of children? I bet it makes every show unique?
A: Yes, they are amazing. And it's lovely to see them mature as performers as the tour progresses. There's something very pleasing about watching an eight-year-old nailing their laughs. Never, ever play the game where the kids guess the adult casts age though. One child thought I was 52...

Q: With some big-name stars (London - Rylan, Danny Dyer and Sharon Osbourne, Tour and London - Dani Dyer) joining/returning to the show for this year. Are you looking forward to working alongside them?
A: Absolutely. Of course, the Dyers were on board last year - and were an absolute joy. Dani and I giggle a lot backstage...
Jamie (in the white) as Patrick Burns in
the original 2017 Nativity 
company
Q: You were seen on screen in Nativity Rocks working as Craig Revel Horwood. How was it being in the film and working with Craig?
A: I had a ball being Craig Revel-Horwood's evil henchman. Our first scene was at the 'airport' so we were filming outside for part of it. And it was right in the middle of that uber cold spell 'the Beast from the East'. That Craig and I managed to film it without our teeth chattering is evidence of true professional grit. The highlight though has to be dancing on a Carnival float in the middle of the night with Jessica Hynes. I still maintain I have the best 'shimmy' in the business...

Q: You recently played (excellently I must add) Lord Darcy Mandeville in a Vauxhall advert. Will Lord Darcy be returning?
A: Thank you. I don't know if Lord Darcy will get a second outing, but that advert has been on a lot, hasn't it?! There was one week where I could barely turn on the box without being confronted by my mug framed with a cravat and a bouffant hairstyle!


I'd like to thank Jamie for taking the time to answer these questions and for giving an insight into his role as Patrick and Nativity.


Nativity The Musical begins it's run this year at Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre (29th October - 2nd November 2019). The tour then visits Aylesbury's Waterside Theatre (6th - 10th November 2019), Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre (13th - 17th November 2019), Cardiff's Wales Millennium Centre (19th - 23rd November 2019), Southampton's Mayflower Theatre (3rd - 7th December 2019) and London's Eventim Apollo (11th - 29th December 2019). For booking details visit https://www.nativitythemusical.com/2019-tickets-and-dates

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