What’s In A Name?, the international smash-hit adapted by British theatre director, writer and translator Jeremy Sams, comes to the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre this October.
Ahead of the show’s arrival, I’ve been catching up with all of the cast to talk about their individual roles. This time, it’s former The Inbetweeners and Fresh Meat star Joe Thomas, with a conversation about comedy, fatherhood and his switch to the stage.
Traditionally, actors moving from stage to screen has been an established career path. But, for TV star Joe Thomas, he’s stepping the other way into the world of theatre for a run in the hilarious, satirical and certainly poignant show, What’s In A Name?
“I’m excited. I haven’t done much theatre,” says Joe, “I’ve done live comedy, which is why I think I can handle this because it has a sketchy energy. It’s not too long, it’s a bit like a long sketch. It’s got that momentum that good sketch comedy gets into.”
As a 90-minute show, Joe’s absolutely right: it’s pacey and, at times, a little bit naughty, and it’s this tone that makes it into such an enjoyable experience for Joe and his fellow actors.
“The gag rate (if I can be so crass!) is pretty high. It should be as funny as watching an hour of sketch comedy.” However, that’s not to say the role doesn’t come with its challenges, especially in the major role of Vincent, the narrator and focal point of the action.
“Vincent is a very difficult person to like,” muses Joe. “He’s funny and he’s a good component of that group, and by the end you like him more.
“He’s really got some brilliant lines” smiles Joe.
Alongside the hilarious and, at times sombre plot, the show demonstrates the unravelling of the character’s lives, all stemming from that simple question: What’s In A Name?
Before he’s whisked away for his next round of interviews, I ask Joe what name he’d choose for his own son.
“I like friendly names, I like Raff, it sounds like a friendly dog,” laughs Joe. “Also, when I was at university I had a friend called Jonny Sweet. It just wasn’t physiologically possible for him not to be nice, so there we go – Raff Sweet!”
What’s In A Name? is at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre from Tuesday 22nd October to Saturday 26th October.
Purchase tickets here: https://www.atgtickets.com/times/whats-in-a-name/aylesbury-waterside-theatre/2019-10-22