I’ve been talking to actor/producer Andrew Taylor (pictured), 35, in connection with next month’s part-time training supplement which, as usual, I am editing (for publication in The Stage’s June 16).
Taylor’s revival of Jez Butterworth’s 2006 play The Winterling opens at The White Bear in Kennington on May 24, and runs until June 12. He thinks this will be the first central London revival since the piece first played at The Royal Court and my researches have borne that out, but I’m sure there’s someone out there to correct us if Taylor is unwittingly making, and I am supporting, a false claim.
Anyway he’s an interesting chap because his entire training took place at Caravanserai Studio, run by Giles Foreman, in north London and it was all part-time.
For over three years Taylor, who had a day job in the city at the time, attended a weekly evening class in acting and weekend classes in voice and movement. “I was greatly helped by the high quality of Caravanserai’s teaching,” he says, mentioning Anne Walsh, Bob McAndrew and others as well as Giles Foreman. “I also went to Rome, Berlin and New York for training with coaches there, so the exposure to really good teaching was very wide.”
Today Taylor is busy as a full-time actor (in a mixture of short films and theatre) and producer. He had several roles in Doctor Faustus when Giles Foreman directed it at the Bridewell and a lead role in Caryl Churchill’s Serious Money, also at The Bridewell. In 2009 he took part in a refugee project hosted by Algeria Annual Film Festival which led to a devised piece, The Other Side of the Wall. It played not only in Saharan refugee camps but also at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London.
“Part time training can definitely work if you really want it to” says Taylor, who now also works as a mentor for Complete Works Theatre Company. “In fact if you’re serious and determined enough it can provide more opportunities than conventional training.”
He adds: “I certainly could not have afforded to go to drama school full time.”
I’m looking forward to The Winterling which I’m seeing on 31 May. Do try and get along to a performance if you can.