An Interview with Nigel Hastings
Perth Theatre in partnership with Theatre by the Lake, Keswick present
Theatre 503 and Bristol Old Vic’s production of And Then Come the Nightjars by Bea Roberts & Directed by Paul Robinson. The Mumble managed a wee chat with actor, Nigel Hastings.
Hi Nigel, so where ya from & where ya based geographically speaking
I’m from Preston originally but moved to London to go to drama school (LAMDA). I now live in Lewes, East Sussex.
When did you first fall in love with the theatre
My Dad was in the army and I was an army kid. I grew up on army camps, mostly in Germany so we didn’t really go to the theatre. But I remember seeing an amateur panto put on by the soldiers when I was about six and I thought it was amazing. I never wanted it to end.
For you, what are the essential ingredients of a good play
Heart, humour and humanity. And of course a good story and great characters.
You are currently touring And Then Come The Nightjars, can you tell us about it
It is a beautifully written play, perhaps the best new play I have ever been in. It is about love, loss and friendship, and how rural life is changing.
What emotional response do you expect from those seeing Nightjars
The response is always extraordinary. Audiences laugh and cry.
When playing to different audiences in different regions, can you sense a change in atmosphere at all
Some audiences are much quieter than others. We did a performance in Falmouth which was so silent we thought the audience hated it. It turned out that most of them were farmers and they kept had quiet because they didn’t want to miss a single word of the dialogue! Then last night the Keswick audience was in hysterics. We felt like Morcambe and Wise!
How do you find the Scottish crowds
We haven’t played Nightjars in Scotland yet but I’ve always thought the Scottish audiences are great and seem to listen very carefully.
What does the rest of 2017 have in store for Nigel Hastings
When this finishes I start work on another new play called Combustion (by Asif Khan). It is about a group of young Muslims in Bradford during the riots and so the setting, characters and themes are very different to Nightjars. But like Nightjars it is very funny and touching. It plays at the new Tara Arts Theatre and The Arcola in London then tours.