Ben Whishaw and Katie Mitchell were interviewed live via Zoom by Wes Williams for Torch Oxford on approaches to acting and directing, creativity during the lockdown and how performance will evolve for the new Zoom-world.
Here are the edited highlights and the link to the full hour-long interview is at the bottom.
How did you come to directing/acting?
Katie: I didn't really feel any connection with any of the work that was happening in the UK as a young woman in the 1980s.
So most of my influences came from a very big trip, I made to Eastern Europe to Russia, Georgia and Lithuania and Poland, where I researched directors' training and saw amazing practitioners and learned a lot about Stanislavski. And also seeing work that was coming into the UK from abroad.
Anyway, I then did about 15 years of working on naturalism in mainstream text-based theatre. But I always wanted to go back to a more visual arts influence, making work that was to do with the crossover between theatre and other mediums.
And so I then have my breakthrough show going into live cinema, which then set off what I would consider my real career.
It changed my life in a way
Ben: I got taken to an audition for a Youth Theatre when I was 13 by my dad, and it was a Youth Theatre in a town just down the road from the village I grew up in.
I was quite a shy 13-year-old and I think my dad must have thought it would do me good and I liked acting I'd done acting in school but I had never explored it further than that.
So I went to this audition and I got into this youth theatre and it changed my life in a way. And we did extraordinary things there. We did Greek plays and we did adaptations of books and we did devised pieces.