Interview with the Three Blind Mice Hostel Tour Actors

Posted on: 19 December 2011

Written by: Anonymous

1.    So the tour is ending this week, will you miss it?

S:     Yes and No. I’m going to miss performing and performing to different audiences everyday and meeting different people. I won’t miss the different routines every day, the whole works of the tour, it drains you. It’s consuming physically.

A:     Eventually yeah, I’m tired so happy it’s at an end. But I know when I’ve had 2 weeks then I will start to miss it.

J:     Yes, I won’t be making any money! Each time I say my lines now, I know it’s one of the last times.

H:     Yes, definitely. The closeness of the guys, we’ve had a bond. Like a pack of card, you can’t function without the other.

2.    Looking back from your first rehearsal to now, do you think it’s helped or changed you in any way?

S:     Yeah it’s changed me completely. It’s made me realise how you can go around changing people through theatre, and in the process change yourself. It’s grown my confidence. It’s a two way thing, you learn and teach.

A:     Don’t know if it has, as I’ve done the tour twice before, but it’s good to work with different actors, different directors. Still learning too.

J:     Given me a new opportunity, broadened my horizons.

H:     Of course, it has touched on a few weak areas I’ve had that I’ve not noticed before as I’ve not worked in those environments until now. But this has allowed me to work through them as well. I’ve always seen myself as a team player, but as I’ve been out of work for so long you doubt yourself. But this hasn’t put me under any falsehood; I know I’m a team player.

3.    Do you think the tour has changed your perception on the work Cardboard Citizens does?

S:     Yeah, it made me realise the process of recruitment and help me understand the journey of people from beginning to end. I understand the root of the work now.

And no as well as I’ve already experienced firsthand the work of Cardboard Citizen’s

H:     Oh god yes, the importance, I fully understand that now. Why we’re out here doing what we do. How many people we’ve met and how many are actually hungry for a challenge.

4.    Can you see the effects on the audience?

A:      Definitely when we are at the show, can see it on their faces in certain scenes and after the show when they talk to you about your character and how they relate to them, it becomes their story.

J:    Some audiences aren’t interested. But the ones that I do see being affected are quite a lot. You can hear it and see it. Slowly they get involved with the character. The recurring remark is ‘that was better than I thought it would be’

I cried in Camden when an alcoholic came up and embraced me and said he wants to stop drinking. He came along to the showcase and said he was going to attend AA.

H:    Massively, huge in Feltham, blew me away. How these young guy were coming in head down, no eye contact. We rolled on with the show and when it came to the end, they were jeering and clapping with enthusiasm. Talking to each other. Very positive room after the show. Live with energy.

5.    What’s been your personal highlight/lowlight of the tour?

S:    My personal highlights were the three prisons and Shelter for the Storm, because those really meant something to the audience. To see people who are so institutionalised take hold of it was really touching and rewarding. It made me realise why I’m doing this tour. In real life you never get to go into those environments, but they’ve got so much to give.

    My lowlight would be working so intensely with people every day, day in day out. It gets to the point where you just need to be professional and keep calm and carry on. You can’t get along with everyone you work with.

A:     Highlight would be Kairo’s and Pentonville. The audiences were great, great energy and gave a really great experience.

J:     Highlight, 1st show in Arlington.

Lowlight would be the stress and hard work.

H:    My lowlight is realising I’m not perfect. It’s funny as I knew coming into this I had defects and wondered if they would be seen. But there was no hiding them. I came out with them to the other guys, then everything was fine.

    Highlight, all rounder response from the audience. The interactions, their choice to say ‘stop’. That journey from their seat to the stage, they’ve already made a change.

6.    What was the most challenging show/why?

S:     Livingstone house. They asked us why we were there, and challenged us. Asking us to justify why we were there and how we could help them. And they were right we couldn’t help them there and then

A:     Holloway. In a good way. It was so lively and I enjoyed the challenge.

J:     All the shows are.

H:    Don’t know, all of them are. The 1st one.

7.    Have you ever found the forum to leave you in a difficult situation?

S:     Improvising the Showcase & Joker training, to audiences that authentic, they understand but it isn’t their reality so it was harder to connect with them, a different energy.

8.    What was your most difficult/interesting improvisation?

A:     The most interesting each time was Being Dapo’s mother and how the audience react.

H:    I may have come across as stuck, but I always had a trick up my sleeve. Men can go to men’s refuge, I didn’t know that, but the audience educate you, that’s why we need them.

9.    What do you plan to do when the tour ends?

S:    Take time out. Catch up with all my hobbies I’ve fallen behind on in the last twelve weeks. Maybe continue with education do some academic work.

A:     Few things in the pipeline. Just waiting and seeing, auditions and a short film I wrote my brother is editing.

J:    Go home for Christmas; show my family my new son. I’ve been offered a job at the YMCA, so going to be a training project worker in the New Year.

H:    I’m going to work for my sister in Basildon, and going back into education. Without the hostel tour, I would have gone back inot education but not this quickly. I’m bouncing off the energy of the tour, bouncing into college.


With thanks to

Arts Council England Lottery funded