Amy chats to Ryan Gerald who is currently playing Brack in Reading Rep’s production of Hedda Gabler.
Hi, how are you feeling about the show?
We have such a talented team of actors and creatives, so I’m feeling very confident in the work that we have done so far. It’s been great to watch the show grow and develop.
Tell us about Hedda Gabler, what do you think it is about this play which makes it a classic?
Hedda Gabler is a classic as firstly, Hedda is a wonderfully complex character who is dealing with a plethora of difficult interpersonal relationships. Unfortunately we don’t get to see characters like this often. It’s really something to have such a wonderful nuanced character for a women. Unfortunately, I find that characters like this are usually reserved for men. Hedda Gabler was published in 1890 and the themes are still extremely relevant today. It really does hit home how timeless and important this play really is.
What attracted you to the role and this production?
Firstly, the talented Harriet Madeley.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with her before, and I think that she’s an amazing writer. Harriet told me that she was doing this project, and I immediately was excited. I really trust her choices and her work. After reading her adaptions, I couldn’t believe my luck. Brack is such an interesting character. And honestly, I couldn’t believe that I would even be considered for an Ibsen play.
I’m really enjoying it. It’s an amazing challenge to portray James Brack.
The other mastermind on the project is our super talented director, Annie Kershaw. I’ve learnt so much from her in such a short amount of time. After the audition, I had a great little conversation with Annie. It was really informative and focused. I knew I had to work with her.
How does this production differ from previous iterations?
I would say that this version is more accessible. Not just because of a modern setting, but because this adaptation deals with the queer identity and one’s place in the world. I would also add that it’s diverse. So not only do you get a wonderful adaptation by Harriet, you also get a cast that reflects our modern society.
Do you have any advice for budding actors/ creatives?
As a person who fell into acting, I would say enjoy it. Although it’s very hard, try not to compare yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy. Focus on your journey, and treat people how you would like to be treated. Oh, and good luck!
And finally, why should people book a ticket to Hedda Gabler?
You should come and watch Hedda Gabler because it’s an exciting new sexy adaptation. You’ll be challenged and you’ll be entertained. It’s worth it alone just to see Anna Popplewell‘s amazing performance as Hedda.
ABOUT THE SHOW
Hedda Gabler is on at Reading Rep from now until the 11th March.