Interview

Ones To Watch 2023 – INTERVIEW – Egyptians

It is that time of the year where we celebrate the acts that you need to keep an eye on in 2023. It is an exciting time of the year as it means we can talk to acts to find out what they have in store for audiences and what you can look forward to in the new year. Today we speak to John Browne, the Musical Director ad Co-creator of Egyptians. The show will be at the Gulbenkian Arts Centre in Canterbury between the 22nd – 25th February. You can find out more by clicking here

Hello tell us all about yourself?

I’m John Browne the Composer, Musical Director and co-creator of Egyptians.

Tell us a little bit about the show you are bringing to the stage in 2023?

Egyptians is the second play in a cycle of plays that were written 2,500 by a playwright called Aeschylus. But the trick is – the play is actually lost. We have the first in the cycle (The Suppliant Women), so for the last few years, a team of creatives with a bunch of academics have been dreaming up a reconstruction of this lost play, reimagining the words, music and movement that comprised this ancient piece of theatre. 

How are rehearsals going?

We are blessed with a bunch of wiling young men who are helping us make this play at London South Bank University, through workshops in singing, dancing, chanting, acting and other general madness, our version of Egyptians is gradually taking shape.

Why are audiences going to enjoy this show?

Firstly, it will be a sensory thrill. Choral theatre has a special magic to it, and it’s not often we see a large chorus of young men on stage. And a core exploration of the piece relates to that – in that it’s an exploration of gender dynamics – a hugely topical and important theme. 

How do you warm up before a show?

In our rehearsals we devolve a lot of that to the young men themselves – they have lots of skills and it’s a great training experience for them. But looking after the voice and the body are key. 

What is your favourite thing about being part of this show?

Its rich nexus of themes that affect all our lives, compellingly discussed and explored. 

 

What styles do you hope to see more of in theatre this year?

I’m a big fan of non-naturalistic theatre, I don’t particularly enjoy high-sheen production values, so anything rough, authentic and stylised will grab my interest. 

What show is your one to watch in 2023 and why?

Egyptians. Because it’s going to be ground-breakingly brilliant.  

Do you have any new years resolutions? If so what are they?

To be less worthy in all aspects of my work. 

Three words why people should come and see you this year?

 Vigorous, communicative, current.


QUICK FIRE ROUND

The movie or television show you are looking forward to seeing this year?

White Lotus Series 2

Your favourite book?

Siddhartha

One thing you will always remember about 2022?

Driving along the Nile listening to Nubian wedding music during a development trip to Egypt for the play. 

If you could paint anything what would you paint? 

The sides of the National Theatre and the Southbank Centre in a different colour every week. 

What is the most delightful word you can think of?

Stealth

Favourite album?

The Magic Numbers

Where would you love to go on holiday this year?

Bahia

What is your favourite quote from a television show?

‘Bow ties are cool’

Who is your favourite film character and why?

Betty Elms, played by Naomi Watts in Mulholland Dr. A fantastically rich and complex character.

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