Label Culture caught up with Charlie Staunton who is about to take on a starring role in new production A.D.A.M – The Modern Frankenstein, by Lewis Aaron Wood.
Who do you play in A.D.A.M – The Modern Frankenstein?
I play Adam, the artificial intelligence unit created by Victor Stone, the creature in this adaptation of the original story.
What is Adam like? Are you similar to him in any way?
Adam is essentially a robot. The progression of his character within the play sees him becoming more human so in one way I suppose I do share similarities in terms of humanity with the character he eventually becomes, but it stops there really. Apart from the fact we’re both made of metal.
A.D.A.M.- The Modern Frankenstein strikes me as a very dark and mysterious adaptation, exploring a “struggle with personal demons”. What drew you to audition for Adam in particular? Is it similar to anything you have done before?
I haven’t ever played a character that technically isn’t alive. So that was an interesting factor when I first auditioned for the role. I also love the original story, so the idea of playing the Creature appealed to me. This is the next best thing in a way.
What kind of research did you have to do for your role?
In playing the role my challenge was to play something completely inhuman and gradually show the journey into humanity. The idea of the artificial intelligence is something apparent in a lot of science fiction, so some of my research included watching films like I-Robot in order to get an idea of what it might be like. I also researched into young children learning to speak for the first time in order to try and portray everything being new to the character.
Do you have any tips for getting into character?
I try to think of what I would think and do if I was the character and how I would behave within the confines and parameters of the scene and the dialogue. I focus on my character’s motivation in regards to other characters within the scene and their objectives in terms of what they are trying to achieve. I use this and the reaction I receive from the other actors on stage in order to mould myself into the character.
What has it been like working with the Lewis and Saskia? Have you worked with them before?
It’s been good fun, I was friends with them both before the whole process began and so it’s been very natural and comfortable all the way through. Lewis and I actually met because we were both cast in another student written play last year, but we also both performed in Tolly Coburn’s A Christmas Carol.
What drew you to the script? As we know, Lewis wrote the whole play himself. Is this the first student written play you have performed in?
It’s the third one, and it was the original story adapted with a science fiction twist that intrigued me.
What has been your favourite part of the rehearsal process?
Working with people I’ve worked with before is always good fun but it’s the first time I’ve worked with Alex Fulcher, Rahul Mathasing and Kieran Slade and it was excellent to get to see their work because they’re three really top actors.
Your first performance is next Thursday! How are you feeling about it? How do you handle the nerves?
I don’t really get nervous when acting anymore, it’s more of an excitement and eagerness to get out treading the boards
Without telling us too much, are there any particularly great bits to watch out for?
Kieran Slade has some really great comic moments, which are a joy to watch, and there is a movement piece as well. The whole show is a spectacle not to be missed!
It sounds like you guys have been working really hard. I can’t wait to come and see it. But for those still on the fence… what is your top reason for us to come and watch A.D.A.M. – The Modern Frankenstein? Can you sum it in one sentence?
It’s… it’s…. it’s…. IT’S ALIIIIIIIIVVVVVEEEE!
Thanks for chatting to us, Charlie!
You’ll be able to see A.D.A.M – The Modern Frankenstein at Fearon Hall from 7th-9th May at 7:30pm.