Meet The Cast: Ben Allen
For the first blog of our ‘Meet The Cast’ series, we had a chat with Hamlet & The Cherry Orchard cast member Ben Allen! Ben has previously acted with companies such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.
Ben will be playing Horatio in Hamlet, and Trofimov in The Cherry Orchard.
‘The thrill of going out on stage and feeling everybody there with you – you can’t beat it.’
Describe your Hamlet character in 3 words.
Intuitive, faithful, devoted.
What’s going to surprise people about this production?
How quickly they will forget about the actors playing the roles.
Have you performed in a Shakespeare play before?
This is my tenth Shakespeare. I’ve been in All’s Well That Ends Well, Henry V, The Winter’s Tale, Twelfth Night, The Taming Of The Shrew, The Merchant Of Venice, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra and Measure For Measure. I’ve never been in the same play more than once!
Who would you rather hang out with: your character from Hamlet, or your character from The Cherry Orchard?
For me, I think it depends what I needed at that time. If I wanted to get something off my chest or I wanted a chilled, relaxed one then probably Horatio. For a dinner party or if I wanted to stay up late chatting about life, philosophy and politics then definitely Mr. Trofimov.
What has made these plays stand the test of time?
The great plays always key into something fundamental about the human experience. For Hamlet it’s about things like life vs death, how things seem vs how they are, mind vs matter… for The Cherry Orchard – ask me in a few months once we’ve rehearsed!
What was the last theatre performance you went to see?
It’s been so long I can’t really remember, but I think it was the NT production of A Taste Of Honey at Trafalgar Studios. I also saw loads of stuff from home over lockdown, either live streamed or archive performances, which kept me going.
What have you missed most about performing to a live audience?
The thrill of going out on stage and feeling everybody there with you – you can’t beat it. Also the sense of family that comes with being in an acting company for a stage production.
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Q+A with Frank and Percy playwright, Ben Weatherill
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