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The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

James Bamford, Boy, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Duke of York’s Theatre

How did you get into acting? 

I got into acting when I was 12. My drama teacher Denise Cavalli took me to this drama group and it was straight drama rather than musical theatre and dance and that is how I got into acting. 

What’s the best thing about your job? 

Making people cry. Or laugh! One of them; laugh or cry.

What’s the most unique thing about theatre? 

 I’d say a week like this on tech: the culmination of every department coming together and you seeing this final product sort of emerge. I’d say that the final sort of hurdle of getting over it and making it this finished product which I love. 

For you, what was the journey from theatres closing to theatres, reopening? 

Like everybody, deeply depressing! Yeah, very unhappy, I got a job that was supposed to start in theatre and it just kept getting obviously delayed, delayed, delayed. Probably the same thing that a million people have said – really sad and unhappy with it, but glad that it’s finally back to normal. 

How does it feel to be back in theatres? 

Ridiculously ridiculous good. I feel like a human again. It sounds very pretentious, but that’s kind of true. 

What’s the most unique thing about live performance? 

Hearing an audience fully, fully listen to a story. Completely just lock out of life and following a character that you can just hear them completely engaged. That’s probably the best bit. 

Nia Towle, Lettie, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Duke of York’s Theatre

How did you get into acting? 

I used to do a lot of dancing when I was little and then I think when I did drama when I was in secondary school it was just my favourite subject. Then I joined the company of Southwark Playhouse Theatre and then that was kind of the place where I grew my passion for acting and a family; I got an acting family. 

What’s the best thing about your job? 

The best thing about my job is people, the different people that you get to meet and work with and collaborate with and all the stories. 

What do you think theatre gives the world? 

I think theatre gives the world excitement, magic hope, understanding and fun! 

 What was the journey from theatres closing to opening again? 

I was actually in drama school at the time that pandemic hit so my training went completely online, which was really difficult and weird ’cause actor training is not meant to be online! 

We got some good stuff out of it ’cause we had to learn different ways of working and adapting. But it’s great to be back in the room with people and actually making work in real life. 

How does it feel to be back in theatres? 

Well, it feels it feels all very new and exciting to me ’cause this is my first time working in theatre so it’s all new and exciting and fun and I’m learning so much so that’s really cool. 

Do you think theatre people whose education was disrupted by the pandemic have been put at a disadvantage? 

In some ways, yes. But I think the pandemic has disrupted many people’s lives in much worse ways. I think the fact that we were still able to do some form of art, some form of expression during the pandemic was a blessing.  

But I’m just glad that everybody’s going to be able to get back to doing things the way theatre should be done and experienced. 

What’s the best thing about live performance?  

I think the best thing about live performance is hearing people’s breath change and stop and then laugh. That’s really cheesy, that’s literally something that loads of teachers said to me at drama school all the time, but I think it is true! Just feeling energy in a in a room, feeling energy being shared between the performers and the audience.