Patrick Jervis has been busy strutting his stuff on the Lichfield Garrick stage in The Full Monty, however he will be back on stage in just over two weeks in a rather different role with Sutton Coldfield Musical Theatre Company. We caught up with him, before he takes to the skies in Peter Pan.
Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I’m 28 years old and have lived in Lichfield all my life. I currently work as a Town and Country Planner and have been doing this since graduating from university. In my spare time I have two great passions; firstly and fairly obviously is amateur dramatics, I take part in as many shows as I can, from Shakespeare, through plays to musicals. I often perform in 5-6 productions a year. My second passion is football, although I’m significantly better at watching than playing. In fact I gave up Sunday League as a teenager to join the Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre. In all honesty I think my team mates were quite pleased as I wasn’t much use!
How long have you been involved in the amateur theatre circuit?
I’ve been involved with amateur theatre since year 7 at Nether Stowe High School, where I took part in Oliver! in March 1999 - so around about 16 years. I joined the Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre in 2000 and took part in every production until I left in 2005 to go to university, with my final show being Little Shop of Horrors where I was fortunate enough to play the Dentist in my first named role on the Garrick stage.
After a brief ‘retirement’ while at university I quickly re-joined a number of local societies once I had graduated, and my first production was a nice light one – Macbeth with Shakespeare in the Park. Since then I’ve joined a number of Societies including Sutton Coldfield Musical Theatre Company (SCMTC) who I joined in 2010 for their production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and I’ve been an active Member ever since!
What has been your favourite role to play to date?
I probably have two favourite roles, the first would be Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps, which I was lucky enough to play in 2012 with Different Animal Theatre Company in the studio at the Lichfield Garrick. My other role would be Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors which was with SCTMC back in 2011. It was always my favourite show as a kid so actually getting to play the role with such a great company was a real privilege.
If you had to pick one role you would love to play what would it be and why?
Such a difficult one! I think it would have to be ‘Phantom' - no chance of that ever happening but I just adore the music and think he’d be an incredibly complex and interesting character to try and get in to. I’m a big Lloyd-Webber fan, but for me the music in Phantom is just him at his absolute best. So if I ever got the chance to sing some of those songs and play with the character of the ‘Phantom’ it would be unbelievable.
How does it feel to be taking on the title role in Peter Pan?
In one word, amazing! I’ve been a fan of Stiles and Drewe for a long time, I adore there music and Peter Pan has been one of my favourite scores I’ve ever listened to, so as soon as the company announced they were taking on the show I knew I had to try and get the part!
The cast for this production is just unreal, so to be playing the title role alongside some incredible performers is just an honour. I’ve always loved being on stage with SCMTC in whatever part, so to actually be the title role is something I’m relishing. Also my second cousin is 7 and is really into musicals, she’s been able to see me in the Sound of Music and Annie, but this will be the biggest part she’s seen me perform yet. She’s really excited so I can’t wait to perform for her at the Matinee!
So you've just played a rather different role, only a couple of weeks before Peter Pan opens. How do you manage what must be a very busy schedule?
I have, I just played Malcolm in the Full Monty, so a slightly different show! It is very busy but I love rehearsals so I can’t say it’s been too difficult! I just make sure I have plenty of quick meals ready at home so that I can get to all my rehearsals on time! I loved every minute…although I am going to do just one show at a time for the next year or so!!
What can the audience expect from SCMTC's Peter Pan?
The whole family can be expected to be entertained from start to finish! SCMTC are well known for their brilliant, high energy productions and this will be no different!
It’s a magical show, with flying, pirates, mermaids, lost boys and Indian Braves – there really is still something for everyone. It’s a very funny, poignant show which will have you laughing and crying (we hope)!
The production team have ensured that everything is slick and high standard, they’ve left no stone unturned to make sure that this is yet another spectacular SCMTC production.
What would you say to someone who hasn't booked a ticket yet?
What better than a trip to Neverland for the whole family this half term? This really is an exciting and beautiful production which is a faithful re-telling of the classic Peter Pan Story, which so many people love!
SCMTC's Peter Pan runs at Lichfield Garrick from 27 to 31 October. For more information and to book tickets click here or call 01543 412121.
Ahead of Battle of the Exes opening at The Dovehouse Theatre tonight, we caught up with Kathryn Bakewell, the playwright behind this brand new show.
So tell us a little bit about yourself...
I grew up an aspiring musician with a passion for theatre, touring the country with various bands and worked a handful of roles within several Midland theatre companies, from actor to music director.
Over time I expanded my writing initiatives, and my music composing slowly transitioned into script writing. As any artist does, I want to tell stories through my work and entertain an audience, whether that be through music, film or stage. I now consider myself an aspiring playwright, screenwriter, and composer.
I gained a BA(Hons) degree in music composition at Coventry University, and now run my own theatre and production companies, touring theatres across the Midlands and creating original films. It's a tough, hugely competitive industry, and my aim is to support new writers and artists like myself.
When did you first discover your love for play writing?
I took a screenwriting course in university and wrote my first feature at the age of 19. But with my passion for theatre I wanted to exhibit my work live, and created my first theatrical production "The Girl with the Crystal Heart" (a fairytale musical) back in 2010.
How do you aim to make your pieces stand out from other work?
By collaborating all my passions at once. When I write a play, I don't just envision a 2 hour performance! I want to create an experience that expands into short films with original musical content. The 4 month or so build up can be just as gripping as the live production, for the artists as well as the audience. If I write a thriller, I produce a horror movie as a promotional aid. If I write a comedy, I create a live sitcom episode with it's own theme and accompanying advertisements.
Was there a particular theatrical experience that made you realise this was a career you would like to pursue?
Not as such. I could list a million experiences that have influenced my career path. My theatrical experiences date back to my early youth. Alongside my song writing and short plays I wrote for school productions, all I've ever wanted to do is write.
If you could pick one theatre show, what would it be and why?
"Five Women Wearing The Same Dress" by Alan Ball for 3 reasons:
What can people expect from Battle of the Exes?
The experience of a comfy night in front of the TV, whilst out at the theatre.
What would you say to someone who hasn't booked a ticket?
Art is subjective. Guess you can't win them all.
Appearing at The Dovehouse Theatre from 1 to 3 October, tickets for Battle of the Exes are £8 - £10 and can be bought by clicking here or they are available on the door.