Audio: Damien Molony talks ‘Travelling Light’ and ‘Being Human’ | BBC Radio Newcastle Interview

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******* TRANSCRIPT by Damien Molony Forum *******

Transcript of Damien Molony Interview on the Simon Logan BBC Radio Newcastle show 4 April 2012

[segment begins at 2 hours 50 mins]

SL: This week at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal, you can find the National Theatre and their production of travelling light. Not only does it feature the heavyweight talent of sir Anthony Sher amongst its’ ranks, but also actor Damien Molony, who you might recognise from a certain tv programme, more about that in a bit. He popped along and I asked him what Travelling Light was all about this week at the Theatre Royal Newcastle.

DM: It’s a love letter to cinema in that it’s a very charming, magical, gentle tale of how cinema could be invented, ehm, in a small Jewish village in the early 1900’s, and there’s lots of lovely little moments in the play where, I play the character Motl who is a film director, and my assistant who is Anna and we discover editing and we discover closeups and how lighting effects different scenes and how lighting effects the face and throughout the play there are little harkbacks to wonderful little cinematic moments, kind of about really how cinema was invented

SL: and it looks at the migration on Jews going to America doesn’t it

DM: yes, together with the overall story about the invention of cinema there’s so many different themes running throughout the play, whether it’s a love story between my character and Anna, or whether it’s the migration of Jews to America, because of course so many producers in the golden age of Hollywood were Jewish immigrants 

SL: did they come from like Eastern Europe, have I got that right ?

DM: I’m not sure where Sam Goldwyn or F.W Murnau would have come from, I think Murnau was German, certainly, our play is based in Lithuania. I suppose Jewish people must have had a real kind of passion for storytelling, and that kind of translated itself into the storytelling trend of movies in Hollywood, so the character played by Anthony Sher starts off the first scene telling this magnificent story, and he just has a distinctive desire to tell stories and because we have a camera and because we have a cast of villagers we suddenly together make this amazing tale

SL: Anthony Sher is a very well renowned actor, what’s it like working with him?

DM: Oh it’s amazing, and such a privilege for me, well I suppose as a young actor starting my career, to work with him. He’s so generous and he’s so hardworking and he’s so passionate and he’s so energetic, on stage and in the rehearsal room, he gave his heart and soul every single day and it’s just .. I’m just trying to learn as much as I possibly can ..

SL: really ..

DM: yeah he’s really amazing 

SL do you find when you’re working with someone of that stature that it does kind of brush off on you ?

DM: oh, you’d hope so, you’re hoping for just a little bit of dust to fall your way [ laughs ]

SL: and do they actually guide you, do they say, ‘you know, you’d be better off doing it This way’

DM: some do and some don’t, but I really appreciate that because these guys have been doing it far longer than I ever have, and if they can, you know, help me transform a speech by emphasizing one word more than another, I mean, then all the better, it tells the story so much better 

SL: how long have you been doing it for ?

DM: Really very recently, I moved to London about 3 and a half years ago to attend drama school for 3 years and I left drama school in July and it’s kind of been a whirlwind since then, so it’s been great 

SL: wow it’s been quite quick hasn’t it

DM: yeah, listen I’ve been very lucky  

SL: this is Damien who has been treading the boards with the National Theatre, you know..but he is by night, a vampire, he’s a very good looking vampire, find out what I’m on about after 3 o’clock

[end segment at 2 hours 53.5mins ]


[segment begins 3 hours 12 mins]

SL: Damien Molony is an Irish actor who is in the North East at the moment with The National Theatre, he appears at the Theatre Royal alongside Sir Anthony Sher in a ‘Travelling Light’, but Damien has a darker string to his bow as you’ll find out now. He’s taken up residence in the cult BBC show Being Human, as a vampire, so I asked him how it was going.

DM: it’s been absolutely amazing, the support that we’ve got from fans, from all over the uk and specifically Newcastle, because I’ve got so many tweets from people in Newcastle since I arrived yesterday, just saying so many things about Travelling Light but also about Being Human, and it’s just so great that we have the opportunity now to make a fifth series 

SL: for those who haven’t seen it, you play a vampire , a very old vampire

DM: yeah a 517..can’t you tell just by looking at me 

[ Laughter ]

SL: no!

DM: yeah a 517 year old vampire 

SL: you’re so fresh faced !

DM: it’s amazing what an early morning shower will do

[ Laughter ]

SL: how do you go about preparing to be a vampire though, it’s not as if you can go and ask a vampire how view feel, is it ?

DM: No, I suppose, I tell you what I spoke to an actor called Jason Watkins, who played the big, big bad guy for 3 series, and he said the only thing you need to do to play a vampire is just be hungry 

SL: [ laughter ]

DM: it was so terrifying when he told me that, but I was like, of course! that’s all you have to do 

SL: for the blood

DM: yeah 

SL: this play that you’re in, Travelling Light, is it funny ?

DM: Oh it’s very very funny, but it’s also very very sad, there are some wonderful comic moments, and there’s also some moments with real heart and real charm, I just think it’s a joy to be able to tell this tale to audiences every single evening 

SL: How long are you here for ?

DM: Only for 5 days unfortunately, last night was our first night,  there is a Q & A after the show, this evening, with some of the cast and then we’ve a matinee and an evening show tomorrow and an evening show on Friday and then a matinee and an evening show on Saturday 

SL: Do you get lots of people coming to see you because they’ve seen you on Being Human ?

 DM: Some people do and they let me know which is great and if that means we get more audience members in all the better, but it’s lovely to have everyone’s support

SL: you don’t mind people knowing you for that because obviously you have done other things as you are doing at the moment

DM: Erm..

SL: You know, this typecasting thing that people go on about

DM: oh yeah yeah, I try not to worry about that kind of thing, what is so great is you have Hal and Motl, the character I play now, are so different, that’s the beauty of being an actor, you get to tell different stories and get to be different people every day of the week 

SL: I often wonder, is it daunting joining a series like that, that has such a strong following ?

DM: A little bit, I was actually quite nervous before I started ..

SL: I’m not surprised

DM: …but reading  the scripts and working with the fantastic team of writers and crew members and also cast, you know, Michael and Lenora, it was just so exciting to be able to kind of unleash myself into this part, and to become a vampire, it was just really really exciting and I took the bit at the mouth and really went for it 

SL: [ laughing ] good.. and you get to dress up, you are very dapper

DM: oh yeah that’s the best part about being a vampire, you get all the best clothes 

SL: Travelling Light, am I right in saying it started off at the National Theatre ?

DM: Yes, we started rehearsals in November at opened in January in the National 

SL: ok well listen more with Damien in just a second on BBC Newcastle, it’s always interesting when someone is visiting the North East for the first time, he tells me how he’s been appreciating the toon [town]

[end segment 3hours 18mins]


[segment begins 3hours 22 mins]

SL: This week at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal you can find the National Theatre and their production Travelling Light. Not only does it feature the heavy weight talent Sir  Anthony Sher, amongst its’ ranks is actor Damien Molony. He popped along and told me what life was like as a travelling actor

DM: It’s great touring, you get to see parts of the uk that I’ve never ever been to before, add I was so looking forward to Newcastle because I’ve had friends who’ve supported Newcastle United since I was 5 or 6 years old, and it’s great to finally be up here and to see the amazing architecture, we had a taxi driver who .. 

SL: That’s what you were saying, you had a bit of a tour didn’t you

DM: yeah a lovely guy called Bill we started off at the earl grey statue, which was amazing I learnt about earl grey tea, and then we went down Grey street, near the castle, so I’ll probably go and check out the castle This week, and then we went to the mecca, St. James’ Park, which I never thought I’d see

SL: Sport Direct arena

DM: Whatever..

SL: [ Laughter ]

DM: and then he showed us where the brewery was and told me about why Geordies are called Geordies and it’s just..oh amazing

SL: Why are Geordies called Geordies?

DM: here’s the history lesson! it’s to do with the amazing miners back in the day who would transfer from mine to mine because they were amazingly hard working and they could get loads of coal out of a specific [unintelligible]

SL: oh, ok

DM: and they were paid with a King George guinea, and the King George guinea was called a Geordie, so if you’re an amazing miner you were called a Geordie. am I right?

SL: It’s sounds convincing..

DM: Well I believed it 

SL: I’m sold, I actually didn’t know, we’ve all learnt something now

[ Laughter ]

SL: Well listen, good luck with the run, Travelling Light at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle for the rest of this week. I’m going to give you thirty seconds to sell it to us, why should we go and see it ? Go!

DM: because.. you should come and see Travelling Light because it’s a wonderfully gentle evening out to the Theatre, it’s a charming, magical, simple tale of love, passion and – what everyone loves – storytelling and the invention of cinema, how cinema could have been invented and a young obsessive ambitious young Jewish boy that got his hands on a camera in the early 1900’s 

SL: sorry we’re out of time

That sounded rather rude didn’t it? It was meant to be, ‘thank you Damien Molony you can see him all this week at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle’, fabulous, what a nice fella.


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