Strange Land is coming to Chelsea Theatre from 26th – 28th May and I caught up with Matt Spencer to chat about his characters and see what he would say to promote their amazing production.
Tell me about the character(s) you play and what you find to be most interesting about the role(s).
So I play three parts throughout Strange Land, as do many other members of the cast. My two main parts are Severin an army soldier and Max a factory worker which contrast each other nicely. I find both characters rather interesting to play, normally type cast as the comedy guy I have been challenged to do a lot of straight acting. Severin believes that he is a war hero, until he meets his sudden end – but alas! Severin is soon pieced back together again almost like a Frankenstein moment. It’s really interesting to play such a creative part, I get to die and then come back to life all Torchwood like. Max is very much an artist. He has a way with words, in contrast to his colleagues he has a vision of the world in which he wants to live in, the way he describes what he see’s is fine poetry and through the clever writing of one of my monologues by Cathy Rosario it feels like a pleasure to bring her words to life.
What’s your favourite part of the production?
What’s my favourite part of the production? It has to be the finale number. The whole sense of community through out the whole cast and the closure of the story line in a beautiful song with meaningful lyrics created by Tim Gilvin. It brings such a lovely ending to such a clever story line with so many twists and turns from the beginning.
Is there another role that you could see yourself playing? If so, which one and why that part?
I would love to play the character of Kurt. The song he sings with Lea is such a nice song. Possibly one of my favourite songs in the show. Kurt has to deliver a speech to his fellow factory workers about some of the experiences he has been through since the break out of the war. Robbie who plays Kurt recites this speech so beautifully it just touches you and you can see everything he is saying. I have totally got that monologue added to my repertoire right now though!
What’s been the best part of being involved on the production?
I think the best part of being apart of Strange Land is that this is my first shot at working on a new musical. I love new musicals, and I strongly back new writing. The fact I have to create the characters myself from scratch with only minimal inputs from the director and no material anywhere online of anyone else portraying the part – it fell down to me to create these characters and truly make them my own. I’m a film lover who often binges out on Netflix anyway so watching films to get a sense of what my character could be like its a pleasure. Another thing I love about being apart of the show is the great material in which we are working with, it has brought our class a lot closer together and seeing as the majority of us are going our separate ways when we graduate the show is very fitting.
What would you say to potential audience members to encourage them to come along and see you?
Why should an audience come and watch? New musicals are the future of both the West End and Broadway supporting new writing helps the Musical Theatre world move along as it were. With such a professional standard show in London for just a tenner you cannot go wrong with Strange Land. It has such a compelling story line which will have you in tears by the end.
Thanks Matt, a pleasure to chat with you!