What shows or projects have you done with ETT?
Finish the sentence: Touring is important because…
It allows people to experience world class theatre which they may not get the chance to otherwise see.
Where is home for you?
Wherever my little girls are. I know how wanky that sounds but it the truth.
Where is your home away from home?
The stage. A rehearsal room. Either of the above. I’m never, ever more comfortable and at home than when I’m creating something in a room with actors and a director. It is a huge part of my life and what makes up me.
How did you bring home with you on tour?
As long as I’ve got my iPad I’m sorted. FaceTime with the family and then a bit of Netflix. I always ask the kids to give me one of their toys to take with me, which I’ll keep in my dressing room in whichever theatre we happen to be in that week, it’s always nice to have something of theirs nearby.
Touring is a wonderful way to keep a performance alive. I’ve always found that being in a new town or city each week, with all that throws at you, is brilliant for keeping you on your toes. I’d also say that something quite special happens between and the cast and crew, you become like a family, real bonds are formed.
I’m never, ever more comfortable and at home than when I’m creating something in a room with actors and a director.
Which city was you’re favourite to visit on tour with ETT?
I think it Harrogate where the whole cast and crew became obsessed with playing Boule on the green. That was great fun. I was shit.
What gem did you discover on tour with ETT (could be a landmark/park/cafe/pub etc)?
The Pitch and Putt in Cheltenham. It’s great fun, but it’s also a public park so you’ve got to be careful not to knock anybody out.
What are your touring essentials?
iPad. Running shoes. Wine.
What’s your go-to recipe whilst on tour?
I would always cook on the Sunday when I got back home and bring food on tour with me. Mainly curries. Restaurant standard as well mind.
Which artist(s) do you most admire and why?
Anyone from a working class background. This business is hard, and when you’re holding down one or two jobs just to pay the rent and still finding time to prepare for auditions and give everything you’ve got then I salute you.
What music inspires you?
I’m a music junkie. I’ll listen to anything. Every month or so I’ll make a new playlist of songs I love to try and get my kids as obsessed as I am. It’s working. We’re currently mainly bouncing about to 21 Pilots.
What image or video inspires you?
Any photo of Alan Shearer running away with one arm in the air after scoring a goal.
What piece of writing or quote inspires you?
Something that I think about a lot is a note I got when I was training: Brian, be less shit. That stuck with me.
What, for you, makes a good piece of art?
Honesty. If it’s truthful then anyone can access it and feel something, learn something, grow.
What have been your career highlights so far?
It’s a tossup between performing The Pitmen Painters on Broadway and the years of subsequent abuse I’ve received for mentioning that I performed in The Pitmen Painters on Broadway. I deserve everything I get.
If you were cast away on a desert island, which 5 plays would you take with you and why?
I’d take five copies of The Pitmen Painters.
Please can you tell us what you would say to emerging artists to encourage them to take their work on the road or join an ETT tour?
Just do it. It’s a wonderful way to keep a performance alive, it really is. I’ve done shows where I’d be in same building for months at a time and it is so hard to keep it fresh. I’ve always found that being in a new town or city each week, with all that throws at you, is brilliant for keeping you on your toes. I’d also say that something quite special happens between and the cast and crew, you become like a family, real bonds are formed.
Window or aisle seat?
I’m more of a close my eyes and pray to our lord that I survive this flight kind of flyer.
Favourite way to travel?
I’ve done the Newcastle to London trip a LOT over the past 20 years and it’s actually a great chance to chill out with some music and a glass of wine. Yeah I’ve had some funny looks on the 08:29 from Newcastle but, you know… worth it.
If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?
The ability to know months in advance when I was going to be asked to audition so that I could sort the trains out and it wouldn’t cost £140 per audition.
I’ve always found that being in a new town or city each week, with all that throws at you, is brilliant for keeping you on your toes.
Brian Lonsdale’s biog:
For ETT: Othello (in a co-production with Tobacco Factory and Oxford Playhouse).
Theatre credits include: Noises Off (Northern Stage); Martyr (Unicorn Theatre); Warhorse (West End); Pitmen Painters (Live Theatre Newcastle/National Theatre/Broadway NY); Bedroom Farce (West Yorkshire Playhouse); My Romantic History (Live
Television and Film credits include: Hustle and Doctors (BBC); The Other Possibility (Pinball Films); Valiant (Vanguard Animation); Goal (Sony Pictures).
Radio credits include: The Pitmen Painters and Nowt to look at.