The Remains of the Day Blog by Stephen Critchlow

Actor Stephen Critchlow from The Remains of the Day, discusses his experience working on the play and reveals his local connections...

I'm really looking forward to playing Derby.

Both my parents come from villages outside Derby and I spent many happy hours walking the beautiful countryside when I was a boy. In fact my last name means below Crich, a village with a tram museum and a landmark called Crich Stand to aid pilots during the second world war, for the uninitiated.

This tour has proved to be a hugely enjoyable experience with a group of actors from vastly different backgrounds and different ages becoming friends and working together to make the production grow and develop.

There's something special about being at the start of not just a new production but a brand new play. There's a stronger feeling of involvement but also the excitement of not knowing how it's going to come off. What has become apparent as we tour the country is how engaged the audiences have been with the political elements of the play.

Although not primarily a political piece any more than it is purely a love story or comedy of manners, the play has caused strong and very varied reactions across the country. The audience's at each venue engaging with the pre-Second World War narrative and activity comparing it with today's turbulent political landscape.

At one point in the show, I play a pompous political bully who argues that he wants his country run by the entitled political elite not " the average man". So far in the tour, this scene has been met with cheers, laughter, applause, boos, and hisses. Or people simply turning and talking to each other. I find this fascinating and speaks as much about the times we live in as to the writing and production.

I'm sure this will prove to be the case in Derby and the audiences will enjoy this funny, moving and thought-provoking piece of theatre.

Stephen Critchlow

The Remains of the Day runs from Tuesday 23 - Saturday 17 April

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