TJ Holmes: One Man, Two Guvnors Interview - "I’m not a real octogenarian!"
Actor TJ Holmes discusses playing Alfie in One Man, Two Guvnors, how he's preparing for the role and what he's looking forward to about performing in Derby.
Please tell us your name and the character you will play in One Man Two Guvnors at Derby Theatre.
TJ Holmes and I'm playing Alfie in One Man, Two Guvnors.
Tell us more about your character and what you are looking forward to most about playing him?
He survived the carnage of Gallipoli as a young man. But, now in his eighties, will he survive the brutality of working as a waiter at The Cricketers Arms? Alfie is on the receiving end of a lot of the show's quite violent slapstick, which, without meaning to sound like a masochist, I'm really looking forward to. PS Don't worry - I'm not a real life octogenarian.
One Man Two Guvnors is a fast-paced and funny farce, how do you prepare for taking on a role in a production of this genre - from the point you are offered it, right through to rehearsals starting - and then how do you prepare and look after yourself throughout the run?
I'll be trying to keep myself fairly fit and limber for this role. It'll be really interesting to explore the Commedia elements of the show with Chiara D'Anna. And I'm going to remind myself of some clown and bouffon ingredients by referring to John Wright, Philippe Gaulier, and my old favourites Charlie Chaplain, Laurel and Hardy and Buster Keaton.
What can audiences expect from seeing a performance of One Man, Two Guvnors?
The audience can expect, I hope, a double dose of merriment with a nice ice-cream in the middle.
Have you been to Derby/Derby Theatre before? What are you looking forward to about performing in the region?
I last came to Derby to see my partner, Becky, in The Jungle Book. The show was a delight and I was struck by the warmth of the audience. I can't wait to see how they react to One Man, Two Guvnors.
A task for you! If you Google ‘the best things to do in Derby’ – what takes your fancy in the search results?
While in Derbyshire, Alfie will be making a jaunt to see some friends at the Heights of Abraham fossil museum.
Finally, do you have a short message for the people and audiences of Derby?
In the words of the poet Byron, who I notice also ran a burger bar in Derby, 'Always laugh when you can. It's cheap medicine.'