Preview and Interview: Two Gents

Olivia chats to founders of BackBreak Theatre; Iggy Jeffery, Sam Newton & Ellie Taylor, as the rehearsals for ‘Two Gents’ roll into full swing

Two Gents: adaptated from Shakespeare’s ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ is the groups newest play. Emerging from the university, but not your standard theatrical society BackBreak Theatre brings you their second show.

Set in 1981 this is a play of hilarity and drama and a struggling funk DJ, with two best friends Proteus and Valentine caught up with two stunning girls, two moronic clowns and a dog. And to top it all off is the setting- Canal Mills.

The Tab: Tell us how BackBreak Theatre was formed.

Sam: Myself & Hugh Coles wanted to create something to build on in our careers. We asked Holly Heasman-Durham, Ellie Taylor & Iggy Jeffery to join.

Ellie: When you create your own work you need that extra person to provide an outsider’s perspective. I pop in & say ‘Oh that doesn’t look quite right’. I’m the only one not in the actual play. I do all the odd jobs!

The Tab: Why choose to conduct a theatre group outside uni societies?

Ellie: We wanted to do something different, like performing in a different venue.

Iggy: Societies usually have assigned jobs – we don’t have a director; everyone pitches in.

The Tab: What made you choose ‘Two Gents’ as your second play?

Sam: It’s Shakespeare, so we knew it was well-written, plus it forced us to think about what would work for a modern audience. But there’s also artistic license – we’re not giving a history lesson!

The Tab: Could you describe the rehearsal process?

Ellie: We’re doing a two week intensive rehearsal process. We gave out the scripts over Christmas, telling everyone to learn their lines. Then we came back in January to have the show ready in two weeks!

The Tab: Is it difficult to put on a play in just two weeks?

Iggy: Holly had a dream where we ran the whole show & it was –

Sam: Shit!

Sam: If anything I’m enjoying it too much.

Ellie: It keeps the creativity going – you don’t have to stop for a day as hardly any of us have exams.

Sam: When lectures start it’s going to bring us back down to earth!

Ellie: We’re so privileged to be the first play to perform at Canal Mills.

The Tab: Anything else?

Ellie: Come see it, but wear a woolly hat & a big coat!!

We at the Tab can’t wait, Two Gents is on from Wednesday and Thursday this week at Canal Mills and find your tickets on Ticket arena, on sale in the union next week opposite Essentials are call the Canal Mills box office on 0113 200 2780.