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Interview with Friend or Foe actors, Jake Davies and Sean Aydon!

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Interview with Friend or Foe actors, Jake Davies and Sean Aydon!

Following the outstanding success of their 2013 production, The Butterfly Lion, the Mercury Theatre is back with another adaptation of a modern classic from Michael Morpurgo. Set in rural England seemingly miles away from the reality of the Second World War, Friend or Foe tells a story of friendship and loyalty in extraordinary circumstances. A cast of just five brings the world of evacuees David and Tucky to life with brilliantly clever, honest acting. After a three-week run at the Mercury Theatre, I caught up with lead actors Jake Davies, 21, and Sean Aydon, 23, to ask them about their experiences.

How has your experience of working on Friend or Foe been?
Jake: This job has been a very enjoyable experience and it’s great to be back working at the Mercury Theatre. It has been a lot of hard work in rehearsals trying to make clear David and Tucky’s journeys throughout, as the play fluctuates rapidly between narrative story telling and the playing of past events. I’ve always wanted to be a part of a production that had a strong physical theatre element to it, so it has been a delight to tick that one off the list.
Sean: It’s a process that’s felt easier and more natural as we’ve gone along. The piece is quite technical and requires a great deal of energy so rehearsals were quite hard work. It was amazing how, once we got into the theatre space and we started to perform for an audience, it didn’t feel anywhere near is difficult and it seemed to take on a life of its own.

What have you found to be the most challenging thing about working as a young creative?
Jake: The trickiest thing has been trying to manage my own taxes and dealing with all the account based things you have to do as a self-employed person. This was only challenging because I’d never been taught about any of this important information at school or any other educational institute - although, I do believe they are now rightly trying to include it into the national curriculum. 
Sean: It can be difficult to get your foot in the door, disheartening when you don’t get the opportunities you feel you deserve. You have to motivate yourself and have a belief in your own ability and still it comes down to a bit of luck – being in the right place at the right time or working with someone who knows someone. That can be challenging as it feels there are a lot of factors out of your control.

What do you love most about what you do?
Jake: What I enjoy the most is that I can escape from being Jake and focus on living, thinking and breathing like somebody else for a while. I can experience things that I wouldn’t be able to in my own life. I’m also really enjoying working in different places all around the world; meeting a wider range of people than I would ever have met if I didn’t pursue this job.
Sean: The feeling of having a large group of people absolutely captivated by what you are doing.

What advice would you give to young people looking to work in creative industries?
Jake: It is important to not just focus on your chosen creative path but to have another interest or hobby that you can spend your time focussing on as well. Your mind will be healthier for it because you won’t be allowing yourself the time to over think or become stressed about your work; therefore, performing better at your job. 
Sean: Only do it if you feel you absolutely must. There is plenty of time for self doubt to creep in so you need a strong foundation to work from. Also, think of what you do as lifelong training, the aim being to get better every day. As soon as you feel you’ve reached your peak, you’re trained and you know what you’re doing, you may as well stop.

Photography: Robert Day


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