Q&A with Daniel Lapaine of The Invisible Hand

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 by Tricycle

Daniel Lapaine (The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare’s Globe; Muriel’s Wedding) is playing American banker Nick Bright in our UK Premiere of The Invisible Hand. We asked him about his favourite moment in the play, the challenges of the role and what audiences should expect from the show…


Daniel Lapaine in The Invisible Hand

Daniel Lapaine during rehearsals of The Invisible Hand. Photo by Mark Douet.

For global financier Nick Bright (the character you play in The Invisible Hand), the rise and fall of currencies, commodities, stocks and shares is the everyday norm. Was it a world you knew much about before you began rehearsals?

I knew nothing about the world of finance before The Invisible Hand. Nothing! I found it boring and a little bit scary at the same time, but since starting rehearsals and delving into the world of banking, I’ve done a complete U-turn. I had no idea how fascinating it actually is and how reflective it is of the world we live in. The market is like a living organism, moving and morphing continuously as the world changes, while at the same time being mysteriously guided by what the American economist Adam Smith called “the invisible hand”, which is where we get the name of the play!

What is your favourite moment and/or line in the play?

One of my favourite moments in the play is when me and my captor Bashir (Parth Thakerar) hear a distant US drone attack on Islamist extremists. Although the play is set inside a cell, suddenly the violence and reality of the outside world becomes vividly real for a terrifying moment.

Your role is particularly demanding in that you’re on stage for most of the play – how do you maintain your energy levels?

I don’t honestly know yet. It’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. When I first read the play, I thought it was an exploration of big ideas and political and economic concepts and that performing it would be about maintaining the mental stamina of the argument. I wasn’t expecting how incredibly physical the role was and how violent and exhausting the world the characters inhabit is. Now that we are up and running the play, the stage has turned into a boxing ring, where big ideas and complex relationships are slugged out with real sweat and blood and tears. 

In a sentence, what can audiences expect if they come to see this show?

The Invisible Hand is a white-knuckle hostage thriller, which is normally a genre for cinema and one you don’t often see on stage these days. It’s raw, gritty, contemporary and very frightening. We want the audience to be on the edge of their seats from the beginning to the end!

The UK premiere of The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar will be on stage from 12 May – 2 July.
Tickets £12 – £28 | £10 Trike Tickets available. | BOOK NOW


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