Posts Tagged ‘patrick barlow’


John Hopkins on working with Patrick Barlow

Saturday, December 26th, 2015 by Tricycle

Ben Hur is not the first time John Hopkins has played one of Patrick Barlow’s characters – he previously appeared in The 39 Steps in the West End.

We asked John what it’s like to work with Patrick again…

Ben Hur is on stage at the Tricycle Theatre until Sat 9 Jan.



Ben Hur Blog 1: Alix Dunmore “It’s all in the wigs”

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015 by Tricycle

Alix Dunmore is plays numerous roles in our upcoming EPIC production of Ben Hur, including most of the women, a few of the men, plus various children and animals (tbc). So how does she make each one distinctive?

We asked Alix if she had any tricks or techniques to creating memorable characters, and how to keep track of who each one is. This is what she said…

Alix Dunmore and John Hopkins in rehearsals for Ben Hur. Photos: Mark Douet.

“It’s all in the wigs. Seriously though, it’s important to delineate the different physicalities of each character. Tirzah is quite gangly and floppy – all elbows because she’s a teenager; Esther moves smoothly and unobtrusively, saying much with her eyes because she’s a servant; Catalinya takes big strides, strikes poses and paws at herself and other people whenever possible. The other characters have their own reasons for moving the way they do including age, sex and level of comfort with playing the scene.

It also helps that all my characters have very different accents and vocal pitches. That’s partly scripted but partly a choice given that some of the changes are so quick and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them that it’s better to telegraph who I am in every physical way possible.

Additionally we’ve been working with the movement director on how Ben Hur interacts with each character. At a particularly critical quick-change moment it’s only a change of wig (costume-wise) that makes each character appear so we’ve been looking at how John, playing Ben Hur, would touch and speak to each of them.

Plus the wigs really do help.”

The wig-tastic Ben Hur is on stage at the Tricycle from 19 Nov – 9 Jan. Find out more and book tickets.