Brief Encounter with... Facts' Michael Feast
Date: 5 March 2013
Veteran stage and screen actor Michael Feast is currently appearing in Facts at the Finborough Theatre, which runs until 10 March.
Feast's varied career has seen him play alongside actors such as John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Patrick Stuart and Celia Imrie, and some of his latest stage credits include Pygmalion, The King's Speech, and The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui. Film credits include Macbeth, Sleepy Hollow, and Prometheus.
Arthur Milner's Facts sees two detectives – one Israeli, one Palestinian – who must put aside their differences to find the killer of an American archaeologist and negotiate the dangerous boundaries between facts and faith.
Can you tell us a bit more about Facts?
It's a murder mystery/socio-political/noirish thriller/cop buddy movie/gritty drama dealing in macrocosmic and microcosmic explorations of the future of world stability and it's very funny!
What was your process of character development within the role?
I listened to a lot of Lenny Bruce and Jackie Mason and reread one of my Raymond Chandler books.
What issues do you want to highlight within the play and your character?
Deep sadness and Jewish jokes.
What drew you to the role?
The quality of the writing.
How does this particular show compare to others you have been in?
It's a lot shorter than Faust parts 1 and 2.
How did you make your way into the industry?
My great grandfather and his daughter my grandmother were music hall artistes and I grew up watching my grandma play piano and sing to entertain the guests staying in the bed and breakfast that she owned and ran in Brighton just after the war. Then I worked as an ASM in the Connaught Theatre in Worthing. Then I went to the Central School for 3 years. Then I started workig as an actor.
What would be your dream role?
An old country singer once said "I always wanted to be Elvis Presley - but then again, so did Elvis."
What have you got lined up next?
I did Arturo Ui in Chichester last year with Henry Goodman and have just heard that we will be coming into the West End at the Duchess for a run later this year.