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Brief Encounter With ... Terry Molloy

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Terry Molloy is appearing at the Journal Tyne Theatre, in Newcastle, from February 15th when the tour of the Lady Vanishes, made famous by Hitchcock, stops off in the region. Terry who is best known for the role as Davros in Dr Who and as Muike Tucker, the milkman, in The Archers.

Being from North Shields originally, Terry is managing to stay with his brother (also an actor) while appearing in the region. During this month he has a raido seies starting as well as appearing in an episode of Casualty.

Whatsonstage North East caught up with Terry as he was preparing to head to Newcastle.

What attracted you back to the stage and particularly this play?
Over the last couple of years I have inevitably been drawn back to the stage for a number of plays, because in studio you miss the facility of re-charging your creative batteries that working live on stage with an audience always gives you.

I have always loved the original Hitchcock film of The Lady Vanishes and the opportunity to play Doctor Hartz was too irresistible an offer to refuse. Also an attraction of the play is that it very much an ensemble company piece, in the way of the old Repertory Company plays, and a crackingly good, fast paced comedy thriller to boot!

Without spoiling the plot is there anything you can tell us about your character in the play
I actually play two characters... Salvatore, an Italian Inn keeper of much vanity at the beginning of the play and then on the train in which the ‘Lady Vanishes’ Doctor Egon Hartz the Austrian brain surgeon who is perhaps not quite what he seems!!!

As you settle in to the run have there been any particular funny moments that you can share with us?
For me, some of the funniest moments are of the backstage contortions most of the cast have to go through in order to change places on the train without the audience being aware of or seeing how it is done.

Currently you are touring with the play until March and during this month you will also be in an episode of Casualty (Feb 28th) and on the radio with the Scaryfiers starting on Feb 22nd. So do you have a favourite medium to work in or are you happy to juggle all three?
Each medium has it’s delights and drawbacks, but for me radio and audio work has always been key as it has always given me the widest range of parts to play unhampered by my physical appearance.. as I have always been told I have a very good face for radio!!

Your website is very professional, looks good, is very informative and simple to use. Therefore is it important to you that your fans can keep up to date with your work and appearances easily?
A superb ‘Builder of Daleks’, and very good friend of mine from Alnwick – Dave Price - designed and manages my site for me. I send him inserts and updates and a weekly ‘strap line’ of immediate news so that anyone who does want to know what’s happening in my life, can get a glimpse... It’s a bit like Facebook without the hassle!

While being in the public eye has its advantages, you like anyone, need time off. But how do you feel when approached by your fans, when trying to have some important “me time” or simply out shopping?
As, thankfully, the majority of my work has required me to be either behind a mask or invisible on radio, I am not immediately recognisable in the street or public places, so am able to lead a very ordinary ‘un-hassled’ life in that respect. However, if a ‘fan’ does spot me and wants to say hello, I am always happy to do so if it is convenient.

When the curtain falls each evening, how do you relax and unwind?
A drink in the pub with other members of the cast then off to bed with a book... I am reading ‘Das Boot’ (about a German U-Boat) at the moment.

On an extensive tour, venues are many miles from each other.. Therefore do you travel with the rest of the company on a Sunday or escape on a Saturday night arriving at the next venue on the Monday?

We all make our own way to and from the venues and depending how far from home we are we will either travel after the last show of the week, or the next morning. As Newcastle (well North Shields actually) is where I came from originally, I shall be taking the opportunity of staying with my brother Peter (also an actor) in Chopwell.

As you will always be linked to both Dr Who and The Archers, which are very diverse pieces of work. How do the fan bases differ towards you?
In their own ways, both sets of fans are like part of an extended family who have something in common... The Programme, either as listeners or viewers and it is that which forms a bond with the performer. And for me... there is also a commonality between ‘Mike Tucker’ and ‘Davros’... they have both only got one eye!!!

Do you have a favourite Dr Who moment of all time?
In ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ when Davros is firing bolts of lightning at his assassins and screaming... “I am DAVROS..! You cannot kill me!!!”

Out of all the Dr Who incarnations do you have a favourite?
For me, like any viewer of Doctor Who, it was the ‘Doctor’ they first grew up and hid behind the sofa with – in my case... Patrick Troughton!

What does the rest of 2010 hold for you?
The saga of ‘Mike’ and his voluptuous new wife ‘Vicky’ will no doubt continue to unfold in ‘The Archers’! I have a number of audio books to record, a book to write as well as a script to finish and I am also looking to carry on and do some more theatre work.


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