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20 Questions: My Night With Reg's Julian Ovenden

The actor, known for his numerous stage roles as well as for ''Downton Abbey'', is in ''My Night With Reg'' at the Donmar Warehouse, which runs until 27 September

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Julian Ovenden in rehearsals for My Night With Reg
© Johan Persson

1. Where did you grow up?
North London by way of Sheffield and Ely.

2. What made you want to become an actor?
Through some sort of vague desire to figure life out.

3. Who were your early heroes?
Richard Burton, Graham Gooch and Kenny Dalglish in no particular order.

4. First big break?
Merrily at The Donmar.

5. Favourite role to date?
George in Sunday in the Park.

6. Dream role you've yet to play?
Billy Bigelow in Carousel or Anthony in Anthony in Cleopatra.

7. What was the first thing you saw on stage that had a big impact on you?
Cyrano de Bergerac with Robert Lindsay.

8. And the last?
Rosenkavalier at Glyndebourne.

9. Why did you want to be in My Night with Reg?
I'd seen the play whilst at drama school and loved the way it easily shifted from comedy to tragedy.

10. Tell us about your character, John?
He's blessed with many things but has no real grasp of what life's about - until he falls in love.

11. What impact has Kevin Elyot's death had on the company?'
A determination to do his greatest work justice.

12. Favourite line (or moment) in the play?
The last scene - beautiful writing.

Geoffrey Streatfeild and Julian Ovenden in My Night With Reg
© Johan Persson

13. What do you hope people talk about in the bar after watching it?
There's no interval, so if they're in the bar afterwards that's a plus...

14. Do you often get recognised (and for which role)?
Here and there and for lots of different things which is nice.

15. How do you spend your ideal day off?
Mucking about with the kids.

16. Will you get together with Lady Mary in Downton Abbey?
There'd be a big law suit if I told you.

17. If you could swap places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
My dog.

18. Do you sing in the shower?
Never - awful acoustics.

19. Favourite theatre joke (or anecdote)?
They're all too rude or libelous.

20. What's next?
Showboat at the Lincoln Centre, NYC.