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WOS Radio: Mike Bartlett & cast at Chariots of Fire Q&A

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Last night (1 August 2012) over 100 Whatsonstage.com theatregoers went on our Outing to Chariots of Fire at the Gielgud Theatre. With Team GB winning two gold medals during the day, there was a great atmosphere in the theatre, with lots of patriotic cheering during the races.

Colin Welland’s 1981 Oscar-Award winning film Chariots of Fire has been adapted for the stage by Mike Bartlett, directed by Hampstead Theatre artistic director Edward Hall.

Billed as “one of the most thrilling Olympic stories”, it centres on two great athletes - Eric Liddell (played by Jack Lowden) and Harold Abrahams (James McArdle) - outsiders who overcame prejudice and personal strife to compete in the 1924 Paris Olympics.

The production is designed by multiple Olivier Award winner Miriam Beuther, who creates an arena stadium onstage, features the film’s legendary music by Vangelis with additional live music and arrangements by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Carr.

Following the show, we had a Q&A with adaptor Mike Bartlett, as well as many of the cast. Bartlett told us how this was his first stage adaptation, and that he had wanted Vangelis to be involved from the start. He also talked about the stage version versus the film.

We were then joined by a majority of the cast, who told us about the grueling fitness regime that they went through at the beginning of the rehearsal process. The choreography was a big talking point, and James McArdle told us how the cast have got James Bond’s physio to help them with injuries! Jack Lowden and Nicholas Woodeson were among those who have met descendants of the characters they play, and told us what an honour it was. Finally Tam Williams gave a couple of anecdotes about mishaps with his hurdling scene, and the cast revealed who was the fastest out of all of them.

To listen to the Q&A, which was hosted by Terri Paddock, click the 'play' button below; or to subscribe and download from iTunes, click here.

As always, please feel free to email your comments and thoughts about the show, as well as any of your favourite insights from last night to [email protected] and don't forget to tweet using #wosouting! We would love to hear from you.

- Rosie Bannister


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