In the last of the ‘Meet The Cast’ series, Leo Charlton talks to Shaun Charlton about his role in Amazing Grace.
LC: You have been a staple of the Mabletherpe-area amateur dramatics scene for many years. What are you particularly proud of?
SC: I have been involved in local productions since 1998 and have thoroughly enjoyed many successful plays/musicals (and a few that weren’t so good). I’m very proud of the work that my fellow cast members and I have performed over the years and hope it continues. My favourite parts have been Manuel in Faulty Towers and Bill Sykes in Oliver.
LC: What have you learned that prepared you for entering the rehearsal process for Amazing Grace?
SC: I am a great believer in the fact, and I would say it is a fact, that you are never too old to learn, and I am convinced that during this play and rehearsals I have picked up different ideas and methods I had not yet used.
LC: You’ve travelled quite a way to be a part of this project. What made you think ‘this is something that I want to be a part of’?
SC: Apart from being won over by the script, it was the opportunity of working with both of my sons on stage. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
LC: How has the process for Amazing Grace been different to what you’ve done before?
SC: Well, in most of the plays I have been in before, I have usually been one of the younger members of the cast, whereas here, I am the eldest by some 20 years. So it’s great to work with and absorb the energy and ideas of the cast.
LC: What do you see as Martin Stoneum’s role in all of this? Why do you think he delights in giving Lockwood such a hard time?
SC: I think that Martin offers some clarity and perspective to Lockwood’s somewhat unrealistic routine. I don’t necessarily believe that Martin enjoys giving Lockwood a hard time. It’s just that as a good Catholic/Christian – and Jess’s father – it’s his duty.
LC: Martin Stoneum is a religious man, or so he says. Do you think one can comment on another’s faith, or is it – as Martin says – that ‘only God can judge’?
SC: Personally I believe that having a faith is like voting. It’s a personal and private choice. I have never agreed with pushing religious opinions on others but rather respect peoples’ views, even when maybe not agreeing with them.
LC: For you, what makes him such a compulsive character?
SC: Martin is a successful man with a happy/convenient home life. He is very aware of how his social standing in both his community and working field is important to his peers. He is very opinionated and to a point controlling. However, his softer side revolves around his daughter, Jess.
LC: How much of yourself do you see in him? How much of him do you see in other people?
SC: I would hope I’m nothing like Martin, but I’m sure my family will let me know when they meet him.
LC: How has the experience been for you, and what do you think people who come to see this play will get out of it?
SC: I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and been pleasantly surprised with the effort and talent of my fellow cast members and I thank them for making an old man welcome.
LC: What do you plan to do after Amazing Grace is over?
SC: I have been involved in music with bands for the last 30 years and have some ideas of maybe doing something in that field again. As far as acting goes, I will probably take a break, unless of course the offers come flooding in. I won’t hold my breath!