You have the right to remain entertained!
On Friday the 10th March, the award winning show Police Cops is coming to Thirsk as part of the ON Tour scheme. This show's blend of fast paced humour, classic police story and abundance of facial hair has been winning over audiences and critics both nationally and internationally. To whet your appetite about this amazing show, we sat down with Nathan from the company who created Police Cops, The Pretend Men, and 'interrogated' (get it?) him about the show, the company and fished for some behind the scene secrets. (P.S There are still some tickets available, but they are selling fast: make sure you grab them while you can HERE)
Interview: 10 Minutes with Nathan Parkinson of The Pretend Men
1. Hello, what’s your name and what’s your role in The Pretend Men? What does that role involve on the road?
My name is Nathan Parkinson - I'm Co-Artistic director / Producer / Actor. As a producer on the road I'm spending time gathering all the logistical info with our technician Adam and making sure everything runs as planned. As an actor, I'm loading the car and the theatre with props and set, warming up, and performing, and as a Co-Artistic Director, I'm walking around lording my fancy title over people.
2. What is it about rural touring that appeals to you? What are the particular challenges? (If any!)
Rural touring is my personal fave when it comes to taking the show to new audiences. The venues are super special, and the people that put their heart and soul into making everything come together for the local community is something you feel honoured to play a part in. The people greeting us, helping set up, feeding us and even putting us up in their own homes are the unsung heroes of rural touring and we feel privileged to be working along side them. The only challenge is having to leave!
3. Describe Police Cops in three words.
Police. Cops. PoliceCops.
4. Thinking about Police Cops, what’s the one thing overall that you hope audiences will take away from seeing the show?
That performance is all about what you put into it. You don't need a Hollywood budget to create a theatrical blockbuster. All you need is to be excited by an idea, find people who are excited by the same stuff as you and hopefully get a bit of support from structures in place to help you. There are so many opportunities out there to present 10/15mins of work and get seen. Find a little bit of space (we used Tom's barn), some friends to work with, and do it.
5. Of all the work you’ve done (not exclusively in rural touring) what’s been your professional highlight to date?
My personal highlight is honestly rural touring, but professional highlight was probably being asked over to perform overseas at the Cape Town fringe. You really feel proud over the work you've created when someone’s willing to fly you to a different part of the world to perform it.
6. What’s the one luxury you can’t live without while touring?
I don't really do luxuries, but I do demand a personal massage (Swedish) by two masseuses (also Swedish) in a bath full of caviar at each venue.
7. What music/radio is currently playing in the tour van? And who gets the final say?
Zac (Another Co-Artistic Director/Actor) plays a host of 80s music. If you've seen Police Cops you'll know we love the 80s. We also usually get obsessed with one song every now and then and it becomes the theme song for each tour. Last tour it was Neil Young - Old Man. This time it's Bob Dylan - Sign on the Window. I guess we're romantics at heart.
8. Have you been to North Yorkshire before? If so, do you have a favourite location or place to visit? If not, is there anything in particular you’re keen to see/do while you’re here? (Other than have a proper cup of tea!)
We don't get much chance to explore unfortunately as we have to spend the day setting up and then the shows finish rather late and we have to head to the next stop, however just the drive through the countryside is amazing. You really get a chance to see the UK and just how beautiful a lot of it is. (Hello, Yorkshire Dales and the Moors!)