Good news, droogs! The funny, disturbing and electrifying stage adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ literary masterpiece, A Clockwork Orange, comes to Singapore in November. EX cornered main man, Jonno Davies (recently seen on the big screen in Kingsman: The Secret Service) to ask him about his acting background and how he prepared for playing the brutal lead character.
- Name: Jonno Davies
- Age: 23
- From: Chesterfield, UK
- Role in the show: Alexander DeLarge
Were you a fan of the book and film before this opportunity came along?
I’ll be honest with you: I’ve read the book but I’ve never watched the film! When my audition came up, I think I watched one scene from the film to get a general feel for the style, but that was it. Since then, I’ve purposely not watched the film as I want my portrayal of Alexander DeLarge to be personal and original, and not a carbon copy of another actor’s performance.
A Clockwork Orange was banned in Singapore for 30 years. Were any modifications required to get approval to perform here?
We’re honoured to be the people who have the privilege of telling this story to the people of Singapore. Of course, we’re conscious that it hasn’t been seen in over 30 years, but we’re not going to shy away with our performance – that’s not what people have paid for. I think a few edits may have been made to keep in line with the local culture but do not fear, the show will be as raw, powerful and twisted as ever. I can promise you that!
What can the audience expect from the show?
Well, you won’t have time to pause for breath – the show is relentless! It’s fast-paced, highly physical and in-your-face. There is no expensive set or fancy costumes for us to hide behind, just 10 male actors giving their blood, sweat and tears. It’s genuinely quite sacrificial, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Tell us about your role. Any particular challenges about it, or favourite lines?
Like any psychopath, Alex DeLarge doesn’t see himself as a villain and this is where his ultimate danger lies. One of the main reasons I love playing him, and partly why audiences love watching him, is the fact that he’s so unpredictable. It gives the whole experience a volatile edge, which is really exciting. It’s a hugely demanding role, both physically and vocally. This means that my all-round stamina has to be at its peak, but in the words of the madman himself, “What I do I do because I like to do”!
Tell us a bit about your performing background.
I was in all the school productions growing up, from Grease and Bugsy Malone to The History Boys and Oh What a Lovely War – and many in between. It was something I had a monumental passion for, but not something I thought I’d make a career out of. I remember when I was applying for university, my tutor took me aside and told me to audition for drama school; I’ll always be thankful to her for that. The last show I was in was Shakespeare In Love, which was in fact my West End debut. It’s a fantastic show; charming and witty, much like the film.
First time in Singapore?
Yes, first time and I’m very excited. I don’t really know what to expect, which makes it even better, so if you have any recommendations then please let me know! I’ve heard about the fantastic zoo, so I’ll be sure to visit that. Travelling is something I’ve really started to enjoy, so I’ll be doing and seeing everything I can. It will just be great to get outside and exercise in such a warm and beautiful place.
Have you performed in other places on the world tour? What’s been the most memorable stopover?
Unfortunately, I was still at Drama School when the show was gallivanting around Australia and Hong Kong, but I was very lucky to be cast in the Norwegian part of the tour and that was where my Clockwork journey began.
Why should people in Singapore buy tickets for this show?
Because I can guarantee they’ve never seen anything like this live. Action to the Word’s shows are in a calibre of their own. Not only is the show visually outstanding, but it also puts a huge question mark over human morality that will leave the audience wanting more.
ABA Productions and Glynis Henderson Productions present Action to the Word’s A Clockwork Orange at Esplanade Theatre from 4 to 8 November. Tickets start from $68 and are available from Sistic.