To kick off these Intermission Interviews, we’re proudly talking to Actor and Director Fraser Haines
Tell us a bit about what you do in theatre
I’m an actor primarily, also sometime set builder and occasional director
What first inspired you to get involved in theatre?
Two things – being taken to the pantomime at the London Palladium by my grandmother when I was a child. I remember looking forward to it for weeks, and being totally and utterly smitten with the theatre from then on. Secondly my father – he was an amateur actor who played many of the great Shakespearean roles, he gave me some of the first parts I did in my local amateur company, and if I could be a tenth as good as he was I’d be pleased with that.
What shows have you worked on?
John Proctor in “The Crucible”, Bottom in “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, the Baker in “Into the Woods” (Masque Theatre), Lucky Eric in “Bouncers”, Salty in “Teechers” (Playhouse Theatre), Professor Higgins in “Pygmalion”, Eddie Carbone in “A View from the Bridge” (Moulton Theatre), Tony Hancock in “Hancock’s Last Half Hour”, Geoffrey Fairbrother in “Hi de Hi”, St Clair Byfield in “Glorious”, Barry in “Secretarial Skills”, Mr Robinson in “The Graduate”, Malvolio in “Twelfth Night”, Various in “The Shakespeare Revue” (White Cobra)
Which productions have you most enjoyed being part of?
I’ve been really lucky to have been in a lot of productions where I’ve had a huge amount of fun, but “Glorious” for White Cobra stands out for me. It was hugely successful and took top prizes at the Isle of Man play festival in 2018
If you could play any role what would it be?
I’m too old now, but I would have loved to have played Iago in “Othello”. Failing that (don’t laugh) I’d like to play Andrew Wyke in “Sleuth”
Do you a memorable story about theatre you can share with us?
Kissing John Myhill in “Beggars Opera” and finding he hadn’t shaved…
What’s the best thing you’ve seen on stage?
Derek Jacobi in “Cyrano de Bergerac”, Richard Jordan in “Scaramouche Jones” at Bonkers, Kettering, The Little Theatre Market Harborough’s production of “Breaking the Code” with an awesome central performance from Mark Bodicoat
What do you love about your local theatre community?
That there’s so much variety in Northampton. There are a lot of companies who do interesting types of theatre – we should also be hugely proud of Northampton’s Royal & Derngate because of the great quality work it does.
What have you been doing theatrically during lockdown?
I’ve done a lot of Zoom work – play readings, rehearsals and discussions – I’m doing Masque’s rehearsed reading of “Romeo and Juliet” at the start of June. and I’m about to direct a “play for radio” for White Cobra. I’ve also really enjoyed the free streamed NT and Globe productions that have been available.
In these dark times for theatre, who would you like to encourage people to support with a donation if they’re able?
This will of course be Norhampton’s Royal & Derngate – we must do all we can to help it during what is a troubling and serious time for all theatres.
Huge thank you to Fraser for kicking off our interview series! Coming up next we have director and writer Andy Routledge
Intermission Interviews are the work of Becki Cockcroft and Matthew Neuenhaus. Becki is Marketing & Press Assistant at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate theatres, and a freelance marketeer, designer and photographer, and Matt is Marketing Officer for Birmingham Hippodrome.