It was a long time until dinner and a long time since lunch when we caught up with Marcus Lamb. 2016 alone saw him playing such iconic roles as Patrick Pearse in RTÉ’s Rebellion and then Christopher Roulston in Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme in The Abbey Theatre so he had a busy year! It’s great that he had time to get involved in The 24 Hour Plays in aid of Dublin Youth Theatre supported by BNP Paribas Real Estate.
To kick things off I asked Marcus to describe himself, “A long lanky strip of a mickey dazzler that loves Columbo and Jamaican Ginger Cake.” and then wondered if he had taken part in The 24 Hour Plays: Dublin before?
“No I haven’t taken part before and can’t wait to make an arse of myself in front of 500 people. As the youngest of 7, I’m happiest when I’m the butt of the joke so I can’t think of a better way of diving into the deep-end with a very real possibility of coming out dripping in custard, that’s of course if the pool was filled with custard and…eh not…water. As unprofessional as it sounds, I love when things go wrong on stage – it sends a jolt of electricity up your spine as you make a split-second re-adjustment, all the while trying desperately to remain calm and not let the audience know. It’s kind of like diving into a swimming pool full of really cold custard. Sorry but it is!! (Mental note, learn another metaphor). Anyway, I’d imagine performing in the 24 Hour Plays creates that same feeling of excitement and lack of control, where anything could happen, which I reckon is exactly what good theatre should be…and good custard (Damn I must be hungry). ” I’m considering opening a book on whether Marcus actually brings a carton of custard to the Meet and Greet on Saturday evening. Either that or he’s angling for a patron from the Bird Family.
As The 24 Hour Plays: Dublin are a fundraising event for Dublin Youth Theatre we like to ask our participants to remember their own youth. We asked Marcus what aspect of his adult self would most surprise his teenage self? “When the leggy blond footballer Peter Crouch, to whom I am not disimilar in the limb department, was once asked what he’d have been if he wasn’t a footballer, he replied: ‘A virgin.'”
“Well things were pretty bad for me too when it came to ‘the ladies’ as my brother called them but now I live with one. She has long hair and a higher voice than me and everything. She even talks to me from other rooms, just like my mum. That anyone of the opposite sex chooses to spend any time with me and endure my crap jokes is nothing short of miraculous. To my younger lanky loser mingin’ Jarvis Cockery self I’d say: “”Hang in there. It gets a lot better.”” Aaawww! Let’s hope she shares his love of custard too.
While recalling our younger, ideological selves I asked Marcus if he could, what would he change about theatre in Ireland? “Loads more 70 – 150 seat intimate theatres. I prefer seeing plays in intimate settings and I prefer performing in them too. There’s nowhere to hide and the tension and excitement between the performer and the audience is far more palpable. That’s why I always sit near the front. I know financially this may not be practical but it’s what I would like nonetheless. I love the Peacock and really miss the Focus theatre.” We couldn’t agree more!
Finally we asked Marcus would he prefer period or sci-fi drama? “Period drama. I’m too stupid to know what’s going on in sci-fi films (although I did see ‘Soylent Green,’ recently and it blew me away) and in period drama you can wear tight pants and wigs and say “Thou, sir, art a Rumple-nosed Applejohn!” and that sort of thing. On a separate note, you don’t see enough really scary horror on stage. Check out the MR James ghost story film “Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to you,” from 1967 I think. It’s directed by Johnathon Miller. It’s beautiful and the acting is simply custard.”