On Friday we had the pleasure of attending a meet & greet lunch with the cast of The Spoils. The show was written by and stars Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Zombieland, Adventureland, Now You See Me) alongside Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones) Olivier Award Winner Katie Brayben (Beautiful – the Carole King Musical) and Annapurna Sriram (Billions).
We were given a brief introduction from the director, Scott Elliott and then took the opportunity to catch up with some of the cast and find out more about the show.
Scott Elliott described the play as both ‘funny and gut-wrenching.‘
‘We brought 3 actors and the design team from New York but since last year we’ve adapted the show and taken it to another level, making it deeper –giving it more emotional improvements.‘
Jesse Eisenberg added that the show ‘might actually be more appropriate for a British audience as the humour is more dark and dead-pan. I took some inspiration for the main character from British comedians, in particular Ricky Gervais’ character David Brent – in The Office.‘
We also spoke with Kunal Nayyar about how his role has changed since performing in The Spoils last year – ‘Since last time I think my character has more gravitas, I’ve changed over the last year so I can bring more to this character.‘
‘There is a lot more freedom on the stage than on television. The Big Bang Theory relies heavily on script but Jesse is not precious with his script at all – he is very open to our suggestions so I really have the freedom to make the role mine.‘
We asked how he thinks the UK audience will compare to those in the US – ‘I only performed in the UK as an understudy 7 years ago so I don’t really remember what it’s like performing in front of a UK audience – it will be interesting to see how they react to it but it’s a brilliant show, Jesse is such a talented writer.‘
Annapurna Sriram spoke about re-joining the show after almost a year ‘It was quite nerve wracking to bring it to London and its strange to look back at a script I’ve already done – I remember the lines but not how I played them so its been fun to start that from scratch and look at it in a new light. We are able to add more depth to it now.‘
We also managed to have a quick chat with Kunal’s understudy, Sagar Radia: ‘I’ve only done TV and never understudied for theatre before so it’s interesting to watch the rehearsals, prepare for the role and see how it should be played. I’m really looking forward to taking over the role for a while in August.‘
We have Stalls seats from £59.50 for The Spoils – make sure you see the stars in action in what looks to us to be a brilliantly witty and well-written new play.
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