Boyz theatre critic Stephen Vowles has an informal chat with Charlie Condou about finally getting to play Matt in the upcoming production of Straight White Men at the Southwark Playhouse from 10th November.
How did you spend your time during lockdown?
I’ve got two kids so the majority of my lockdown was spent home schooling, something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy! I was never particularly good when I was at school myself and genuinely thought I’d left compound fractions and fronted adverbials behind me. The day the schools reopened was a happy one in this household, not just for me and my husband Cam, but for the kids too. I think they’d had enough of us by then.
How does it feel to soon be appearing in a play titled Straight White Men? What can the audience expect?
I was worried when I was offered the part as I assumed the play would be yet another piece about straight white men (like we don’t hear enough of their stories in theatre!) but actually it’s a fascinating study into masculine fragility, and how they cope with the world today. It pulls apart the notion of white privilege which is something I’m really looking forward to exploring.
Is Matt a very different character for you to play?
Matt is a fascinating character because in a way he’s opting out of life; he doesn’t have a good job, lives at home with his Dad. At first it appears as if he may be depressed, something the other characters assume too and try to “fix”, but I think there’s more to what’s happening for him than meets the eye. I don’t want to give anything away but I think Matt actually has a stronger sense of himself than it seems.
What’s next for you and if you had any words of wisdom to impart what would they be?
I’ve got a few things going on at the moment, some writing commitments as well as acting. Not sure I have any words of wisdom, I think we’re all trying to figure it out as we go along. But the last couple of years have been tough for everyone, possibly in ways we don’t even notice. So go easy on yourself. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway!