Tuesday, April 7, 2015

An interview with Jeeves

Matt Daniels returns to the character of Jeeves at MCT for the third and final play in Margaret Raether's trilogy, JEEVES TAKES A BOW! We asked him a few questions about his experience playing Jeeves.

This is the third time you’re returning to the role of Jeeves. Tell us about the process of revisiting a character you've previously played? 

It’s a little like slipping into a pair of old comfortable shoes. It just feels right. Often, (on stage, at least) when an actor revisits a character, it’s in the same play — it’s much rarer to have the opportunity to explore a role over a series of stories like the Jeeves trilogy. This brings with it some challenges, but also makes some things easier. The challenge is in finding ways to surprise yourself, and not get complacent. But that coin has two sides, because the ease comes in allowing yourself to rest on the work you've done, in order to go deeper in detail.

L-R: Matt Daniels as Jeeves, Chase Stoeger as
Bertie Wooster, and Matt Koester as Gussie Fink-Nottle
in the second play in the trilogy, JEEVES IN BLOOM (2013)
Specifically, I can trust the character work I've already done, and know that my instincts regarding Jeeves are probably right — so much of the nitty gritty work of these plays for me has been figuring out how Jeeves navigates his life around the sheer amount of stage business required in being Bertie’s valet. I’m able to think of activities, and see stage patterns more clearly this time now than last time, itself clearer than the time before.

Which of Jeeves’ traits do you most identify with? 
His sense of order, certainly, and his adherence to the way things ought to be. I’m also a fan of Shakespeare, as he is, but I’m not as big on Tennyson.

Briefly list the three best things about JEEVES TAKES A BOW:
1. The cast.
2. The story is the cleanest and funniest of the three, I think.
3. It’s always great to see an Englishman in New York.

L-R: Chris Klopatek as Bertie Wooster and Matt Daniels as
Jeeves in first play of the trilogy, JEEVES INTERVENES (2010)
Anything else you’d like to share with readers about the show, rehearsals, etc.? 
It’s an incredibly fun and congenial rehearsal room. This sort of thing spills over into performance. There is no scientific way for the show to not be a blast.

Thanks Matt! We're looking forward to JEEVES TAKES A BOW, April 16 - May 3.

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