Playing Blackadder

From last Thursday until yesterday, I had the honour of playing Edmund Blackadder in a stage adaptation of Blackadder II with a cast of extremely talented and hard-working actors. The play was a massive amount of fun and the response from the audience was wonderful every single night. In many ways, it's a shame that we only did four shows and, in this respect, I'm relishing taking my art to the next level and becoming professional.

Taking on a role like Blackadder, however, was described to me as being either extremely brave or extremely foolish, between which I don't personally think there's much difference and both are to be celebrated in their own ways. Playing Blackadder is not like playing Hamlet. Both are iconic for different reasons but the second has been played famously by lots of different people. If asked who your favourite Hamlet is, you might say Richard Burton, Kenneth Branagh, or David Tennant. At least one person just said Mel Gibson.

But if you ask who your favourite Blackadder is, well, that's kind of a silly question, isn't it? I have to admit, when the project was suggested to me and I accepted the role, it crossed my mind that this could end up being a spectacular failure. But it wasn't, and for the 90 minutes we were on that stage, the original sitcom didn't exist. This was theatre and it was treated as such. The material was ingrained in the minds of a few of our audience members but to see it with a fresh pair of eyes was worth the foolish bravado and I'm glad I was that fool.

I'm hoping to put some clips from the play on this website soon and I'll let you know when I do. I'm still looking for a casting agent, probably in Paris or London, so if you think I'm up to it, please send them my way. As I said, I'll try and get those clips up as soon as I can.