This Throwback Thursday Sarah Day speaks to Ian Kelsey about his career and the upcoming tour of John Godber’s play September In The Rain.
What was the first thing you ever saw in a theatre?
It was an improvised comedy at an outdoor theatre above the amusement arcade in Lyme Regis bay.
Can you remember how it made you feel?
I loved it. I thought the cast were brilliantly clever. I bought the shark fin after the show that was featured. It must have been the last show and they were selling the props off. I wore it all the way home walking past pub windows.
When did you decide that acting was your calling?
I went into acting by default. I was working as a joiner and working with wood I was allergic to. My doctor advised me to change careers. I was doing amateur theatre on a night and it just seemed to be the next good thing to do.
How has it felt over the past year with theatre closed?
To be honest I don’t really go to see that many shows so theatres being closed was just another means of earning money that was taken from us during COVD. I recently went to see Back to the Future with my two girls and the atmosphere was electric. Maybe I should go more!
How did you keep yourself busy over that time?
I have a motorbike and I had a few projects I was working on customising. I was also restoring an old showman’s coach in an isolated cow shed in the middle of the countryside. Photography is also a great passion and I spent time trying to sort out a web site. I still haven’t finished it! My behind-the-scenes photographs can be seen on Instagram @iankelseybehindthecenes
Can you tell us a bit about September in the rain
September in the rain is a funny nostalgic comedy about a northern couple who recall stories from their regular holiday to Blackpool. It rained a lot.
September in the Rain seems to be very much of a memory play. Is there a particular moment in the play that you love when you get to it.
There are moments I love playing in the play each time we run it during rehearsals. These moments constantly change as new things are explored. I love this period of experiment.
What do you like most about John Godber’s writing?
I love Godber’s observations. If you love, Peter Kay you will love this. Godber remembers the slightest details and retells them in his work. He’s very clever.
You’ve been part of the cast with some big Tv shows, the last time we saw you on stage was Curve’s production of Legally Blonde and Prior to that in the tour of Shawshank Redemption in 2015. Is there anything about live performance that continues to excite or fill you with dread?
I don’t like going from the rehearsal room to the stage with a scene that still needs work or scares me. So I do all I can to iron out any of those moments. There is always that moment a few days before the first night that you say to yourself “why do I do this!”
Is there a moment in you career you consider to be the one you are proudest of?
I hope it’s going to be something I have been working on with a pal of mine. It’s been ten years in the making and we were just about to film when COVID happened. It’s a kids YouTube series comedy.
Is there a role you were born to play that you want to alert producers to?
Danny Zuco in grease was a massive tick. So I’ve already done that one.
If your life was a show – what would it be called and why?
Here all week. And playing me. Will Farrell.