Alex Gaumond Interview - What's In A Name?
We had a chat with former GSA student Alex Gaumond in the lead up to his appearance in What's In A Name? as the UK tour opens with us from Thursday 5 - Saturday 14 September.
Can you tell us a little bit about your character in What’s in a Name?
So I play Carl and he’s the family friend. They’ve known each other for thirty years so he kind of grew up with them. So he’s very much part of the family even though he isn’t biologically. He’s best friends with Elisabeth and he’s a musician – he plays the trombone for the BBC symphony orchestra.
In terms of personality, you have Peter and Vincent who are very strongly opinionated and Carl is not that sort. He doesn’t tend to weigh in with strong opinions within arguments. He tends to just listen and not necessarily chime in, or he will try and placate things if the debate gets heated. He’ll try to be the rational, diplomatic person, who tries to placate the two hot-tempered boys who are having a go at each other.
What have you enjoyed so far about the process?
Getting to know everyone – our characters have all, with the exception of Anna perhaps, have known each other for pretty much thirty years so it’s getting to know the actual cast and obviously everyone else in the room. We’ll be on the tour together so it’s nice to get to know everyone and getting really familiar with each other and getting the report going.
Also just getting literally chucked in the deep end straight away and putting things on its feet. Sadie, the associate director, is of the opinion that we are painting a masterpiece. You start with an empty canvas, but you start straight away creating a draft of something by putting it on its feet, and then we refine with detail and add more colour. Instead of philosophising about stuff for ages, we are just putting it on its feet to see how it feels and see where it takes us.
What would you say audiences can look forward to about the play?
I think it’s a play that has a lot of reveals. I think they will go in expecting one thing, but there is a lot more to it than just being fun and having lots of energy, it has a lot of heart and deeper intellectual debates. It makes you think about the language that we use and what words can mean. It terms of pure plot lines, it’s full of twists – so audiences will be in for a treat!
The play is not just about what you think it’s about. We get into the subject matter of what you know from the poster image and the promotional blurb very early into the play, but then it expands into something more surprising and more fun. There will certainly be surprises.
We hear you were trained in Guildford! Can you tell us about that and your time in the town?
It’ll be really fun to be back in Guildford! I went to Guildford School of Acting between 1997 and 2000 – so I was the millennium graduates! Thankfully all the computers didn’t die with the Y2K and all that! I was there for three years and I loved my time in Guildford. I grew up in Canada and I moved to the UK in 1997 so it was really nice, rather than moving straight to London which would have been a bit of a shock to the system coming from Canada! It was great being around Guildford and commuting by foot. At that time GSA wasn’t a part of the University of Surrey as it is now, but at the time I was there it was in Millmead Terrace and all your classes were scattered around Guildford. You had to go across the little river and past the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre to get to each class, so you really got the feel of really being in Guildford.
The last time I performed at the Yvonne Arnaud, was for our final production as part of the course. So in my final year I played the lead in Kiss Me Kate at the Yvonne Arnaud. It’ll be really fun to be back! I don’t know what memories it will conjure but I am excited to find out!
Tickets for What's In A Name? are on sale now! Click here to find out more about more and book your tickets for this hilariously funny 90 minutes.