A young actor from Watford has revealed that under the restrictions of the pandemic, he has created some of his best works to date.
Stephen Smith, 28, is an actor and theater producer who will present his new solo show “One Man Poe” at Watford Palace Theater for this year’s Watford Fringe Festival, before taking him to the London Horror Festival for Halloween.
The show is a quadruple-bill of horror stories from ‘The Godfather of Gothic Horror’ Edgar Allan Poe, where Stephen will perform ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’, ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’, ‘The Black Cat ‘and’ The Raven ‘, back to back and live on stage.
The actor will perform each of the stories playing all four characters, with rapid costume and makeup changes between the four parts, which he describes as a “macabre marathon.”
Stephen, who grew up in Benskin Road, Watford, said: “With the show running for almost two and a half hours, and with around 13,000 words to memorize and four completely different characters to play… it’s going to be tough. , to say the least! ”
During the many blockages, Stephen, who lived with his younger brother and his girlfriend, decided to mount a production of “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, using the original text from 1843.
Using his cell phone and streaming services like Facebook Live and Zoom, he created digital theater shows, first at home and then out of empty theaters, including an online cover of “Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde ‘at the Pump House Theater, Watford.
He continued, “I have not only adapted as a pandemic actor, but the work I have created under the strictest restrictions is one of my best work to date.
“As an actor they say ‘persistence is key’ and staying creative despite a pandemic has certainly turned some heads in the industry, leading to some fantastic future opportunities, with this new ‘Poe show’ being the best. example.”
Stephen trained as an actor in Liverpool at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) and graduated in 2017. In drama school he started a theater company with friends called Threedumb Theater.
Their first show in the company was a mini tour of a World War I play to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
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Watford Palace Theater supported Stephen in the idea of doing Edgar Allan Poe’s four stories back to back – with funding they received from the Culture Recovery Fund.
He added: “The Watford Borough Council, after seeing the work I was continually creating during the pandemic, also quickly offered a very generous amount of sponsorship for ‘One Man Poe’ (or ‘whatever you do next. As they say). Even my old drama school, LIPA, offered substantial funding.
“One Man Poe” will take place at Watford Palace Theater October 1-2, before moving to Space on the Isle of Dogs for the London Horror Festival October 19-23, and will end with a Halloween performance at Southwark Playhouse October 31. .
Tickets for all three sites are available at www.threedumbtheater.com/OneManPoe