Hollywood star takes to the stage at the Barbican

11:11 13 April 2012

Chris Ryan and Cate Blanchett Pic: Lisa Tomasetti

Chris Ryan and Cate Blanchett Pic: Lisa Tomasetti

Archant

Cate Blanchett stars in her own theatre company’s award winning play Big and Small

»Like some Antipodean angel Cate Blanchett, one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, descends onto the Barbican stage to star in a critically acclaimed new play.

Big and Small (Gross und Klein) by Botho Strauss has been adapted by Sydney Theatre Company (STC) – Blanchett and her husband’s outfit – and had audiences going wild down under in a six week run before Christmas.

Now the production is on the move, touring Paris, Vienna, Germany and for two weeks – starting today – at the Barbican.

The story centres around Lotte, played by Blanchett, who tries to rekindle old friendships and make new ones after a messy break up with her husband.

As she meets a lot of weird and wonderful characters she suffers rejection and begins to feel alienated.

Two of these are played by former Islington resident Richard Pyros, who says the play is more uplifting than the plot would suggest.

“The subject matter is quite dark, but it’s a joyous production with a lot of comedy,” he said.

“That’s one of the most amazing things about her [Blanchett’s] performance. She is on stage for three hours and shows eternal optimism in the face of all this.”

Mr Pyros portrays two of the people Lotte encounters on her travels - a drifter, Yurgen, and Alf, a bureaucrat fellow who ends up in an unlikely relationship with her.

How did he find working so closely with the Hollywood siren?

“It’s been great actually,” he said. “She has been my boss for the last couple of years at the STC.

“But I never got a chance to work with her closely before and it has been quite extraordinary. She is very strong and warm and has a clear vision of what the company should achieve.

“To step into a rehearsal room and see her actively make herself just another actor is inspiring.”

Mr Pyros spent a couple of years living in Gifford Road, Islington, and says he always looks forward to a trip to the borough.

“It’s great to be coming back,” he said. “This is my hood. The area means a lot to me and I always try to pass through when I am in London.

“I was there during the riots. We were watching Tree of Life at the cinema in the N1 Centre, which is a pretty stressful film anyway.

“Then police came in to clear the place telling us to go home – everybody just ran out of there.

“But I love that neck of the woods. I always used to go to the King’s Head Theatre in Upper Street to watch the opera.

‘‘And I loved Tinderbox and Carluccios. There are so many great places.”

Big and Small (Gross Und Klein) is at the Barbican, Silk Street, EC2 from April 13 to 29.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 19:19
The case is being heard at the Old Bailey (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

A former public school boy accused of sexually assaulting an ex-classmate after a boozy night out told jurors that their encounter was “definitely consensual”.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:15
Myles Lovell saved the lives of two people - and now wants to know how they are doing [Picture by St John's Ambulance]

A man who saved the lives of two people after their car flipped over is appealing for them to get in touch.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:04
Seahorses are a protected species and trade in them is illegal (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A Chinese medicine trader has been fined for selling sexual enhancement pills made with seahorse extracts in Elephant and Castle.

Read more

Top Stories

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

Quizzes

Can you guess which bridge crossing the Thames in London which? (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Do you know your Blackfriars from your Southwark, Cannon Street from Waterloo, or do all of London’s bridges look alike to you?

Read more
Amy Winehouse's second album became a classic

Are you an Amy Winehouse superfan?

Read more
I'm only going to say this once: Stand. On. The. Right.

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more