The Elephant Man | Meet Charlie

5 Jul 2018

The Elephant Man has officially opened and to celebrate we've been getting to know the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School students. Here, Charlie Suff talks us through his experience of working on Bernard Pomerance's award-winning play

Where are you from and how did you get into acting?

I was born and raised in Brighton, on the south coast. My love for acting spawned from me being that shouting kid with pants on his head, prancing about to all the parents amusement. After this became very uncool, I searched for other ways to channel my need to perform, naturally discovering the stage fairly quickly.

Who are you playing in The Elephant Man and what challenges have you faced in that role?

I’m playing Lord John, Snork and the Pinhead Master. I think the main challenge I have faced when tackling these roles is the fact that each character is so far away from myself. This means that finding a balance, between keeping the essence of the character whilst maintaining nuance and truth, has been a constant focus of mine.

What research did you do whilst preparing for your role?

Many of the roles in The Elephant Man are actual people that existed, none of my characters are. So I wanted to find a real person to base my characters on and from that I found that I very much enjoyed the idea of basing Lord John on Lord Byron. The approaches to life of each of them had an interesting similarity that I wanted to explore. I think I’d do very well if I ever stumble across a Lord Byron pub quiz...

What’s your favourite thing about training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School? 

The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has the most wonderful atmosphere, because the amount of people they let in is so small, everyone very quickly becomes like a family. And it is such a privilege to be so close to the downs, it is the perfect place to learn lines – I think my aimless wandering whilst muttering to myself may have freaked out a fair few dog walkers.

Are you excited to perform on the Bristol Old Vic stage?

I am very excited to perform at Bristol Old Vic, it has the most wonderful history. It is certainly the spearhead of Bristol’s theatre scene, making it the perfect venue for my goodbye to the city, even if only for a short while.

The Elephant Man continues until 7 Jul. Book your tickets here