How would you describe your job?
As an Historian, actor, writer and artist, I use my skill set and experience to breathe life into the character of Robin Hood and make him relevant for the modern day. Ezekial Bone harnesses the potential of Robin Hood and uses him as a medium of social, economic and cultural regeneration, reaching out to the world with a message of ‘good will to all’ and social and environmental responsibility.
Why do you perform?
After 25 years of being in Nottingham, my path of life has led me here. I came here looking for Robin Hood, became Robin Hood and I have to see where this journey goes. When I’m too old for the green tights then Ezekial Bone will take over and the performance will continue until the curtain falls.
Who inspires you and why?
Oliver Reed as Bill Sykes inspired the first manifestation of Ezekial Bone on the Gore Tour. Untrained as an actor, his natural ability made him shine and able to play a wide range of roles. He made the air move. A character on stage and off stage, his hell-raising over-shadowed his work but he really was a one off. His final role as Proximus in Gladiator (he died during the filming) was full of glory and could have heralded a career revival in Hollywood. He had a remarkable journey through life.
Do you still get nervous before a performance?
Not as a general rule but breaking new shows is always difficult. There’s a lot of hard work taking a new idea from the mind to seeing it live on the streets etc. Months of work boils down to that one moment in time when it is unveiled. Initially it was terrifying but now experience tells me it will be alright. You might drop a clanger every now and then, but hey, no one’s perfect. If there is a truth behind the idea, then it will work.
What was the first book that made you cry?
Name a fictional character you consider a friend.
I was lucky enough to play Fagin in ‘Oliver Twist’ at the Theatre Royal in 2003 with the Royal Company. As I was immersed in the dark underbelly of Nottingham researching for the Guts & Gore Tour, Ezekial Bone showed me the way to realise Fagin as a character. The dynamics of one of Dickens’s greatest characters was fascinating and he still informs the presentation of Ezekial Bone today so I guess Fagin is a confidant, a nefarious friend, shall we say.
Which book deserves more readers?
No particular favourites but any local author who celebrates Notts is worth looking into. A City is an open book, its story waiting to be told. As an author of the spoken word, I’ve heard there’s a great Literary Tour of Nottingham by Gold Star Guides. It celebrates Nottingham’s UNECSO status as a City of Literature and is well worth checking out.
Who or what are you most excited to see at Newark Book Festival in July?
There’s plenty to choose from but I’m looking forward to being at the event and adding colour to it. It is such a cultural event in a great town with great venues. It has a lot of potential to take root and became a big thing in the Notts calendar and to be recognised on the national stage. I’m all for being part of building that. It’s in that spirit of cultural enterprise that #RobinHoodLives because of the good it brings to the world. Priceless.