‘I rattle around like a lone pea in a can sometimes’

Shipwrecked... in the Lakes and on Neville's Island at Chichester Festival Theatre. Rufus Hound, John Marquez,  Adrian Edmondson and Tim McCullan.
Shipwrecked... in the Lakes and on Neville's Island at Chichester Festival Theatre. Rufus Hound, John Marquez, Adrian Edmondson and Tim McCullan.
The former H&E King sweet shop in Albert Road

The Kings Theatre looks to press forward with multi-million pound regeneration plans

0
Have your say

The new album has just come out. A stint in theatre now beckons. And then he will be off on tour with the band, The Bad Shepherds.

‘That’s the thing about being freelance,’ says former Young One Adrian Edmondson, who is now distinctly middle-aged in the middle-of-nowhere comedy Neville’s Island in Chichester Festival Theatre’s new Theatre in the Park (September 11-28).

‘I rattle around like a lone pea in a can sometimes,’ he muses. Sometimes I stick to the walls. Sometimes I don’t.’

And every now and again, an exciting project will come up, such as Neville’s Island, a play which will create an island (complete with surrounding water) in a tent in a park in a city.

The gist is that four out-of-condition, middle-aged businessmen, are sent off on a team-building exercise. All they manage to do is become the first people ever to get shipwrecked on an island in the Lake District.

Which is when the veneer of civilisation starts to slip.

‘It’s a very funny play which has a darker edge,’ Adrian says.

‘I hate it when people talk about a dark edge with things. It makes it sound more important than it is. It’s just a comedy that starts to deal with some important things, as good comedy should.

‘It is never farcical. It is all based in reality which is hugely refreshing. Everything could actually happen. We are doing one of those dreadful management courses that are supposed to be about bonding, and everyone is soon bonding less than ever.

‘I am playing Gordon who is a bit miffed that he is not the team captain. Gordon is salt of the earth – or he thinks he is. He thinks he is a regular guy, but the play is about how long civilisation lasts given hardship.’

The fact that the play coincides with the release of Adrian’s new album is just happy coincidence.

‘I just bounce from project to project. That’s one of the joys of being freelance.’

The album is the band’s third in the five years they have been together.

‘The band happened by accident, but you have got to have the instinct for the accident to happen. I had been looking for it along the way. I have always wanted to be in a band, but I never found a band to be in that seemed real. This seems real, though – the way that we express ourselves.’

Adrian comes to Neville’s Island on the back of his ITV show, Ade In Adland, which aired last week. His stage credits also include Waiting For Godot, a play he loves.

He says: ‘We just thought it was so funny, especially when it jokes about why we are here.’

Tickets: £15 to £37 from CFT on (01243) 781312 or go to cft.org.uk.