Interview: actor Joe McGann on taking the lead in John Godber's bittersweet April in Paris
'You see wives nudging their husbands and saying, that's you, that is. He writes in a universal way'
'Al and Bet are one of those couples you wouldn't want to be sitting next to on a bus,' says Joe McGann, who plays Al in John Godber’s April in Paris. 'They have been together 27 years and it sounds like constant bickering. And we all know couples like that.'
Godber’s play follows Al and Bet on a trip to Paris, the city of romance, at a time when their relationship is looking shaky. McGann, clearly delighted to be sharing the stage with Shobna Gulati as Bet, has been touring the show for five weeks but remains excited. 'I enjoy theatre as much as anything else. And I had never done a John Godber play before and the fact he was directing it: it was an easy yes, really!'
McGann notes that the rehearsal process was a pleasure: 'John is an actor himself and he really enjoys the rehearsal process. In a two-hander there is nowhere to hide, but he made it fun.' However, it is the script that keeps him inspired. 'John's characters are very real, they are not caricatures. I know these kind of people. As far as the arc of the story is concerned, they do go on a journey, but that is meat and drink to an actor and it is a joy to find the truth of the journey,' he continues.
'You see wives nudging their husbands and saying – that is you, that is. Godber writes in a universal way. Anyone who has been in a relationship will understand it.'
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Tues 26–Sat 30 Aug.