Introduce Yourself(ie): 10 Questions with The Play That Goes Wrong Standout Dave Hearn
April 24th, 2017
by Dave Hearn
A founding member of the Olivier Award-winning Mischief Theatre, Dave Hearn makes his Broadway debut as the hammy, self-aware young actor Max Bennett in the LOL, new comedy The Play That Goes Wrong. Get to know Dave as he talks serious onstage mishaps, getting laughs by being a rebel, and getting kicked out of an audition.
1. The first time I knew I had something special with Mischief Theatre:
Was years ago back in Edinburgh when took up three shows and we were still doing our improv shows, we moved to bigger venue from the previous year and managed to still sell it out. Initially I was a naysayer, but the guys pushed for more of challenge and I was very happy to be proved wrong :-) The work rate from everyone that year was when I knew that this was a remarkable group of people.
2. The film or TV show that most shaped my sense of humor as a young person:
I would have to say it was The Office. That was the first comedy show that I watched over and over and over; it was something brand new and quite brilliant. And of course Faulty Towers, watching those episodes back brings back a lot of memories.
3. The first laughs I remember receiving as a performer:
A show I did in secondary school about all the pubs in my home town—it was a shockingly bad devised production by some 13/14 year olds, and I was only there because I wanted to improve my confidence. I wasn't even thinking about being an actor. I had a line cut by the teacher because I said 'Jesus Christ' and it was a Catholic school. I agreed that it was a funny line, but she was insistent on cutting it. I put the line back in on the day. I got the laugh.
4. The fight call for this show is best described as:
Swift and uncomplicated. Our fight captain, Greg, is brilliant, he's keen not to overload people and is very patient.
5. Before a performance, I typically:
Try to figure out when to eat, if you eat too much you get fat and heavy and you can't move, but there's nothing worse than getting hungry half-way through the show. Also I try and chill, I play games on my laptop, or I'm learning to solve various difficulties of the Rubik's cube, which super nerdy but very fun.
6. The worst mishap I’ve actually encountered from the play:
For me personally, it would be dislocating my shoulder half-way through the show. Twice. That was pretty mad, but in true Cornley and Mischief style everyone carried on and figured out how to make it work while I was rushed to hospital. I've now had surgery on both of them so hopefully there will be no more shoulder-based shenanigans, but you never know.... I like to roll the dice when it comes to life :-)
7. In my imagination after the run of The Murder at Haversham Manor, Max goes on:
This is a great question, I've never thought of that before. I guess.... I like to think he gets picked up by a massive agent, who, for some reason, thinks he's genius and offers him a great acting role like Hamlet at the Globe or a huge Hollywood film. But I think he would turn it down to stay with Cornley because he's made friends and as badly as things tend to go he likes it there; he's found a new home.
8. My most memorable audition:
I've been lucky enough to have some really lovely auditions over the past few months, but I think the most memorable has to be a commercial audition where they asked for actors to turn up in full fencing gear. I was getting annoyed at the casting breakdowns that week and I thought, 'Who the fuck has full fencing gear?!' So I turned up in cream chinos and a white shirt and put a sieve (btw a really hard word to spell) on my face. The casting director asked very stone faced
'What is that?'
'Is that meant to be a joke?'
9. Favorite thing to do on a day off in New York:
Right now I'm sat in Bryant Park making full use of the free public wifi, which by the way is awesome! I'm not quite over it yet. Sitting in the sun and doing boring emails (mainly for Mischief Theatre—we maybe on Broadway, but there is still a company to help run). When I'm fully off the show, I enjoy hunting out cool cocktail bars and trying to find the best Old Fashioned in NYC. That and going to Central Park to see how long we can kick a rugby ball around before we get told off. I also do Freerunning and Parkour so I'm looking for some places to do that :-)
10. One thing I totally geek out over that has nothing to do with performing:
Video games. Always video games. I'm obsessed. They take over your life and I wish they didn't. The best game I've ever played was either The Last Of Us or Final Fantasy 7, if I could I would play them forever!
Don't miss the hysterical Dave Hearn in 'The Play That Goes Wrong' at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre.