Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast and Crew of Henry VI - Kevin Percival

If you missed out on Kevin Percival’s previous Hamlet Isn’t Dead performance, you should consider yourself very unlucky. How can we describe it to you? Have you ever seen a sunset gilded with chocolate, while a trio of gender-neutral unicorns make love in a field of lavender? It’s something like that.

And if that’s too hard to imagine, just read this interview, and use the links at the bottom to reserve as many tickets as humanly possible. Cause Kevin’s at it again, and you are not gonna wanna miss a unicorn threesome twice.

We'd photoshop a horn onto his forehead,
but we're not sure you could handle that much majesty  

D: Kevin, you are absolutely splendid. How are you today, sir?

KP: Holy mother of-…crap, man, you came out of nowhere! Ah, hell, my heart's goin' like (vague hand gesture)... You can't just jump out at people like (emphatic vague gesture)! God... Uh, this is the interview? I'm good, I guess, I came down here to check on my laundry. You probably shouldn't be in there, the super might not like people taking up space in the drier. One time I forgot a load in there overnight and-

D: Right, right, right. So, you played Gremio for Hamlet Isn't Dead's Taming of the Shrew. How is working on Henry VI cycle already different from that process? Or is it exactly the same?

KP: Yeah! I played Gremio... Grumio... Whichever one is more encrusted with the stank of refuse and horse dung, I played him. It's been very different this time around! Like, night and day, man. So far in the Henry VI cycle I have yet to be ridden like a horse, bludgeoned by Santa Claus, or made to vomit cold vegetable soup into a little cup, but, you know, it's still early in the rehearsal process. Warwick may very well be moved in the course of the narrative to a more soupy place, but as of this moment Robin and I haven't made any definitive decisions on that. Beyond that I cannot comment.  

D: If you'd been alive in the fifteenth century, when these plays take place, how long do you think you would have survived, and what do you think would have done you in?

KP: As a young lad I had this shop teacher sporting an epic Civil War era mustache, which was cool. He happened to be the president of the Oklahoma Longbow Society, which was cooler. He taught me how to carve and fletch arrows, introduced me to the use and maintenance of an English longbow, and even encouraged me to bring in my fully functioning medieval death machine for show-and-tell (that didn't go well). So, in the 15th Century, in a conflict where the three most decisive English military victories were won primarily due to their propensity to use big curvy sticks to fling little pointy sticks at people very far away very effectively, I thought I'd have a leg up! Then I remembered I have skinny little arms and would most likely pull a muscle, sit down to massage it, and get trampled by a horse. That or dysentery would do me in. Oregon Trail is pretty sure it'll be dysentery. 

D: Tragic. If you had been king in the 1400s, which is very easy to imagine, what would have been some of your major decrees?

KP: I’d go hide some more magical cups. Being king really is that simple. Plantagenet? Lancaster? Hey dudes, chill out. I heard a 1,400 year old (mug/spear/box) from the Middle East is inexplicably hiding in a (cave/castle/tomb) in England and it has the power to (make you immortal/poke dragons/melt Nazis)! You should totally go get that, like, now. That's how the first Easter egg hunt was invented. Edward II was drunk one fine April morning (king-ing is stressful work) and commanded his retainers to go get breakfast foods. When they became insolent he demanded they "quest" for "holy" breakfast foods and bam: history.  Knights love scavenger hunts, kings love omelets... I'd also wear some fly silk stockings, get my Louis XIV on 200 years before he does. 

D: I know I'd vote for you. Anything else I need to know about you or the show.

KP: It’s gonna be good. Set in a fascinating period of history, stuffed with exciting characters... Pirates... Lots of (frantic vague hand gestures). Ya know? Good stuff. Come see the good stuff. 

Speaking of totally stealing tag lines from our actors, that’s the one. Whether it’s a Comedy or three Histories, Kevin’s been an amazing asset to the whole HID experience so far. We don’t know how he handles his Tragedies yet, but we’d like to put a big ol’ emphatic emphasis on that YET. In the meantime, you’ll just have to come check him out in the trilogy! 

Take it from Kevin. Hamlet Isn’t Dead: Come See the Good Stuff.

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