Charlie Quirke is a professional actor, well known for playing Travis Stubbs in the ITV sitcom Birds of a Feather, (acting alongside his real-life mother Pauline Quirke)! This summer sees Charlie attending the Edinburgh Fringe to perform in the world premieres of plays Early Birds and Our Boys.
Early Birds tells the incredible yet true story of how one of the nation’s favourite sit-coms, Birds of a Feather began, starting with a chance encounter in a West End hotel. Meanwhile, critically acclaimed show Our Boys tackles the aftermath of ‘Herrick IX’ Afghanistan, following six soldiers on a hospital ward.
1. Acting seems to run in the family, is there something in the water at home or have you had to work on your craft?
It’s definitely something I’ve had to learn and sculpt as I keep working and creating, but I guess I’m lucky to be so close to such an amazing actress to be able to always learn from.
2. What are the pros and cons to working with someone you’re close to, on screen?
They are all pros from what I’ve seen. You feel comfortable enough to ask for help, as well as to ask questions to help you learn.
3. What is it about Birds of a Feather that’s made it such a hit with the public for so long?
The writing. The girls. The characters and how real they are and relatable. They are all very strong women too which draws people in and wants us to believe in them.
4. Your new shows, Our Boys and Early Birds, both have very different tones. What’s been the biggest challenges whilst working on these two roles at the same time?
What’s crazy is I’m actually playing three roles! I multi-role in Early Birds, which is amazing for me as all three are very different. The biggest challenge is understanding each character well enough and adding depth to them, and to be able to switch between them.
5. Our Boys is set in a soldier’s hospital ward, following the aftermath of ‘Herrick IX’ Afghanistan. With such a heart-breaking tone, what do you think the main appeal for the audience is?
What’s beautiful about this piece is that it’s as hilarious as it is heartbreaking. We allow the audience to feel comfortable enough to be able to laugh, as well as cry, and to really connect with the characters. You feel for every character by the end. That’s the beauty of it. They all have their stories and points of view.
And just for fun…
6. What bit of trivia do you know that is very interesting but also very useless?
The leaning tower of Pisa is leaning by 15ft… ish!
7. Do you have any good luck charms or rituals that you use before going on stage?
I always find they develop during rehearsals with someone you may have a lot of scenes with. For example, me and another actor, Alastair Natkiel, before our first scene in Our Boys will always shake hands!
8. If you were told to get up on stage and give an unplanned 2-minute talk on any topic you wanted, what subject would you choose?
What a question! Probably positive living and the power of a smile and a conversation.
9. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you on set?
This is embarrassing and probably should stay a secret but I feel it’s too funny not to be shared! My first ever kissing scene – I was so nervous about having bad breath (as anyone should be) that I was chewing some gum and as I flipped the girl so I was on top of her… my chewing gum fell in her hair in the rehearsal! I was mortified!
10. If you got sent off to fight for your country, what would be your specialist skill?
I’m not sure my special skill would be on the battlefield. But I certainly think I’d keep morale up and hopefully be cracking jokes and making people laugh.
You can see Charlie Quirke performing in Early Birds and Our Boys at PQA Venues @ Riddle’s Court, Edinburgh, from 3 – 27 August. To book tickets head over to the EdFringe website or visit the Box Offices.
Love our Theatre interviews? Why not check out another of our recent features with Screen and Songwriter Tim Firth.