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Actor relishes part in play
A NEW touring production of First World War play Journey’s End is holding its opening night at The Haymarket.
The play is running from January 26 until 30 in Basingstoke, before touring the country until May, and its cast includes radio, television and stage veteran Graham Seed. Seed, who is best-known as Nigel Pargetter in The Archers, is playing the part of Lieutenant Osborne.
He told The Gazette: “It’s the most wonderful part. Most of the soldiers are like schoolboys and I play someone much older – a public school master who signed up and who they nickname ‘uncle’.
“He’s a good guy. He watches after all these extremely emotional young soldiers but he misses looking after his garden in Sussex.”
Seed is not new to Basingstoke, having performed in The Anvil pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk several years ago and in a production of The Importance of Being Ernest about 10 years ago.
He said Journey’s End highlights the futility of war.
“The characters aren’t heroes. They are soldiers who have been thrust in a situation that they must deal with.
“It’s more than just a Great War play because it’s relevant today, hearing about soldiers being brought back from Afghanistan.
“You cannot comprehend the number of losses in the First World War – 5.1 million allied soldiers killed, that’s 5,500 killed every day.”
He added: “It’s not all doom and gloom though. It’s a beautifully crafted play, terribly moving, and there’s humour even in the most grisly situations. And the joy is it has already been tried and tested.”
Seed, who has had television parts in shows including Midsomer Murders, is excited to be starting off the year with this production at The Haymarket.
“It’s a lovely little theatre,” he said, “I have lots of friends around Basingstoke so it will be nice to be back.”
The experienced actor will be on cinema screens in Wild Target, starring Emily Blunt and Bill Nighy, in the summer and is celebrating 30 year in The Archers this year.
He said: “I enjoy it when they need me. The cast is three times the size it was when I started! I try to work in all the medias and I have been very privileged.”
Tickets for Journey’s End are available from £17.50 – with concessions available – from the Anvil Arts box office on 01256 844244 or online at anvilarts.org.uk.