Thursday 17 October 2019

No rest for the wicked as Nidge dives straight into new project

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, right, and director Mark O’Rowe
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, right, and director Mark O’Rowe

Laura Butler

'LOVE/HATE' actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor is hoping to encourage a new generation of theatre-goers by returning to his stage roots for his next project.

The father of one, who plays Nidge on the RTE drama, began rehearsals for Mark O'Rowe's 'Howie the Rookie' yesterday – just three days after production for the fourth season of 'Love/Hate' wrapped.

The play, which will open at Dublin's Project Arts Centre on June 17 before touring nationwide, stars Vaughan-Lawlor in both lead roles of O'Rowe's reimagined masterpiece.

Both characters have much in common with gangland criminal Nidge, so it will be a relatively easy transition for the star – as well as a tiring one.

"The energy is very different, but I'm very lucky I can jump back and forth between screen and theatre," Vaughan-Lawlor told the Irish Independent.

"It does take an adjustment though, it takes different stamina. If I had had a week off after filming of 'Love/Hate' finished, I'd probably collapse, so I'd rather go straight in to this. Hopefully it'll bring in a new audience."

The London-based actor admitted the public's reaction to him as a result of 'Love/Hate' can prove overwhelming at times.

"The success of it doesn't shock me, but the intensity of it is quite full-on. People have been lovely though, so I'm very lucky," he said.

Vaughan-Lawlor, who is married to the British actress Claire Cox, said he was looking forward to seeing how audiences across the water react to 'Love/Hate' when it airs on Channel 5 in the near future, noting that his wife's family had been taken aback by his character on the show.

"My extended family are slightly alarmed by it," he said. "It's the gap of who you are in real life and who you are as a character, so there's a massive gap there with 'Love/Hate'. People have been going, 'it's hard to believe it's you'.

"But they do enjoy it, and my wife is an actress so she understands what it's all like. It'll be interesting to see how English audiences react to it."

Irish Independent

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