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Learning to Fly Q&A

On Wednesday 28 February, James Rowland will bring his one-man show Learning to Fly to the Torch stage. Anwen had a chat with him about what you can expect.

Learning to Fly sounds very interesting and a little bit different. Tell us a bit about it.

Hello! Learning to Fly is a coming of age story, I think it's an uplifting story about an unlikely friendship I made with the scary old lady who looked after me as a child- it's about love and growing up and music.

Where do you get your ideas from to create such a production?

I try and make stories that are exciting tales, that are based on the wild things that have happened in my life and craft them into something that is hopefully beautiful and interesting for an audience.

What’s your favourite part in it and why?

SPOILER ALERT. I do a short interpretive dance (comedy) over the top of an extended joke about a third of the way through which is quite demanding and always an exciting bit to perform.

What type of audience are you hoping to attract?

Everyone! I hope that if you are a regular theatre goer there is plenty to interest you in a show that has toured for so long to so many places and has been well loved by other audiences. If you're not a regular theatre goer then I can promise you something that will make you feel at home in a perhaps unfamiliar space and a story that will make you laugh, think and feel.

Is there a deep, underlying message to the production?

Ha! I suppose that is for you to decide if you watch the show. My opinion is that it’s about human connection and the magic that exists there.

Tell us a bit about your career on stage.

So, I went to drama school from 2004-2007 and spent my twenties doing lots of bits and bobs, some fringe plays in London, some radio and tv and film bit parts and lots and lots of bar work. I made my first show (TEAM VIKING) in 2015 and have been very happily making and touring ever since.

Have you visited the Torch before, and are you looking forward to performing at the Torch?

I haven't! and I AM SO EXCITED. I’ve wanted to come to Torch for a while and I love Wales. My dad’s side of the family were all Welsh but sadly had all gone before I was born so touring to the land of my father’s fathers is a joy and I can't wait to meet people!


Do you get nervous before appearing on stage and if so, what do you do to calm the nerves?

I used to but now it's very much excitement rather than nerves and the best thing for either is doing a really good show.

Will Learning to Fly make us laugh, cry or both?

It will definitely make you laugh, it might make you cry-I hope it makes you feel and think- but most importantly I think you'll be glad you came if you do.

What are your future show plans and can we expect to see you on tour again?

So, I'm currently making a new show alongside touring Learning to Fly and its sequel Piece of Work. I'd love to bring more shows to Torch!


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