14 January 2016 at 3.05pm | Comment on this article
‘They got in touch and said “We need an idiot. Will you be our idiot?”', joked the The Thick of It star in the interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy. 'I thought there are some things that you don’t expect ever to be asked and one of them is to perform at Covent Garden if you’re not actually a singer, so why not take this once in a lifetime opportunity?’
Chris plays Smith, one of two new acting roles created for the production created to provide a stereotypically English commentary to proceedings. Chris will be joined by actor Jean-Luc Vincent, whose character Dupont will provide a French perspective.
‘It’s a great one to start with because the tunes are fantastic. It’s not difficult music, it’s just lovely music', says Chris of a work he's hugely enjoying performing in.
‘It starts with a mad king wondering around looking for someone to impale as a birthday treat. Everything in it is lunatic.’
The actor is also a firm believer that opera can be enjoyed by many and its influence reaches into all kinds of music, theatre, television and film:
'You can see this show for £6, which is cheaper than going to watch Arsenal, and no one's waving a big flag in front of you during the good bits! Most fans of opera came to it because they go "that's a nice tune!". If you follow the "If you liked this then you'll like this" approach then you'll come here eventually.'
Known for his work in various roles on Armando Iannucci’s creations The Thick of It and VEEP, the interview also includes discussion on current political figures and footage of L’Étoile in rehearsals.