The Ghost Train – Director Interview

Nick Mouton – Director of The Ghost Train

How did you hear about KDC?
I got a text message from a friend telling me about auditions, so I went along.  This was back in 2003 when texting was cutting-edge “social media”.

What have you done with KDC so far (as an actor or otherwise)?
So far I’ve directed five shows, acted in 15 and KDC has produced three of my one-act plays. I was also Chair of KDC from 2004 – 2008. I’ve been able to work with amazingly talented people who all love doing what they do and I’ve made some brilliant friendships along the way.

Why The Ghost Train?
A few years back The Ghost Train was on at my local theatre, The Brockley Jack Studio, and I liked the sound of it. Unfortunately, tickets sold out quickly so I bought a copy of the play to find out why a 1920s play was still popular with modern day audiences. When I read it, I absolutely loved it! It’s a fun ghostly yarn with strong examples of what life was like in the 1920s. The characters are intriguing, the plot is engrossing and it’s full of energy. It also had the right number of cast members for a KDC show, but at the time I was already lining up plays to direct so it went on my ‘maybe’ pile. That was until I saw that KDC were going to be at Barons Court Theatre for their Spring 2017 season as the theatre is a perfect setting for the play, with its stone walls and dark corners, so I proposed it and here we are!

What we should expect from you as a director and the play itself?
Both as a director and actor, I really enjoy doing character work. I believe strongly that you can only give a convincing performance once you know everything there is to know about your character. You need to live in their shoes and understand why do they do what they do, how they think and know their story.

Now that we’re through the blocking stage of working out how to have ten actors on the Barons Court Stage, we’re getting stuck into character work. It’s not just about learning lines and knowing where to stand, it’s about being comfortable as that character and it eventually becoming second nature to the actor. This will bring confidence to their performance, a better understanding of the script and as a result more enjoyable for the audience.

Anything else that would like to add? Embarrassing fact about yourself, or a KDC experience you’d like to share.
I’m very excited about returning to Barons Court Theatre, as it is home to my London stage debut – I played Brodin in the KDC production of Red Noses in 2003. There were 23 in the cast and because there were so many people involved we legally couldn’t have full houses as it would exceed the number of people allowed in the space at one time. It was also performed in late June so the space got really hot. Out of sympathy, during the weekend shows, the pub opened their large walk-in fridge so we could sit in it between scenes to cool off. It was rough, especially during the Saturday matinee when we were all hungover and just wanted to sleep. We also used a number of realistic-looking metal swords that the Stage Manager had to guard in the pub during the run as there wasn’t enough space backstage. These caused a few issues, including an altercation with a local resident who took exception to when he was told he couldn’t hold one. In response, him and his inebriated friends threatened to go home and get their own swords so that they could duel with us. We didn’t stick around to see what type of blades they owned!