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  • Matthew Duckett

Conquering William the Conqueror in Talking Deads

Hi, I’m Matthew Duckett. I’m an actor trained at Aberystwyth University and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Working on Talking Deads with the NPC has been electric. The Norman Conquest has always been an interesting period of history to me, so when Andrew approached me with the opportunity to work with him, his company and the wonderful Terry Deary, I think I nearly bit his hand off! This has been such a brilliant project of which to be a part, and I’m excited to be sharing it at last!

Filming was a blast! Andrew was directing, who I first worked with some years ago at Warwick Castle. This is far from the only project I’ve done under Andrew’s artistic guidance and he always knows how to get what he wants in the most relaxed and free of ways. We managed to get the whole thing shot in an afternoon and it felt more like play than graft, as all well organised sets should I suppose. As soon as Andrew sent me through the script; I knew we had something really entertaining, with Terry’s trademark blend of silliness and pedagogy. The story being told is so relaxed and conversational, so immediately accessible that it barely felt like a tale from almost a millennium ago! I hope that comes across. I hope you might even learn something. I did!

My route to this point, for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the arts, was fairly straightforward. I remember thinking at eighteen that I knew exactly where I wanted to be and what I wanted to be doing. I was wrong. I remember doing the audition circuit for all of the major drama schools, looking to join their musical theatre programmes. While musical theatre has always been, and will always be a favourite aspect of the work, it is not my greatest area of expertise. I think the panels knew that almost as soon as I walked in. I didn’t go to drama school at eighteen. Instead, I went to university where I gained not only a solid theoretical understanding and vocational foundation of the craft, but I also gained a greater appreciation of who I wanted to be as a performer, and the areas of performance that most interested me. After graduating, I worked every job I could get from fast food to scare attractions in order to save for my masters degree - which I studied for at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Here, I began an education in the professional industry which I am continuing to build on to this day, and which I hope to continue to evolve for many years to come!

Soon, you’ll be able to see me in Lady Chatterley’s Lover for Sony’s 3000 Pictures and Netflix.

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