David Morrissey: 'Liverpool Everyman gave me my voice'

image captionDavid Morrissey began his acting career at the Everyman Youth Theatre

Liverpool born actor David Morrissey says he is returning to the theatre which gave him his "voice" when he started his stage career.

The actor will play Macbeth alongside Jemma Redgrave at the Everyman Theatre in May.

It is the final major production before the Everyman closes for rebuilding.

"It was when I joined the Everyman Youth Theatre in Liverpool that I suddenly found my voice," Morrissey told BBC Radio 4.

"My education really came from drama.

"I didn't really get on with school, which was partly my own fault, but all my education, my soft skills as you could call it, came from going to drama groups in Liverpool and getting up on my feet and problem solving and improvisations.

"And that's where I found my voice."

'Find my thing'

The production of Macbeth, in which Morrissey will play the lead role and Jemma Redgrave Lady Macbeth, will be directed by the Everyman's Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz.

The play is at the Everyman from Friday, 9 May to Saturday, 4 June, 2011.

The return of David Morrissey to the theatre is the latest is a series of actors who have gone back to the Everyman in recent years.

Jonathan Pryce, the late Pete Postlethwaite and Matthew Kelly, who all worked at the Everyman, have returned to play roles at the theatre.

David Morrissey said joining the Everyman Youth Theatre had given him an education that he had failed to get at school.

"I was the youngest of four children and my three siblings were all very academic, they were off to university, they all wanted to be teachers and civil engineers and they did that," he said.

"I wasn't interested in that, I was slightly lazy as well... my father died when I was young so I was sort of able to get away with a lot really.

'Taken seriously'

"I needed to be motivated, I needed to find my thing.

"The Everyman Theatre itself was very progressive. As the youth theatre we were also on the board of the theatre itself, so I was suddenly with local councillors, I was suddenly talking about budgets, and that was my education."

David Morrissey's first movie as a director, 2009's Don't Worry About Me, was filmed in Liverpool and he said the cultural life of the city contributed to him taking up acting.

"It informed everything about me, it's a city that embraces culture in that way.

"When I grew up everybody was in a band, that was the big thing and I wasn't, so it was finding my own cultural feet.

"But we were taken seriously there, we were in a youth theatre, we were doing plays, it was reviewed in the local press, people came to see it.

"The lord mayor would come to see it, that sort of culture was taken very seriously music, dance, literature, poetry.

"We were never made to feel daft because we were doing the arts."

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