Something went wrong.

We've been notified of this error.

Need help? Check out our Help Centre.

James Alexandrou

20th February 2024

Interview & Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent

James Alexandrou who's known to play the loveable Martin Fowler in EastEnders and also founder of Actors East, co-wrote, directs, and co-stars in the one-act, intimate play Casserole.

Alexandrou chats to us about being a triple threat for Casserole, creating Actors East and he gives us advice to people who want to break in to television and stage.

Hi James! Congratulations on your new intimate play ‘Casserole’. What can you tell us about the show?

Thanks very much. Casserole is a very dark comedy that looks at very serious evening of a couples life. It starts with Dom, he's been at home all alone enjoying himself - drinking alone, smoking some weed and his girlfriend Kate comes home a couple of days early from a work trip to find ihim defrosting the last thing her mother before she died,m namely - a casserole

Eating the casserole was the first idea my cowriter Dominic Morgan came up with - and over the past five years we messed around with the idea, writing, improvising, putting it front of the audience is at scratch nights - and what is on at the Arcola in March is the thing we came up with.

You have co-wrote, directed, and co-starred in one act of this play. How was it to do more than three roles for this project? Did you have time to relax?

I've become very good at scheduling everything including relaxing.

I think Actors should always try and direct or produce or write at some point - It's very humbling - and doing it all at the same time on this one sounds really grand but all it really is is that I was the director on the outside working with incredible actors in Kate Kelly-Flood and Domoinic Morgan. Then at a certain point Dominic decided to step away from acting, and by that point it seemed obvious that I should be the one to jump in.

You’re also a founder of Actors East! Actors East provides a pay-what-you-can rehearsal space designed for those who do not have access or opportunity. Through AE, you have bridged a gap for the talented underground unseen pool of incredible theatre makers that don’t have access or opportunity. This is similar to why I created ReVamp... I wanted people with talent who are struggling to get their name out there to be seen and heard! What made you create this company?

Actors East was created a little bit by accident if I'm honest.

I selfishly needed a space that I could afford to work and everywhere in London was really bloody expensive and I was sick of trying to rehearse in someone's living room.

It feels to me, and it still feels this way, that there's a fundamental issue with the cost of living and working in London. For someone trying to produce a short film, the majority of your budget could be spent just on securing a space for a week. This was my reality when I needed a place to rehearse and develop my project. Due to financial constraints and the need to pay bills, I was in desperate need of an affordable workspace. Everywhere I looked in London, the prices were exorbitantly high, and I was tired of trying to rehearse in unsuitable spaces like someone's living room.

This situation led to the accidental creation of a company. Out of personal necessity, I sought an affordable space to work in, which was scarce in London. The high costs and lack of suitable spaces were prohibitive, pushing me to find a solution not just for myself but for others in similar situations. The idea was born out of selfish needs, but it addressed a broader issue many creatives face in the city.

As a result, I managed to establish a space that serves the needs of artists and creatives who are in the same predicament I was. Looking back, I'm proud of what has been achieved and feel a sense of responsibility for its existence, even though it wasn't part of the original plan.

You’ve starred in EastEnders and Call The Midwife. Is there a dream role you would love to get?

No not really I don't have a dream role. I guess making it work with really great people like all my friends is the dream role.

What advice would you give to people who want to become an actor and break into TV/plays?

Prepared to do it whether people let you do it or not.

Lastly, if you had the opportunity to ReVamp anything in the world what would it be?

My entire wardrobe or the way that the arts are funded and therefore the level of accessibility they have!

“CASSEROLE” is playing at the Arcola Theatre from 5th-30th March.

Using Format