It has been a while since I last published an interview so I decided it was time to get in touch with some politically active actors.
I was delighted to receive a reply from Giles Terera, who will be playing the role of Aaron Burr in the West End run of Hamilton later this year. I decided to ask him some questions about raising money for the Grenfell Tower victims in an event called ‘Songs and Solidarity,’ as well as his decision to endorse the Labour Party in June.
What persuaded you to organise ‘Songs and Solidarity’?
“Like so many other people I saw these images of horror on the screen and my immediate response was What can I do to help? I didn’t need any persuading. I had been canvassing not too far from that area in the weeks previous, I had been up in many towers and so it was painfully easy to envisage. The community itself has always been a diverse, close and creative one, this can be said of the theatre community so it struck me that the most effective way for me to contribute was through performance/art.”
Why did you decide to endorse Jeremy Corbyn and Labour in the recent election?
“I decided to endorse Labour, not Jeremy, as it’s the party I believe we should vote for. The party under Jeremy Corbyn i think is truer not only to its founding principles but truer to the majority of working people in this country. More than ever we need leadership in this country (and throughout the world) that is committed to all people in our societies not just the privileged few.
“I must say it certainly was Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership which reignited my passion for the Labour movement. Seeing how many young people, like yourself seemed to connect and respond to what Corbyn believes in has been very inspiring and encouraging. Like many people i was excited by the New Labour idea, in fact the ’97 election was the first I could vote in. But what it turned out to be, especially with regards it’s foreign policy, is still something that disgusts me. So during that time I moved away from the party. I can say that Corbyns leadership and his commitment to young people and working people has inspired me not only to come back to the party but to be more actively politically involved.”
What’s your opinion on how Theresa May has formed a coalition with the DUP?
“The conservative survival instinct would mean that they would get into bed with whoever could ensure them power regardless of the hypocrisy or moral bankruptcy involved, with that in mind Theresa May’s and the Conservatives actions are heinous, though not surprising. Needless to say, they care less about working Irish people than they do about working English people.”
Are you excited to perform in Hamilton on the West End?
“I am very excited to perform in Hamilton.”
What persuaded you to take the role of Aaron Burr?
“There was no persuading necessary to take the role of Aaron Burr. It’s the greatest and most complete piece of theatre I’ve ever seen.”